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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Genetic Diversity: What Would Brother Adam Do... Today?

    dean, what is the source of the 'trend'? what is your approach to improving the traits of your bees via genetics?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  2. #22
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    Hamilton, Alabama
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    Default Re: Genetic Diversity: What Would Brother Adam Do... Today?

    So instead of seeking out so much genetic diversity, we should find bees that do what we need them to and maintain them?
    There is no advantage to bringing in bees from diverse regions where they are native unless you are prepared to do the breeding work that Brother Adam did with his bees. In other words, there is NO advantage to diversity just for diversity's sake. You might even be going backwards by importing bees that are so seriously un-adapted that they can't produce their own honey and would have to be fed to maintain them. There is also the risk of importing undesirable traits such as AHB, cape bees, etc.

    If you want bees that are adapted to NS, then you would only want to bring in bees from areas with similar climates. This would limit you to extreme northern Europe and perhaps part of Asia. Unfortunately that would leave out some of the most interesting bees with the most unique traits. Here is a listing of the recognized geographic species of Apis Mellifera.

    North-west of Europe
    A. m. iberica
    A. m. intermissa
    A. m. lihzeni
    A. m. mellifera
    A. m. sahariensis * note that this one is listed twice.

    South-west of Europe
    A. m. carnica
    A. m. cecropia
    A. m. ligustica
    A. m. macedonica
    A.m. ruttneri
    A. m. sicula

    Middle East
    A. m. adamii
    A. m. anatoliaca
    A. m. armeniaca
    A. m. caucasica
    A. m. cypria
    A. m. meda
    A. m. pomonella

    Africa
    A. m. adansonii
    A. m. capensis
    A. m. intermissa
    A. m. lamarckii
    A. m. litorea
    A. m. major
    A. m. monticola
    A. m. sahariensis
    A. m. scutellata
    A. m. unicolor
    A. m. jemenitica

    Of the above, I know of three that could be of significant interest here in North America. They are A. M. Lamarckii, A. M. Sahariensis, and A. M. Monticola. Guess what? These are all African races! So why would they be interesting? Lamarckii is the Egyptian bee and carries the unique trait of NOT collecting propolis. Sahariensis carries a trait of extreme thrift to the point of producing very little drone comb. Monticola seems to have some unique cold temperature adaptations.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apis_%28genus%29
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apis_mellifera
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Genetic Diversity: What Would Brother Adam Do... Today?

    interesting dar. do you raise your own queens? if no, what do you look for when purchasing?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #24
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Genetic Diversity: What Would Brother Adam Do... Today?

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Foster Collins View Post
    I don't think we really have an "indigenous" bee here in Nova Scotia, Adam
    Or anywhere else in the Americas.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  5. #25
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    Denison, Texas
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    Default Re: Genetic Diversity: What Would Brother Adam Do... Today?

    Adam, can you get bees from Hawaii? Big Island Queens is selling VSH queens there, that they got from Glenn Apiaries.
    I remember reading how Allen Dick got queens from Hawaii. My impression from what I remember from earlier posts of
    yours is your frustration with treating for mites. This should help. Get some Ferguson Buckfasts, some VSH from Hawaii and
    start raising your own bees for your area. Also, (insert shameless Weaver plug here) I heard Beeweaver is still working with
    a company out there in HI. If you're happy with your Chevy. You don't need a Chevy/Ford/Dodge. They're already produced.
    You just have to figure out how to get them.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Genetic Diversity: What Would Brother Adam Do... Today?

    VSH is not the right approach. This is especially true if you are not going to evaluate/select for VSH. I hear from very very few beekeepers who actually evaluate for VSH.

    Deknow

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Genetic Diversity: What Would Brother Adam Do... Today?

    dean, can you share what you evaluate/select for?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Genetic Diversity: What Would Brother Adam Do... Today?

    I thought Adam was trying to be treatment-free. Evaluate by having bees that live treatment-free. My logic is. Buckfasts do well
    in cold, wet parts of Europe and Canada. It should do well in NS. VSH trait is inheritable. Both "breeds" should do okay through a
    NS summer, long enough to get queens raised and everything requeened before winter. Evaluate in the spring of 2014. Binford
    and Danny Weaver have already proven that VSH is inheritable into the Buckfast line. Why can't Adam work on his own version
    of Beeweavers that will do well where he's at? Since he can't import a bee that's already being produced that would work for him.

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Genetic Diversity: What Would Brother Adam Do... Today?

    ...you are talking about VSH as it it were brown eyes.....this is a gross misunderstanding of the entire concept of VSH, HYG, and hygienic behavior in general.
    These behaviors exist in all populations...the 'trait' is really just an evaluation of where on the continuum a particular hive scores. It is also well understood (and has been demonstrated in both the lab and with independent breeders) that a line that scores highest in hygienec tests pull most of the brood, not just those hosting varroa.
    Read Marla's documentation wrt Minnesota hygienic program.....without constant selection for the hyg trait, it dilutes in the population (meaning that if you are not testing and selecting for it disappears).
    Most importantly, naturally surviving populations of bees (even AHB ) don't score especially high on these kinds of tests...so they are using other (proven successful) methods to survive the mites.

    Deknow

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Genetic Diversity: What Would Brother Adam Do... Today?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    what is your approach to improving the traits of your bees via genetics?
    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    dean, can you share what you evaluate/select for?
    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    so they are using other (proven successful) methods to survive the mites.

    Deknow
    i am interested in your approach dean, unless it is a closely guarded secret.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Genetic Diversity: What Would Brother Adam Do... Today?

    He has a book ya know. heh, heh
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Genetic Diversity: What Would Brother Adam Do... Today?

    so that's why the teasers!
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  13. #33
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    DFW area, TX, USA
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    Thumbs Up Here is my backyard solution.

    I hope these thoughts fit in with the OP and subsequent exchange.
    I have not read any claim by Brother Adam that he had found 'all' strains of bees worth using in breeding, there is still work to be done in remote places harboring the original range of Apis Meliffera.

    Seems that frozen semen would be the easiest way to gather your diversity. Maybe you could find some European breeder or institution with the same goals then work on importing bees or semen with veterinary certifications and assurances. Import them to a government research program for evaluation -that is your foot in the door.

    We cannot predict the 'next' disease or pest in our (bee) future. Ushering a wide genetic footprint into the future will be good for the bee's chance of survival.

    I'm wintering four hives containing: One queen of Minnesota Hygienic stock (now mixed with local feral bees), one queen of RWeaver's Buckfast stock (it IS a gentle hive), One queen of BeeWeaver's survivor stock, and one Italian looking queen from a local cut out. I've observed good honey production and hygienic behavior from the Minnesota hygienic, Beeweaver and RWeaver Buckfast queens (the feral hive is too new to judge production).

    The RWeaver Buckfast line, even if diminished over time as some assert, was bred to have good wing size for good flying ability, good resistance to tracheal mites and brood diseases (and other attributes). Coupled with good honey production and gentleness, the Buckfast genes seem a good bet for some broader diversity crossing with these other lines in Spring. We'll roll the dice in Spring and subsequent Springs, until somebody solves the task of providing a (successful) wider genetic base here in America.

    BTW, are our bees really doing that much worse than European bees did when varroa arrived there?
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Genetic Diversity: What Would Brother Adam Do... Today?

    1. I've been typing on my phone.
    2. I've posted a lot about this here and elsewhere.
    3. It's hard to even discuss this stuff if it's against the backdrop of VSH when it is so misunderstood. Why would one let a hive die when they could just get VSH stock to start with? Because VSH is just as much of a crutch as any other, and one that virtually no one who buys such stock is equiped to maintain.

    Deknow

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Genetic Diversity: What Would Brother Adam Do... Today?

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    ...you are talking about VSH as it it were brown eyes.....this is a gross misunderstanding of the entire concept of VSH, HYG, and hygienic behavior in general.
    These behaviors exist in all populations...the 'trait' is really just an evaluation of where on the continuum a particular hive scores. It is also well understood (and has been demonstrated in both the lab and with independent breeders) that a line that scores highest in hygienec tests pull most of the brood, not just those hosting varroa.
    Read Marla's documentation wrt Minnesota hygienic program.....without constant selection for the hyg trait, it dilutes in the population (meaning that if you are not testing and selecting for it disappears).
    Most importantly, naturally surviving populations of bees (even AHB ) don't score especially high on these kinds of tests...so they are using other (proven successful) methods to survive the mites.

    Deknow
    Just tying to figure out a way someone could create through using a hybrid, a mite resistant bee from what is able to be imported
    to NS. The idea is to make a hybrid then breed from the survivors. If the resistant trait doesn't transfer, there won't be survivors.
    I'm not talking about a whole complicated progam with nitrogen tests and counting percentages of pulled brood etc. Just find
    an improvement and then breed from the best at hand and go from there. The bees that the II breeders use have a very high
    score when tested for VSH trait. When bred to a non-VSH bee the trait does get thinned down, but can still be carried enough
    to make bees that can make healthy colonies and effectively hold their own against mites.

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Genetic Diversity: What Would Brother Adam Do... Today?

    makes sense steven. i guess poor adam is in a bit of a predictament up there in ns.

    dean, your book is supposed to arrive here next week, so rest your eyes.

    (but when you get a better opportunity, i want to know the real reason why you don't like the erikson paper, on the pov thread, thanks)
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Here is my backyard solution.

    My impression is that simple Mendel's laws is difficult to apply to the bees. From another hand, I hope that classical genetics is still working on bees. Correct me if I am wrong: Individual worker bee could have only pair of any gene - "A" and "a", which gives some combinations in the future generations, AA, Aa and aa. In my understanding, diversity may be at the level of single colony - different bees have different father's genes and the same from mother. Another option - diversity between the colonies. In such case, both mother and father genes may create a numerous combinations. The "trait" is not a single gene, it is a combination of many. Now, are we talking about "diversity" of "traits" or genes? In my opinion, diversity of genes may be realized even in a single colony if free mating is available. Free mating will also increase the diversity of genes between the colonies (plus "wild" genes). May be somebody could explain to me what is (if any) diversity of "traits?" Continue speaking about diversity of genes (not traits), to me, the easiest solution would be to let bees to create their own queens and mate them freely. It would immediately diversify the pool of genes available in (and between) the colony(ies). Introducing the "breeded" queen would shrink the diversity.

    This post is not a statement but my thoughts. It would be nice to hear [the opinion of experts] friendly opinions.
    Last edited by cerezha; 11-25-2012 at 08:12 PM. Reason: wrker bee corrected
    Серёжа, Sergey

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Here is my backyard solution.

    >>It would be nice to hear the opinion of experts.

    well, that certainly leaves me out.

    nice to see you posting sergey, i hope you have been well.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Here is my backyard solution.

    I am not expert ether. Bees genetics is so complicated to me! It would be great if together we could figure out how "traits" are actually inherited AND stay in genome?
    Серёжа, Sergey

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Here is my backyard solution.

    There is a good reason hybrid breeding programs maintain separate lines, and us the cross for "production". Often the inbred lines of bees are very weak from inbreeding.....and subsequent generations are poor...hence maintaininformation the separate lines.

    Deknow

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