Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
I'm thinking a lot just now about localism in beekeeping too. Local survivors will have gained, through competition, good 'knowledge' of the climate, bloom times and so on - they will be attuned.
Mike (UK)
Where is the attuned local 'knowledge' stored in the bee (meta-population) brain?

These sort of statements miss the essential evolutionary imperative of honeybees. Honeybees are successful generalists. They resist niche specialization. Many insects pursue niche specialization and become highly fragile, fragmented species. Honeybees have a very different strategy -- they use social communication to adapt to conditions, rather than hard-wired specializations. This is why the same interbreeding species is able to prosper from the Equator to the Arctic.

The "mythos" of local survivors is fundamentally an inductive reasoning error. An abstract good -- "local adaptation" is posited; and this abstraction is then promoted as a real thing. In reality, the bees have a breeding and social system designed to defeat niche specialization. The bees have higher fitness as generalists, and they are evolutionary successful and long-lasting because they have resisted the siren-song on local niche specialization.