Characteristics of the black bee
Further Literature
Beowulf Cooper in his book "The Honeybees of the British Isles" list 23 characteristics which taken together define the back bee. He describes each character in detail. I list below some of these characteristics which might be easily observed (the numbers are taken from the book). Reference will be made to these characteristics throughout the text with the green colour coding.

My own experiences with the black bee are described under the headings in the menu above.
Physical characters
1. The bees are "black".
2. Long abdominal overhairs.
3. Characteristic wing type (discordal shift and cubital index)
4. Genetically large size.


Behavioural characters
5. Low temperature flight
8. Longevity
9. Non-prolificacy
10. Heavy spring to summer pollen storage
11. Heavy late summer pollen storage.
12. Early cessation of brood rearing in the summer.
13. Thriftiness.
14. Adaptation to the local flora.
15. Tight winter clustering near the hive entrance.
16. Comb honey cappings white and convex.
17. Compact brood pattern,
18. Compact honey storage pattern.
19. Fluctuating brood nest temperature.
20. Minimal drifting.
21. Drones expelled earlier.
22. Alternative mating behaviour.
23. Temperament compatible with other native bees.
Two further books which deal exclusively with the black bee are shown; these are again published by BIBBA. Both give a valuable insight in the characteristics and behaviour of the black bee.
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