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Author Topic: Regional adaptation of honeybees  (Read 1399 times)
David McLeod
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« on: December 02, 2010, 07:05:44 AM »

A thought to occured to me and I was wondering if I am off base. With the writings and opinions of some on the feral bees and the various races adapting to different regions I was wondering if some of this visciousnees in different races such as the AHB in the americas and the "dutch" bee many old timers remeber as bad could be a result of regional differences.
The reason I ask is that while the AHB is considered dangerous here in the americas where it is not native it is not so much in it's home region. Even in Brazil where it all started it seems to have mellowed or adapted to some degree (or at least the local beeks have adapted maybe). The black bee of europe was and is used in it's home range and has even been the founding race of the buckfast yet here in the americas it is regarded as less than desirable.
Could there be a "fish out of water" component that contributes to whether a certain race will be good or bad.
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D Coates
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« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2010, 08:56:40 AM »

I see where you're going but the fact that none of the honeybees we work for honey are native to the America's leaves the theory unsupported.  Not sure if I'm missing something here.
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David McLeod
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« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2010, 02:10:05 PM »

I see where you're going but the fact that none of the honeybees we work for honey are native to the America's leaves the theory unsupported.  Not sure if I'm missing something here.

You have a point. I was just wondering if a bee strain that was not regionally adapted would show something other than the obvious lack of survival. But then again our bees have proven themselves to be very adaptable.
Kind of going on the whole non native invasive thing where a plant or animal becomes invasive in one setting but is well behaved in it's home enviroment. Not that bees are invasive, just wondering if there was a small component that may influence traits.
I'm just kicking out stuff to keep the conversation going.
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rdy-b
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2010, 02:24:14 PM »

  hard to compare bees to animals-in that there brains dont work the same-bees dont think --they react
 no thinking-thats how we manipulate them whether it is with bee space or with smoke we now what they will do-animal will reason it through-and is unpredictable-RDY-B
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Finski
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« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2010, 02:04:43 AM »

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Regional adaptation....

I identyfy only a feature that the colony reacts on "autumn is coming - stop brood rearing".

To search something what you do not know, it is impossible thing.

 We had in Finland very strong population of German black bees but varroa killed them all.
I have nothing good to say about that Black Devil.  it was quite wild and when that Devil passed away, domestication of honey bee has made great progress.

If you want back wild stinging swarming bees, they are easy to breed. Don't cry for them.

Italian and Carniolan bees exist on Polar Circle. They have not adapted thre but beekeepers have found strains which react in proper way on that district.

I may bye queens from Italy and I have a good change to get genepool which make brood during the whole winter. Those colonies will die before christmass.

I do not know other local adaptation. You may imagine what ever but do you do something to go for it. Queen breeding is very laborous job, and it is painfull in North because summer is very short. You have 2 months time to do something and then lets meet next summer.




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Finski
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2010, 02:13:34 AM »

.
Gene flow around the wold is nowadays quite vivid. Professional bee breeders try many kind of bee strains and try to find good features. I know a guy who has strains from China, Siberia, Egypt, Kenia, Europe, USA..... He lives something on 65 latitude.




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David McLeod
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2010, 06:24:24 AM »


 We had in Finland very strong population of German black bees but varroa killed them all.
I have nothing good to say about that Black Devil.  it was quite wild and when that Devil passed away, domestication of honey bee has made great progress.

Okay, that answers one theory the german bees are nasty both here and in Europe. I guess it is in their nature and not a fish out of water response.
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T Beek
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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2010, 01:17:33 PM »

I guess, unless we are getting our bees from a local source, regional adaptation is required for survival.  Most of my purchased bees come from Texas or GA (roughly 1200 + miles away) and catch swarms.  So far their survival rates are too simular to notice much difference, but I am convinced local bees are best, unless new genetic introduction is the goal.
                                                                                               
That said I look forward to the day my bees come from no more than a couple hundred miles away, and have hopefully survived some severe winters. 

Still, I beleive honeybees are one of the most adaptaple creatures on the planet.  If flowers grew on the poles have no doubt someone would be keeping bees Smiley       

thomas
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D Coates
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« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2010, 03:40:18 PM »

I am biased toward "local " bees, logically they are better suited as they are local.  Though honestly I can't prove they are better.  I do purchase a few other outside queens to mix their genetics with "mine" every year.  I breed off of my queens that have overwintered, shown the best honey production, disease/mite resistance, and the best temperament.  I also bring in swarms and on occasion cut-outs so I've got my own version of a Heinz '57.  Are they better than others?  Who knows, I'd like to think so but I have no proof.
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Finski
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2010, 03:48:10 PM »

  Are they better than others?  Who knows, I'd like to think so but I have no proof.

You know that only when you get another strain and you compare them to your own.
You will surprise.

I have went  couple times into the trap that my bees are good. There are much more skillfull breeders than me.


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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2010, 01:17:43 AM »

There is some evidence that as AHB moves up into higher altitudes (and therefore colder climates) that it is more docile.   At least some scientists in South American have made that observation.  Maybe there is something to that.
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David McLeod
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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2010, 10:36:52 AM »

There is some evidence that as AHB moves up into higher altitudes (and therefore colder climates) that it is more docile.   At least some scientists in South American have made that observation.  Maybe there is something to that.

I saw something similar in an article on the monticola bee, I'll have to go re read to remember the specifics.
So many variables could be brought into play with enviroment vs genetics. The whole nurture vs nature conflict. All I can surmise is that a bee that is found in an enviroment that suits what it is genetically hardwired to do will be a better bee, at least for that particular enviroment, not that it may coincide with what we want.
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Georgia Wildlife Services,Inc
Georgia's Full Service Wildlife Solution
Atlanta (678) 572-8269 Macon (478) 227-4497
www.atlantawildliferemoval.net
georgiawildlifeservices@gmail.com
jajtiii
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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2010, 08:05:38 PM »

It seems possible to me that the reaction to AHB here in the states could be a driver for its behavior. If a somewhat docile strain of AHB were to swarm to a branch accessible to a beek, it is likely to be caught and then the queen killed or outright killed with raid. It's genetic traits are lost. On the other hand, if a highly aggressive and prone to flight AHB hive were to swarm to a branch, it may hit the road before it could get caught, thus ensuring (or increasing the probability of) its genetic survival and dispersion.

I'm not suggesting that these bees are not dangerous or that the current strategy is not the proper strategy with dealing with them. One could argue effectively that the lost of this genetic material outweighs the possible risk to children and animals that a 'typical' AHB swarm presents. I am just commenting on possible causes for the differing behavior of AHB in southern US compared to that in other continents.
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