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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
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    1,388

    Default Anyone know anything about Mexican Sunkist/AMM?

    I live in a region I suspect harbors some of these critters - Mexican Sunkist/AMM - has anyone ever heard of them? Dr. Russell mentioned them once to me. Anybody know of any other reverse migrations that have taken place southward?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Anthony, New Mexico USA
    Posts
    422

    Default Re: Anyone know anything about Mexican Sunkist/AMM?

    Dr. Russell told me once that his father had sold 50? colonies to some farmers from the copper canyon in the Sierra Madre of Chihuahua.
    My understanding is that the colonies were not tended to and swarmed for years and the region was saturated with the Sunkist genetics, mixing with the real feral hives that live on the deep canyons of Chihuahua. I see them out there but they are mostly crazy aggressive -some swarms and hives I have found them to be calm and nice to work with. The elevation is 8k+ so africanization may not be a factor -or it may, maybe AMM?.
    They survive well without any kind of treatment and are highly productive -but the aggression factor is not a nice thing to deal with.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2011
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    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
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    1,388

    Default Re: Anyone know anything about Mexican Sunkist/AMM?

    I was hoping you would chime in. I keep running across darkish bees at high elevation here that match their description - and vicious attitude. I have two hives of them. Not AHB, but they don't act like regular bees either. Mine are a bit watered down at this point -tolerably aggressive I would call them. Catch them on a bad day and watch out! They look like dark italians and have dark reddish queens and black drones.

    Know of any other races of bees that have become established down there in the face of full blown AHB?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    972

    Default Re: Anyone know anything about Mexican Sunkist/AMM?

    Only rumor from some older beek's in my area, but supposedly AMM have been down in Mexico since the 1800's, the exact area I don't know. That strain is somewhat nasty, if that is indeed the same stock as mine are believed to be. Fantastic honey producers, some of the very hardest working bees. Tough little survivors, well adapted to the west coast, but work them in good weather or don't bother. They do almost give AHB a run for their money in misbehavior. They are NOT a favorite of bare-hands beekeepers!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
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    Default Re: Anyone know anything about Mexican Sunkist/AMM?

    Sounds a little like my bees. Last winter I watched bees like these fly and gather the last of the remaining pollen when it was 34 degrees outside. Survivor is not a strong enough word for them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,212

    Default Re: Anyone know anything about Mexican Sunkist/AMM?

    You are describing Apis Mellifera Mellifera traits. The dark queens with reddish pilosity, large dark aggressive worker bees, and foraging at temperatures just above freezing are all traits that are found most developed in AMM. I've often seen AMM colonies foraging when Italians are inside shivering.
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
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    Default Re: Anyone know anything about Mexican Sunkist/AMM?

    When I first started doing feral removals, I was afraid these bees were some kind of AHB, but after running across real AHB hybrids a few times, now I know otherwise. I have noticed those AHB hybrids are not as dark. If I pull out light bees with yellowish drones, invariably they have more AHB traits. Funny thing, those bees are usually not as mean as the dark ones. Honestly, I have some bees derived from Russians, and these dark bees act very, very similar in my eyes - the only big difference is the cluster size and the Spring build-up.

    At this point I am pretty convinced I am running into a local strain of AMM or AMI (Iberica/Intermissa) of some sort. I have heard about the Mexican AMM along the border - so it seems logical they would be related.
    Last edited by Paul McCarty; 10-11-2012 at 09:04 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Indian River, Florida
    Posts
    225

    Default Re: Anyone know anything about Mexican Sunkist/AMM?

    Dr. Russell !!! I hate to laugh but this guy really gets around. These so called Sunkist are nothing more than goldens.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Pierce/Thurson County, Wa
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Anyone know anything about Mexican Sunkist/AMM?

    I was reading a study that said there is no AMM in New Mexico. There are some people studying the genetics of honey bees.
    http://comp.uark.edu/~aszalan/Site/A..._Research.html

    How about send them some of your bees?
    If you think anything organic is good for you, go drink some organic solvents.
    geek, learning how to be a beek

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    1,388

    Default Re: Anyone know anything about Mexican Sunkist/AMM?

    I am pretty well versed with Mrs. Magnus and her research. A lot of her research points to a portion of the bee population here being Iberian or Intermissa. Spanish Iberian bees are a variant of the AMM from Western Europe, mixed with a little African Intermissa - another black bee. The story goes that the Spanish brought them over during the conquest of the Americas. That is probably what I am seeing. Mrs Magnus has since moved on to work for Monsanto, if I remember correctly and the study is no longer being undertaken.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Otero County, New Mexico, USA
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    Default Re: Anyone know anything about Mexican Sunkist/AMM?

    FYI for anyone following this thread... Just spoke with Carol Sutherland, NM State Entomologist. She told me that AMM/Black Bees have, in fact, existed in New Mexico. On top of that, several beekeepers in San Juan county imported a bunch of them several years back and they got loose, swarmed, and bred with the feral bees. They pretty much spread all across the county and quite possibly further. She said the old bee inspector from that period HATED going to that county, as the bees were always difficult and unmanageable.

    Interesting story nonetheless.

    She is the lady I have test my bees to make sure AHB is not creeping into my queens. She sends them to OSU, I believe.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    972

    Default Re: Anyone know anything about Mexican Sunkist/AMM?

    Paul - I am very impressed at your getting Ms. Sutherland's help, and her sending bees off for genetic identification. That is a good learning habit. More of us should get to know our county and/or state bee inspector / entomologist.

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