I read of Cape bee's SHB resistance somewhere (lost, sorry).
I understand that they have some AHB resistance as well, but foggily remember this was linked to some habit inversely associated with honey productivity, which they didn't have much of to start with.
Would the understanding and availability of this trait aid beekeepers in southern US states?
Would it be worth the research and development?
Does anyone remember more than these snippets?
Cape bees have an unusual expression of the Thelytoky ability. That is that laying workers can lay a queen or lay female eggs. The Cape bees Apis Mellifera Capensis take over the hives of European (Apis Mellifera) and African (Apic Sculleta) bees in a way that causes the hive to fail because of drifting Cape bee workers who start laying in the adopted hive. They are banned from import and are considered a bigger threat to beekeeping than the Africanized Honey Bees.
The LUS bees (Lusby's bees) are capable of the basic Thelytoky ability but in a way that is not self destructive.
I guess separating the traits against SHB from thelytoky in Euro-Cape crosses would take generations, but as those are bee generations, perhaps a summer would suffice. It depends heavily on the number of traits involved - breeding effort goes up with the number of traits selected as an exponent.
This would need quarantine - and as the windiness of Africa's Cape is thought to have selected for thelytoky by preventing queens returns from mating flights, perhaps the Azores, in the doldrums, would be better than windy Tristan da Cunha as naturally quarantined islands on which breeding could take place.
It's wiping out the African and European honey bees in South Africa. How many generations do you think have passed already? Or do you think AI (II) is necessary to cause this to happen? I think you have the best you can hope for in LUS bees. They have expressed this ability in a useful manner. It is already expressly against the law to import cape bees or any bee crossed with cape bees (Apis Mellifera Capensis). But if LUS bees have other characteristics in common, why not SHB resistance?
There is ongoing research with crossing Cape bees though: http://weslaco.ars.usda.gov/BIRU/honey1b.html
And a mention of HOW they fight the SHB http://apis.ifas.ufl.edu/apis_2000/apfeb_2000.htm
Other research that mentions a "Hybrid zone" where scuttelata and capensis are hybridized. http://beheco.oupjournals.org/cgi/co...tract/12/4/419