Honey bees are a species of bee that have a recessive trait for the Cordovan color, which can be seen in all breeds. In the early 1900s, Missouri was a major producer of honey and had a high number of bee hives on farms. Scientists from Caltech and the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, led by Altshuler, conducted research on the flight of honey bees using instant images and a robotic model of giant bee wings. Studies have estimated that honey bees provide 5 to 30 percent of pollination to a typical Midwestern landscape compared to other pollinators. The Carniola bee is one of the most widely distributed breeds of honey bees in the world, after the Italian bee.
In the early 20th century, tracheal mites caused a sharp decline in honey bee populations in the British Isles. Bee gum and skeps, which were popular in the 19th century, are no longer allowed. The German black bee is also known as the European black bee or English black bee. Studies have shown that two colonies of wild honey bees can be maintained in one square mile of forest, but it is unknown how successful wild Missouri honey bees are today. The most economically important breeds, hybrids and other subgroups of honey bees in North America include the Cordovan honey bee, Carniola bee, German black bee, and native North American bees.
Missouri has potential to produce more honey due to its land and floral resources. The Cordovan honey bee is widely used in open breeding programs based on mating because of its unique coloration. This bee is native to Northern Europe and was brought to North America by settlers in the 1700s. Wild honey bees and native North American bees were still relied upon for pollination in many areas until their populations began to disappear in the 1980s. Wild honey bees that have survived varroa mites may have developed some resistance, called immunocompetence, but this has not been proven to be different from bees from managed hives.
German black bees tend to be black or dark brown and may be slightly larger than other varieties.