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  1. #41
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    Default Re: An Option Towards Developing Treatment-Free Bees

    I would really like to get my hands on some A.m.m. as far as I know they are extinct here. In Beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey Brother Adam points out some of the potential problems with certain crosses.

  2. #42
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    Default Re: An Option Towards Developing Treatment-Free Bees

    A.m.m. has been largely displaced from its natural range in Europe by the popular commercial bee types such as carnica, ligustica and Buckfast.
    We still have some decent A.m.m. stock in Ireland and you can find groups of A.m.m breeders in Scotland and Wales as well.
    There are a few breeding groups in Europe and Poland still has a decent amount of A.m.m. There is also a pure population in Tasmania which is descended from stock brought from England in the 18th Century.
    I think A.m.m has great potential as it has rarely been part of an intensive selection process like the more commercial strains, and as such there is great room for improvement.
    Where serious selection has taken place, the bees have proved to make gentle and productive colonies and are not at all like the bees described in the list above.
    As I mentioned earlier, we are working in a coordinated way to see if we can develop varroa tolerant A.m.m stock in Ireland. Still early days.

  3. #43

    Default Re: An Option Towards Developing Treatment-Free Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    A.m.m. has been largely displaced from its natural range in Europe by the popular commercial bee types such as carnica, ligustica and Buckfast.
    We still have some decent A.m.m. stock in Ireland and you can find groups of A.m.m breeders in Scotland and Wales as well.
    There are a few breeding groups in Europe and Poland still has a decent amount of A.m.m. There is also a pure population in Tasmania which is descended from stock brought from England in the 18th Century.
    I think A.m.m has great potential as it has rarely been part of an intensive selection process like the more commercial strains, and as such there is great room for improvement.
    Where serious selection has taken place, the bees have proved to make gentle and productive colonies and are not at all like the bees described in the list above.
    As I mentioned earlier, we are working in a coordinated way to see if we can develop varroa tolerant A.m.m stock in Ireland. Still early days.
    There is a club for A.m.m. beekeepers in Sweden. They have very nice bees. Buckfast breeder Ulf Gröhn once said, that he has, in his long career, not seen such enormous honey gathering ability which he experienced with the crosses of buckfast and the Läsö island A.m.m. It is probably something what Brother Adam experienced with Sahariensis crosses: Bees which have been kept in isolation can create unbelievable hybrid vigor when the inbreeding is released.
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  4. #44
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    Default Re: An Option Towards Developing Treatment-Free Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by honeydrunkapiaries View Post
    I would really like to get my hands on some A.m.m. as far as I know they are extinct here. In Beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey Brother Adam points out some of the potential problems with certain crosses.
    You may find this interesting. Delaney found a number of feral amm colonies in her research.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDQNoQfW-9w
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  5. #45
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    Default Re: An Option Towards Developing Treatment-Free Bees

    That was from her thesis research and represented feral colonies collected between 1980 and 1992.

    28% of the ferals colonies were of an Amm haplotype/mitotype.

    The post Varroa invasion %age is likely very different, but we don't have a clear picture just yet.

    Delaney's grad student found Amm mitotypes in 3 states only in sampled umanaged colonies.

    NC had 3%, GA had 8.9%, and DE had 6.1%.

    So, you can find Amm mitotypes if you know where to look. But, we don't know much else about them.
    Last edited by WLC; 01-20-2014 at 06:05 PM.

  6. #46
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    Default Re: An Option Towards Developing Treatment-Free Bees

    Delaney found 4 "M-lineage" mitotypes in southern breeders (Delaney 2009).
    M3 0.00
    M4' 0.013
    M7 0.019
    M7' 0.026

    M3, M7, M7' are exclusively Iberian mitotypes (Irati, 2007). They are not queen mitochondria associated with northern Europe.

    The southern M-lineage may represent 1) M-lineage co-invading with A-lineage AHB (as hypothesized by Pinto), or relict Spanish colonial or pre-1920 Spanish imports. The vigorous importation in the early 20th century of many, many different lineages seems the most likely source of Egyptian, Syrian, Cyprus, Basque (M7') bees. It does not represent "German Black Bees" or any northern European colonial relict as the mito-type is wrong.

    (The usual caution that mitotype does not represent nuclear inheritance or expression, only clonal descent of the queen).

    Citation:
    Apidologie 38 (2007) 141–155 141
    DOI: 10.1051/apido:2007007
    Gene flow within the M evolutionary lineage of Apis
    mellifera: role of the Pyrenees, isolation by distance
    and post-glacial re-colonization routes in the western
    Europe*
    Irati Miguel, Mikel Iriondo, Lionel Garnery, Walter S. Sheppard,
    Andone Estonba http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs...l-00892256.pdf
    First, 14 mitotypes detected in northern Iberia were
    absent in French and Belgian populations (M3, M5, M7, M7’, M8’, M11’, M19, M20’, M27,
    M27’, M29, M32, M36, M37).

    In the same direction, M7’ was present only in the western and central
    part of the Pyrenees, where M7 occurred in high frequency.

    Delaney cites this geographic origin in her thesis/paper -
    Several of these M haplotypes,
    M3, M7, and M7, are known from western Europe,
    speciÞcally the Iberian Peninsula (Franck et al. 1998,
    2001).

    Genetic Characterization of Commercial Honey Bee
    (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Populations in the United States by Using
    Mitochondrial and Microsatellite Markers
    D. A. DELANEY, M. D. MEIXNER, N. M. SCHIFF, AND W. S. SHEPPARD
    Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 102(4): 666Ð673 (2009)
    http://www.researchgate.net/publicat...&inViewer=true

    Illysov (2011) notes that Italian and Sicilian bees are admixed with an unspecified M mitotype. Consequently the southern M-type may represent resortment from the orignal "Italian" importation.

    PHYLOGENETIC RELATIONSHIPS OF DARK EUROPEAN
    HONEYBEES APIS MELLIFERA MELLIFERA L.
    FROM THE RUSSIAN URAL
    AND WEST EUROPEAN POPULATIONS
    Rustem A. Ilyasov1,
    Vol. 55 No. 1 2011 Journal of Apicultural Science P. 67
    http://amellifera.narod.ru/publicati..._honeybees.pdf
    Last edited by JWChesnut; 01-20-2014 at 09:07 PM.

  7. #47
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    Default Re: An Option Towards Developing Treatment-Free Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    A.m.m. has been largely displaced from its natural range in Europe by the popular commercial bee types such as carnica, ligustica and Buckfast.

    We still have some decent A.m.m. stock in Ireland and you can find groups of A.m.m breeders in Scotland and Wales as well.
    While higher concentrations of native blood may well exist at the land margins, I think there is deserved skepticism about much of the UK dark bee breeding effort. Selecting for particular wing vein patterns and dark colour will result in dark bees with particular wing vein patterns - but I'm not sure there is any good reason to think that anything else about them is authentic. I'm not saying that's always the case, but I would like to hear the rationale for believing that selecting for two characters supplies a pressure that also works on the rest.

    I'd always go with what is working in your area - the locally adapted ferals, or the nearest ones you can find as a first choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    There are a few breeding groups in Europe and Poland still has a decent amount of A.m.m.
    Do you refer to wild Amm here Jonathan? If so are you talking about 'survivor' bees? Or only 'dark' bees, some of which may be largely native, and others that may be camouflaged mongrels?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    There is also a pure population in Tasmania which is descended from stock brought from England in the 18th Century.
    Is it adapted to varroa?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    I think A.m.m has great potential as it has rarely been part of an intensive selection process like the more commercial strains, and as such there is great room for improvement.
    In general terms _anything_ would be better than commercial strains. They're bred to perform with crutches - the last thing a tf beekeeper is looking for. I'd have thought that in general terms well mixed blood, subjected to local pressures for a period, has a better chance of thriving than any foreign pure strain. There's so much more diversity there for natural selection to work with. Someone will probably tell me I'm wrong about that.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan View Post
    As I mentioned earlier, we are working in a coordinated way to see if we can develop varroa tolerant A.m.m stock in Ireland. Still early days.
    Am I right in thinking varroa came later to Ireland than to the UK Jonathan?

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 01-21-2014 at 08:26 AM.
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
    http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/

  8. #48
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    Default Re: An Option Towards Developing Treatment-Free Bees

    Thanks for that JWC it's a subject I'm pretty interested in but I'm not a geneticist, your summary is very helpful for lay persons like me.

    It's also one of the things I really enjoy about Beesource, there are experts available in just about any field.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #49
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    Default Re: An Option Towards Developing Treatment-Free Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    While higher concentrations of native blood may well exist at the land margins, I think there is deserved skepticism about much of the UK dark bee breeding effort. Selecting for particular wing vein patterns and dark colour will result in dark bees with particular wing vein patterns
    Wing patterns and body colouration is yesterday's news. AMM can be identified by microsatellite markers and SNP work.
    The more I have read about wing venation, the less confidence I have in it. I think wing pattern and colour can only tell you if a bee is not AMM. ie a yellow bee could not possibly be pure AMM but a pure black bee could be Amm or a mixture of whatever. A wing with a high cubital index value is more likely to be Carnica than AMM but a low CI value does not 'prove' a bee is AMM.

    Ireland is very different from Kent. There are parts in the west that have had little or no introgression from non native subspecies. Wish it was like that in my area but unfortunately is is mongrelised.

    I'd have thought that in general terms well mixed blood, subjected to local pressures for a period, has a better chance of thriving than any foreign pure strain. There's so much more diversity there for natural selection to work with. Someone will probably tell me I'm wrong about that.
    There is plenty of natural variation within any pure subspecies according to people like Marla Spivak.
    The Jensen and Pederson paper on AMM populations in Europe pointed out that the variation within a given AMM population is much greater than that between populations. Lack of variation is not the problem. identifying the various genes which confer resistance is the problem.

    Am I right in thinking varroa came later to Ireland than to the UK Jonathan?
    First noted in 1998 on the Sligo Leitrim border, 2002 in the north. I think England was 1992.
    Came in to Ireland with a guy who brought over a few colonies illegally from England.

  10. #50
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    Default Re: An Option Towards Developing Treatment-Free Bees

    "Wing patterns and body colouration is yesterday's news. AMM can be identified by microsatellite markers and SNP work."

    I think that Geometric Wing Venation analysis is far more accessible to beekeepers than a lab that can do satellite/SNP, etc., work.

    I was impressed by Dr. De Jong's work in Katherine Darger's Thesis paper. The clusters looked good to me.

  11. #51
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    Default Re: An Option Towards Developing Treatment-Free Bees

    Much more accessible but maybe not much use.
    This paper by Robin Moritz, The limitations of biometric control on pure race breeding in Apis
    mellifera, does a fairly good job of pointing out the fallacies of using wing venation for distinguishing between subspecies.

  12. #52
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    Default Re: An Option Towards Developing Treatment-Free Bees

    Have you had a chance to read the Darger Thesis paper? She's Delaney's student.

    I think that you'll find her thesis on geometric wing venation, and molecular methods, to be an eye opener.

    http://udspace.udel.edu/bitstream/ha...pdf?sequence=1

    I hope that you change your mind about geometric wing venation.

  13. #53
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    Default Re: An Option Towards Developing Treatment-Free Bees

    when DNA sampling becomes cheaper and more accessible, wing venation will be a thing of the past. It is a matter of using DNA direct versus the phenotype of the wing structure. There is no comparison.
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  14. #54
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    Default Re: An Option Towards Developing Treatment-Free Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    I hope that you change your mind about geometric wing venation.
    I think you may have missed the point made in the Moritz paper.

    Germany has been using Carnica as its commercial bee for many decades.
    The wing samples of the German bees show perfect Carnica wing venation patterns.
    This is not surprising as bees without the perfect pattern are considered to be hybrids and are eliminated from the breeding population.

    But does this mean they are pure carnica?

    In fact Moritz found that when he looked at other morphometric variables such as tongue length and suchlike, the population was actually intermediate between A.m.carnica and A.m.mellifera. Germany was formerly part of the natural range of AMM.
    The bees had perfect wings but this appears to be a selection artifact built up over many generations through active beekeeper selection based mainly on wing pattern. The other morphometric variables which were largely ignored did not show carnica characteristics. Ruttner has listed more than 30 morphometric variables which can be measured but selection was based on the wing pattern alone.

    The paper you cite above looks at introgression of scutellata genetics into mellifera and is not really relevant to the main point made in the Moritz paper.
    However, if US beekeepers start selecting on wing venation alone it will not be long before a similar effect occurs, ie bees with perfect mellifera wing pattern which unfortunately has no real discrimination value for showing introgression of scutellata genetics.

  15. #55
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    Default Re: An Option Towards Developing Treatment-Free Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    Have you had a chance to read the Darger Thesis paper? She's Delaney's student.
    I think that you'll find her thesis on geometric wing venation, and molecular methods, to be an eye opener.
    http://udspace.udel.edu/bitstream/ha...pdf?sequence=1
    I hope that you change your mind about geometric wing venation.
    WLC, It is impossible to tell what point you are trying to make.

    The Drager paper illustrates the exact opposite of the Idée fixe you seem preoccupied with-- the hypothetical persistence of German Black Bee's in Appalachia.

    The wing venation data actually demonstrates that eastern North American bees are fully homogenized and inseparable from managed and unmanaged population using the venation metric.



    This chart are the first two principal axis of a PCA reduction of the morphometric data. The Brazilian researcher who prepared the data compared the Drager collected sample with "control" data from European collections from the point of origin of the various races. They made three distinct clouds --- ALL the Drager data made one cloud -- Florida, North Carolina feral, and managed Southern colonies. The other two clouds are Caucasian and Mellifera (overlapping and indistinguishable) and the same indistinguishable cloud group of Italian and Yugoslavian bees.

    Jonathan has repeatedly made the key point-- if you select a breeding population based on a, say, Cubital index -- all you are doing is creating, de novo, a lineage of bees with that cubital index --- no more, no less. Genes are not linked -- the alleles are fully independent -- and breeding for an expression just selects for the expression not some race sui generis.

  16. #56
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    Default Re: An Option Towards Developing Treatment-Free Bees

    I have wing morphometry data from about 100 colonies of mine I have sampled over the past few years, usually 40-50 wings per colony.
    I was very enthusiastic about this as a diagnostic tool at the start, but in all honesty I think I may be wasting my time as it takes about 45 minutes per colony to scan the wings and get the data via the drawwing programme and I am not even sure what the data is telling me.

  17. #57
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    Default Re: An Option Towards Developing Treatment-Free Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by WLC View Post
    I hope that you change your mind about geometric wing venation.
    Based on the evidence and papers done on the subject, it would appear not.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  18. #58
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    Default Re: An Option Towards Developing Treatment-Free Bees

    The Darger thesis was able to show that Honeybees identified by other wing venation methods as AHB were false positives by using both geometric wing venation and molecular methods.

    She was also able to provide evidence that those AHB false positives did in fact cluster separately from known AHB stock using geometric wing venation.

    So, we know that the De Jong methodology is useful in that regard.

    There's a long standing debate with regards to the use of morphometrics vs DNA based methods for species identification.

  19. #59
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    Default Re: An Option Towards Developing Treatment-Free Bees

    Isn't the debate over? Would it be logical to conclude these studies show it sometimes works, sometimes doesn't?

    Like everyone's been saying?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  20. #60
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    Default Re: An Option Towards Developing Treatment-Free Bees

    Well, the Moritz paper is a 1992 study, whereas the Darger Thesis is very recent.

    "Modern morphometric methods for
    identifying Apis mellifera subspecies include four techniques: Fast Africanized Bee
    Identification System (FABIS), Universal System for Detecting Africanization
    Identification (USDA-ID), Automatic Bee Identification System (ABIS), and
    Geometric Wing Venation."

    In terms of morphometric tests, Darger has found support for geometric wing venation as a useful method for identifying Am subspecies.

    So, I wouldn't call it a debate. It's a technical piece of research supporting GWV (De Jong) over other methods.

    We don't know as yet how well it stands up when examining the Amm issue.

    But, GWV did well when it came to AHB identification. In fact, it upends current AHB morphometric methods used in the U.S. and creates a controversy with regards to AHB claims being made in the South.

    It looks like they're dealing with something other than AHB.

    It's the false positive problem.

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