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Author Topic: AHB  (Read 2066 times)
SgtMaj
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AHB
« on: July 06, 2008, 05:13:41 AM »

This might sound a little crazy (hence I'm posting it in the darkside of the moon forum), but... why don't scientists breed out the stinger from the AHB?  Seems like that would be a great solution to the problem... since the AHB are "super" bees that aren't very susceptible to the problems the rest of the bees are facing.  Of course, then they wouldn't have any real defense against hornets and wasps and such.  and, every time you went to check the hive, you'd get covered by the little guys trying in vain to sting you. grin  Still, it might be worth trying.
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Bill W.
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2008, 11:57:46 AM »

Breeding out such an unvariable trait would be very difficult.  When was the last time you saw a bee without a stinger?  Now, find two in two different hives that contain such a bee and select a queen and a drone from those hives and mate them.  Maybe you'll get a couple bees without stingers, maybe not.

And what makes you think lacking a stinger will be a survival advantage?  Let's say you manage to breed a race of stingless AHB and loose them into the environment.  What gives them better survival odds that allows them to displace the existing AHB?  The fact is, without stingers, they are probably less fit to survive and won't really displace any sting-equipped AHB.

AHB is going to be hard to breed out because it is partly the "bad" traits that make it more successful.  So, long as there are feral bees, they are going to have an advantage with AHB genes.
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2008, 01:13:47 PM »

Well, they could maybe do some genome tampering...
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Bill W.
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« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2008, 01:29:42 PM »

Same problem though.  If what you produce is not more fit than what exists in the wild, it will not supplant it.

To be successful, we would have to do something like engineer a bee-infecting virus that carried a segment of DNA that would infect egg cells and splice in new DNA.  Needless to say, this is at the bleeding edge of genetic engineering and might have unintended consequences.
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SgtMaj
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« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2008, 04:13:38 PM »

True, but they could do it and test it in a lab somewhere in South America... until they release a few bees... wait, haven't I heard this story before? evil
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