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Happenings in the insect world
by M. Vandenberg.enberg
on April 10, 2013 at 1:23 PM
Do queens mate only with their own strain, I.e. Italian. Are the bees in a hive all similar in their colors and markings
by Kathy Keatley Garvey
on April 10, 2013 at 3:37 PM
Thank you for your question. Short answers are "No" and "No."  
Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen of the UC Davis Department of Entomology: "Honey bee queens will mate with drones of other 'races' or subspecies,' if they fly at the same time of day. Otherwise, the bees mate pretty true to race.  
"The color of the hairs on honey bees is the under genetic control of genes from both the queen and the drones with which she mated. Since a queen usually mates with 12-20 drones, having color variation is fairly common in a single colony population."
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