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  1. #41
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    Dec 2000
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    crown point, NY, USA
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    971

    Post

    Hi Dee,

    In one of your post somewhere(cannot remember) you mentioned the characteristics of pre-enlarged bees. Could you tell us these characteristics as they differ from todays honeybees? Please include race, strain, hybrid, ect. Could you site refferences that mention these characteristics. Also were there any differences between domestic bees and feral bees before they were sized up by the industry? Need more information so I can select my carniolans for queen rearing. What methods do you use to rear queens? Thanks.

    Clayton

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, United States
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    397

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    This is in reply to Clayton's post of 12-21-2000 at 07:24 PM during which he wrote:

    In one of your post somewhere(cannot remember) you mentioned the characteristics of pre-enlarged bees. Could you tell us these characteristics as they differ from todays honeybees? Please include race, strain, hybrid, ect. Could you site refferences that mention these characteristics. Also were there any differences between domestic bees and feral bees before they were sized up by the industry? Need more information so I can select my carniolans for queen rearing. What methods do you use to rear queens? Thanks.

    Reply:

    Clayton a long time ago in the early 1980s I went back into the archives of the various journals and copied characteristics then quoted for the various bee races main to the US, namely: Italian, carnolian, caucasian, etc.

    You mentioned working with carnolian, but to differeniate you would probably need for all three, however since this would tend to start to get us into bee breeding and queens, etc, and you seem interested.

    Lets change categories to queen production and I will break it out for you race by race from what I have in the files from 1888 - 1951 on characteristics to look for.

    Then if you want we can go into various old traditional ways from the archives of breeding as pertains to field management.

    I'll start getting the old books out and start a new thread in Queen & Bee Breeding just for you.

    See you there and look forward to your comments.

    Very Best Regards

    Dee

    [This message has been edited by Dee A. Lusby (edited December 23, 2000).]

  3. #43
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    Oct 2000
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    Tucson, Arizona, United States
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    This is in reply to Bobby Field's post of 12-14-2000 at 10:30 PM

    Bobby wrote:

    "you state, Also, several diseases of bees are known to only exist within domesticated colonies and not true feral. Why?

    Reply:

    In Nature, bees that are true feral are in a balanced harmonious state of being, that is not the case with today's artificially enlarged domesticated honeybees, that no longer match natural flora for food and therefore, optium health.

    Bobby also wrote:

    How do you know how many feral or wild bee colonies have died of the same diseases that our domestic bees have?

    Reply:

    Technically you don't know actual numbers. I don't think anyone actually does. However, two world class scientists named L. Bailey & B.V. Ball, in their book Honey Bee Pathology, after numerous disections of honeybees for causes of death have written about their causes of death from fungal,viral, and bacterial, mite infections, etc and the relationships between feral and domestic honeybees.

    Bobby further writes:

    I don't know what part of the country you live in but where I live there are no feral or wild bees left to make a comparision....
    I think it would be safe to say that mites and diseases have all but wiped out our wild or feral, if you please, bee population.

    Reply:

    Bobby, I have never known any area to be truly devoid of honeybees completely. All beekeepers asking me the same when asked to solicit swarms from fire departments for free pickup and Recreational Parks, etc have always come back saying they were give plenty of swarms to pick up.

    You yourself also wrote within this same post: "I was aked to remove a hive from a building not far from my home that was slated to be razed by fire this spring and the owner didn't want the bees to be destroyed with it. I could see that as I opened the wall that this had been the home to several hives."

    More dialogue? comments for me to ponder?

    Very best regards to you.

    Dee


  4. #44
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    This topic has been quiet for some time, and it predates me on this board, but I have some questions and observations.

    I am very curious about Dee's quote of the research that the feral population is different genetically than the domestic population. I have observed that the feral bees I have dealt with vary from a typical Italian, to a grayish looking Italian mostly. Lately, though, I've been seeing little black feral bees around my place.

    I wasn't sure they were Apis Melliforia until I found some that had drifted into one of my observation hives. This allowed me to observe them quite closely for long periods of time. I learned that when the light catches them right, they have some reddish black bands on their abdomen. I have seen Caucasian and Italian bees before, but nothing like this. Is there anyone who has had close observation of the black European bees? I am inclined to think they are native bees for the reasons already shown by Dee, plus one more. Traditional Lakota (Sioux) stories have honeybees in them.

    I will set some bait hives and hope I can catch a swarm of them.

  5. #45
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    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
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    I have a small comment. Before you get too romantic about feral bees. In the 1940s I had 5-6 hives of bees ....all taken from feral swarms. Now that I know what modern bees are like I realize what miserable little b----es they were. I had to wear most of the clothes that I owned, thick gloves/veil and a lot of courage to work them. More that once I skedaddled through the swamp to get away. And there was always one that got inside the veil.
    When I re-started beekeeping last year I thought,"anyone could do this." I have a suspicion that in breeding for a gentler bee, we lost some of the natural resistance inherent in the species.

    Dickm

  6. #46
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Bees can't get any meaner than mine got last summer and they were Buckfasts. They would start attacking you 20 yards from the hive and would continue to hunt you down and sting you hours later hundreds of yards from the hive. When you opened the hive, they poured out and the smell of bananas was in the air.

    I have taken feral bees out of trees and they got about that mad by the time I was done, but it took them a lot longer to get that mad.


  7. #47
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    oneonta al.
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    812

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    Michael: how old were your buckfast queens? reason I asked I've been told 2yr's & older they can get mean.I don't know I've never had any, I ordered 6 to be here in april.But i've got them traded for some used super's.because I'm going to have all cordovan's this year, thank's Mark

  8. #48
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    Feb 2003
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    Columbia, South Carolina USA
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    Cordovans eh? Where did you get them. Can you expect the offspring to ahve the color mutation as well, or just the queen??

    Keith

  9. #49
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    Aug 2002
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    >Michael: how old were your buckfast queens? reason I asked I've been told 2yr's & older they can get mean.I don't know I've never had any, I ordered 6 to be here in april.

    These were only a year and six months or so. I had a bunch of swarms, so they were new queens raised after the swarm. I've had Buckfasts off and on for decades and had very good luck. Gentle, productive. I often get 200 pounds of honey from one hive.

    But these turned vicious on me.

  10. #50
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    Jan 2003
    Location
    oneonta al.
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    812

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    Keith:I get my Cordovan's from Mccary out of Ms. (601-648-2747).yes the off spring's h as got the gold color like the queen.

  11. #51

    Post

    Re: Six types of bees / EXCERPT FROM THE HISTORY OF MEXICO by Abbe D. Francesco Saverio Clavigero

    At least some and maybe all of these are not Apis, and thus could not cross with honeybees. Melipona (sp?) is a genus of stingless Central American bee; not an Apis genus 'honeybee', yet used by natives for honey.

    It might be that there was or is a pre-european-contact Apis in this hemisphere, which might cross with hive bees, but I haven't seen any evidence of that, unless the genetic divergence between feral and in-hive Apis is that evidence.

    On finding a visibly varying variety of types of workers in one hive; why worry?
    These are the offspring of many drones; Couldnn't a queen may have 'consciously' selected drones for variety, so as to have the diversity of worker types just observed?

    Brian Cady

  12. #52

    Thumbs down

    From an earlier posting:
    Don writes:
    Native bees are only an issue in Europe, as the native bees in the Americas
    are non-Apis mellifera.

    Dee replies:
    This has never be qualitatively proven in scientific writings...

    Unless you can time travel back 512 years, and have a look around, there can be no "qualitatively proven" way to prove this generally accepted fact. [That is, generally accepted by most scientist and historians]

    And Dee writes further:
    ...and archival evidence in fact points to the opposite assumption from many sources.

    I don't believe this to be true. What other "sources" can you show that supports this 'opposite assumption'?

    The one source sighted [EXCERPT FROM THE HISTORY OF MEXICO] was written some 200 hundred years AFTER the most probable time period where the Spanish first introduced Apis into the new world. (1750 - 1530 = 220 years, more than enough time for Apis to "escape"/swarm into the wild and flourish and be considered "native" by the author of that writing).

  13. #53
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    Aug 2002
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    >At least some and maybe all of these are not Apis, and thus could not cross with honeybees. Melipona (sp?) is a genus of stingless Central American bee; not an Apis genus 'honeybee', yet used by natives for honey.

    Certaily some are not Apis Mellifera.

    >It might be that there was or is a pre-european-contact Apis in this hemisphere, which might cross with hive bees, but I haven't seen any evidence of that, unless the genetic divergence between feral and in-hive Apis is that evidence.

    But the evidence that the feral bees are NOT related to the hive bees (from my other references) adds to the intrigue. Thelytoky in a strain of bees here adds to that intrigue also.

    >>Dee replies: This has never be qualitatively proven in scientific writings...

    >Unless you can time travel back 512 years, and have a look around, there can be no "qualitatively proven" way to prove this generally accepted fact. [That is, generally accepted by most scientist and historians]

    By the same token "Unless you can time travel back 512 years, and have a look around, there can be no "qualitatively proven way to " DISprove this generally accepted fact. The point is that there is SOME evidence that this assumption is just that -- an assumption.

    >>And Dee writes further: ...and archival evidence in fact points to the opposite assumption from many sources.

    >I don't believe this to be true. What other "sources" can you show that supports this 'opposite assumption'?

    You'd have to ask her if she has other sources. In very old copies of ABC & XYZ of Bee culture there were references to native bees also. No one is claiming to be able to prove that there were native bees, only that some evidence exists and that it has always been assumed, certainly not proven nor, as far as I know, even investigated.

    >The one source sighted [EXCERPT FROM THE HISTORY OF MEXICO] was written some 200 hundred years AFTER the most probable time period where the Spanish first introduced Apis into the new world. (1750 - 1530 = 220 years, more than enough time for Apis to "escape"/swarm into the wild and flourish and be considered "native" by the author of that writing).

    Possibly.

    No one is asking you to believe this is a fact, but it might be worth considering the possibility.

    If there is ever anytway to prove anything in this matter, it will probably be from genetics testing. But bees with characterisics that are not common in European bees is evidence of genetics not common in European bees.

    There is no more proof that there were not native bees than proof that there were. Both are assumptions based on observations of lay people at the time in question. To accept either assumption as fact is unscientific.

  14. #54
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    Nov 2003
    Location
    McMinnville, TN, USA
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    Some of the English colonist said that there were bees here when they landed. It is one of the reason that historian believe the vikings came here first and brought their bees. There is something else that confuses historians. They found nicotine in the mummies in the pyramids. Nicotine come from one and only one plant species and they are all in north and south america and is best known as tobaco. These mummies go back 3000 or more years. The Egyptains may have brought there bees with them. I am sorry I did not spend the time looking these things up to give you sites. I got these tidbits from watching PBS specials.

  15. #55

    Post

    > ...only that some evidence exists
    and
    > But bees with characterisics that are not common in European bees is evidence of genetics not common in European bees...

  16. #56

    Post

    > ...only that some evidence exists
    and
    > But bees with characterisics that are not common in European bees is evidence of genetics not common in European bees...

    Michael, where are you getting this? That's what I'm asking for - the article that you put a link to earlier (in some other posting) only showed old line mtDNA to Apis m. m. (which is traceable directly to Europe). There was no mention of some unknown (or uniquely new world) DNA found.

    > Thelytoky in a strain of bees here...
    Again, if you're referring to the LUS bee study, thelytoky wasn't proven (nor was it a conclusion of that study). I feel quite sure that in the middle of, say, France, there is occasionally a queenless hive that manages to requeen itself in some unexplainable way (certainly without any influence of the cape bee). That is to say, having one very isolated example of a hive requeening itself, doesn't prove that a strain of thelytoky geneitics exists.

  17. #57
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    Aug 2002
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    >Michael, where are you getting this? That's what I'm asking for - the article that you put a link to earlier (in some other posting) only showed old line mtDNA to Apis m. m. (which is traceable directly to Europe). There was no mention of some unknown (or uniquely new world) DNA found.

    Nor was there any searching for other DNA. My point is that often other subsepcies are reluctant to cross and the feral bees in the Southwest are reluctant to cross with commercial EHB.

    >Again, if you're referring to the LUS bee study, thelytoky wasn't proven (nor was it a conclusion of that study). I feel quite sure that in the middle of, say, France, there is occasionally a queenless hive that manages to requeen itself in some unexplainable way (certainly without any influence of the cape bee). That is to say, having one very isolated example of a hive requeening itself, doesn't prove that a strain of thelytoky geneitics exists.

    It is true that the occasional Thelytoky in European bees has been observed. It is, however EXTREMELY rare. In this study, the 55.6% of the queenless LUS nucs were rasing workers. 0% of the EHBs were. Also of 18 nucs there were 9 emerged queens from the queenless colonies of the LUS bees. There were 0 queens from the EHBs. This is not an insignificant difference. I would say it's indicative of quite different genetics. I also don't see how you can say that Thelytoky was not proven when it took place in half of the queenless LUS colonies that were studied and none of the EHB colonies in the study.

    "Of the 18 colonies of LUS tested for thelytoky, 55.6% reared worker brood from the eggs of laying workers, and 50% reared queens."

    "Queenless CP (panmictic array of commercial bee lines maintained as a closed population (CP)) colonies reared only drones, although queen cells were constructed and eggs from laying workers were placed inside them. The eggs did not hatch, and often were gone the next day. Similarly, cd colonies produced only drones from laying worker eggs, although some colonies reared larvae in queen cells. These queen cells were larger and longer than those produced by LUS or commonly seen in colonies rearing queens from a mated queen's brood. During colony inspections the cd workers were observed crawling over the capped queen cells just as the LUS bees did in their colonies. However, within 3-5 days in the cd colonies the queen cells were torn down by the workers."

    I don't see why you think this study did not observe Thelytoky nor a difference in LUS and EHB.

  18. #58

    Lightbulb

    > ...feral bees in the Southwest are reluctant to cross with commercial EHB.

    So even if the above statement is true (which I seriously question), you think this serves as some kind of "evidence" that this strain of Apis was here prior to European colonization of the American continent?
    --
    So now I understand the argument being made by you (and possibly, Lusby too): LUS is such a unique strain of bees; that they were apparently here before Europeans arrived. You're alluding to the POSSIBILITY the LUS Apis are not European in origin, is that right? If that's the case you're trying to make, why not just come out and say it?

  19. #59
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    >> ...feral bees in the Southwest are reluctant to cross with commercial EHB.
    >So even if the above statement is true (which I seriously question)

    That was part of what the study I quoted concluded. I'm not sure why you seriously question it?

    > you think this serves as some kind of "evidence" that this strain of Apis was here prior to European colonization of the American continent?

    I think it is suspicious that they don't readily crossbreed and I think it's evidence that they may be a different subspecies. It's the same through nature. Whitetails will crossbreed with Mule deer, but they are more likely to breed with mule deer. Horses can cross (and result in sterile offspring) with donkeys but are more inclined to stay with horses. This seems to be true in lots of species.

    >So now I understand the argument being made by you (and possibly, Lusby too): LUS is such a unique strain of bees; that they were apparently here before Europeans arrived.

    I'm not saying "apparently". I'm saying "possibly".

    >You're alluding to the POSSIBILITY the LUS Apis are not European in origin, is that right?

    Yes.

    >If that's the case you're trying to make, why not just come out and say it?

    I thought I had.

  20. #60

    Post

    Michael,
    Please, you and Dee, give me a break...

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