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Oddball Bee Mutations

mutant drones

Visible mutations are most often seen in drones. Since drones develop from unfertilized eggs, they have only one set of chromosomes. All recessive genes are expressed in drones, none are hidden by a second, dominant gene.


This eye color variation changes from light yellow to dark red over time.

mutant eye colors honeybees


drone honeybee


Normal colored "wild type" eyes



white eyed dronesA different recessive gene gives bees white eyes. White eyed bees behave normally up until they are old enough to take their first flight. Once they fly, it's obvious that they are sightless, flying wildly in circles, they rarely return to the hive.



white eyed queen


If both the mother and father contribute a white eye gene, white eyed workers and queens result.



Possible combinations of white eyed bees

genetics of bee white eye mutation


gynandromorh drone honeybeeThese are bees which have of both male (drone) and female (worker) anatomy. Here a bee has a drone's head with a worker's body. Other bees are male on one side and female on the other. Still others are mosaics of male and female tissue.


gynandromorph honeybee droneThis bee not only has one white eye and one dark eye, but the white eye is a drone eye while the dark eye is a worker eye.

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