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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,382

    Default Re: Capturing feral genetics?

    I think mine went to the USDA Tucson Bee Lab.

    Kilo- Are you talking about my feral bees in general or the ones I am trapping 9000' feet up?

    On a side note - I heard from Russell Apiaries once that his Sunkist strain was bred from Italian/AMM Hybrids and apparently some were bred just over the border in Mexico. When AHB went through the area, some of their DNA hybridized into the mix. Supposedly these bees then spread all up and down the Rio Grande Valley and became the predominate wild bee. They are quite dark from what I have heard. I have often wondered if some of the feral bees I am running across might be relatives of these.

    I worked my two current confirmed "Africans" today. I gave them Italian queens a few weeks back and wanted to make sure they accepted them, which they did. Talk about a short fuse - when you crack the lid - the timer is on. You better be wrapping things up after a couple of minutes, or you're going to have bees all up in your chili. They were none too pleased I was messing around with their queen.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    928

    Default Re: Capturing feral genetics?

    If the ferals in your area are likely some from Russell's old stock, I'd ask Robert himself about them.

    I only have one colony of AHB, in a very secure location, kept under 3 queen excluder cages. I use them for breeding stock and try to promote their disease and pest tolerance, while breeding out the strong hive defense behavior. I hope to obtain some Buckfasts to cross with them in hopes to get a bee that tolerates acarine disease along with everything else the AHB tolerates.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,382

    Default Re: Capturing feral genetics?

    Robert is the one who originally told me about them.

    When I originally started sending bees out for testing, I had hopes they would do more than just African - Yes/No. It sure seems like a lot of un-nescessary bee deaths taking place because of it. It seems more prudent to me not to worry about the genetics and just breed for temper/swarming/production but there are a lot of industries out there making a buck off of killing bees.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    928

    Default Re: Capturing feral genetics?

    Oh, and BTW, the 9,000 foot bees (post #15) sound more like AMM than AHB, but crosses are possible. Carniolans are small and dark, but not very mean. Caucasians are "gray", make tons of propolis. Niether make a lot of honey. I, too, wish DNA tests gave strain and outcross fraction estimates. That could be useful for "first guess" management, especially for small swarms.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,382

    Default Re: Capturing feral genetics?

    They are dark like carnies and very very small. The smallest bees I think I have ever seen. Mean as a junk yard dog. Smoke just makes them fly. They do not seem to want to move into my trap either, so the best I can hope for is that their drones mate with my queen cell I gave the trap hive. The place they live in only has about two months of warm, and the rest of the year is snow and cold. They are in a house on the summit of a mountain. So I bet they are actually higher than 9000'. They have been there for at least one Winter. I was truly disappointed that I could not cut them out, even as mean as they are. I will be shocked if they come back as African.

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