Do you remember the old tale about 3 blind men feeling of an elephant and then describing it? One felt the trunk and said it was long and flexible like a snake. One felt of a leg and said it was tall and sturdy like a tree. Another felt the belly and said it was like a wall that moves.
Wing venation by necessity cannot reflect more than a small percentage of the genome of a bee therefore will always fail because it reflects so little of the genome. This is why full genome dna analysis will displace all previous ID methods.
NW Alabama, 46 years, 24 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest
What matters to tf beekeepers is which bees do well, on their own regardless of ancestry.
What matters is: are they amenable to tf regimes. That is dependent on the presence of genes (gene clusters) coding for effective mite management.
Those genes can come from anywhere - any race, any local population. There is no 'Pure Amm, Russian, mongrels etc, are more resistant'; there's only 'these Amm, Russian, mongrels etc. are able to manage varroa.'
The whole business is a fat red herring as far as tf is concerned. Encouraged, as far as I can see, by people who want to flog microscopes, AI equipment, courses on how to peer into microscopes.
The race isn't always to the swift, nor the fight to the strong, but that's the way to bet
Why would someone who used the BeeWeaver option in obtaining TF stock want to resort to Geometric Wing Venation morphometrics?
Or, Why would someone resorting to ferals, etc.,... ?
Piece of mind.
It's not a red herring.
Nor does it require anything too fancy. It needs a computer with a good scanner/printer, and the right App's.
But it's not accurate.
"Thinking Inside The Box"
The morphometrics used by the ARS to determine AHB isn't accurate according to Darger. GWV didn't return a false positive in the study. Plus, the GWV results matched the microsatellite data rather well.
Here in the U.S., ferals are commonly used for resistant/TF stock.
So, I think that many U.S. beekeepers would agree, if all they need to do is use their scanner, and learn to work an App or two, it would make it not only accessible, but possibly very useful. Especially if a GWV library could be built.
There's a lot of talent here on Beesource alone.
Problem is, it is not reliable.
To put it clearer, you do the work, and at the end of the day, do not know if you can believe your results.
So, what's the point?
"Thinking Inside The Box"
The fun is in the scanning and drawing and nice pictures of bee wings! We'll figure out a use for them another time!
That probably sums it.
With the large degree of hybridisation of multiple breeds you have in the US, that in itself would make id using wing pattern a virtual impossibility in itself, there will be so many different influences on the wing.
Over here it's more simple. Effectively we have 2 breeds, Italian & carniolan, AMM pretty much extinct now.
So no messing with looking at wing vein patterns. We look at the bee is it black, or yellow, and it's that simple LOL.
"Thinking Inside The Box"
"Morphometrically, the data shows that there is an American bee, an amalgam
that is distinctive from the originating, European subspecies (Figure 2). The GWV
morphometric study further distinguishes between Africanized bees from Arizona and
those from Africa and Brazil. Interestingly, the samples from
Florida/Alabama/Georgia which were originally diagnosed as Africanized by the
USDA-ID technique were found to have European ancestry using mtDNA markers,
European morphology based on GWV and grouped with managed and unmanaged
honey bee colonies in a population structure analysis using microsatellite markers."
Darger thinks otherwise.
She's Delaney's grad student, and I'm not going to argue with Delaney on this one.
Standard methods for characterising subspecies and ecotypes of Apis mellifera
Marina D Meixner1*, Maria Alice Pinto2, Maria Bouga3, Per Kryger4, Evgeniya Ivanova5 and Stefan Fuchs6
Yes, it can be challenging.
Yep, as Oldtimer said, "Problem is, it is not reliable."
He's a student of commonsense, and I'm not going to argue with commonsense on this one.
Last edited by Barry; 01-22-2014 at 05:28 PM. Reason: forgot smilie
I think it's better to use the phrase, "Current state of the Art."
Here's an abstract from a paper in press that suggests that GWV can be both automated and done online:
"Several studies have shown that features extracted from patterns of bee wings are good discriminatory elements to differentiate among species, and some have devoted efforts to automate this process. However, the automated identification of bee species is a particularly hard problem, because (i) individuals of a given species may vary hugely in morphology, and (ii) closely related species may be extremely similar to one another. This paper proposes a reference process for bee classification based on wing images to provide a complete understanding of the problem from the experts’ point of view, and a foundation to software systems development and integration using Internet services. "
I can always fire up the thermal cycler, but I'd much rather just put a wing on a scanner, and get the 'ballpark' estimate.
One is cheap and easy, the other is time consuming and pricey.
It is a nice overview though.
It is worth pointing out that several morphometric variables used in conjunction provide a powerful diagnostic tool whereas wings on their own are unreliable.
This paper by Strange et al covers it well.
Most of these references including the Meixner et al are together on the Irish Native bee website for anyone interested in chasing them up.
"A high degree of consistency between wing morphometry and molecular information has been demonstrated by Miguel et al. (2010). Therefore, wing geometry is particularly suitable to track phylogenetic relationships between subspecies, where the full "classical" character set can be misleading."
I wouldn't use the term 'footnote' to describe the treatment of morphometrics in that paper.