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Body Characters

of worker honey bees

The body characters of worker bees can give a reasonable indication of their purity. It can also give an indication of the variety of drones the queen mated with. If the colour and characters of the worker population are very similar you can be fairly certain that the bees in the area where the queen was mated are fairly stable. If the colour of the workers varies widely, you can be sure there is very heavy mongrelisation in the district, with a possible heavy influx of different bees, probably imported.

As with all measurements of honey bees it is difficult to tell which sub-species they are likely to be by measuring body characteristics, but it is probably fairly accurate in telling what they aren't.

The button "Body Characters PDF" on the top left will show drawings and the terminology used.

Roger Patterson.