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Thread: Asian Honey Bee

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Fertile, MN
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    Default Asian Honey Bee

    Ive tried briefly to find some basic information on asian honey bee resistance to varroa. Basically what I read was exactly MN hygenic behavior, the asian bees adapted to cleaning eachother and dragging out mites. It seems to me that since varroa came from the asian honey bee that those genetics have had a chance to adapt/evolve for thousands? of years. Perhaps getting some asian honey bee genetics in the mix or straight asian might be a step forward in the TF world?
    Tanner Christianson - Woodside Honey LLC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, USA
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    267

    Default Re: Asian Honey Bee

    I haven't read up on Asian Honey Bee behavior and demeanor, but my first thought goes back to crossing European & African honey bees. I'd say that endeavor went rather bad. Then, even if Asian honeybees are as amicable as Italians, there is the possibility that the European trait of not expressing hygienic behavior could be bred into native Asian species overseas and wreak havoc on their colonies. Just saying that it's a two way street that could have serious implications as well as great potential. Then again, it may have already happened in nature and it's just not an issue.
    Zones 6A & 6B

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    KC, MO, USA
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    Default Re: Asian Honey Bee

    >Perhaps getting some asian honey bee genetics in the mix or straight asian might be a step forward in the TF world?
    The species may not be combatable, may only be possible in a lab. A GMO honey bee, which I am sure someone is working on.

    Russians have lived with varroa the longest they have some resistance.

    Hygienic bees are bred for resistance. And Beeweaver's hygienic/African cross are a good resistance bee, which is a lot more gentle now.

    Feral survivors have already done it, and they did it in less than 15 years.

    There is no shortage of resistance genes, just the lack to use them. (you can't make as much money if you sell a bee they will live more than a season)

    The problem is contamination of the gene pool with non TF genes. Because it's a new fad, masses of new beek are ordering packaged bees that can't survive with out treatments. Pests and the disease are introduced to these TF bees can be overpowering.

    There are feral survivor all over. Usually isolated from beekeeping area, lower human populated areas.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...59#post1279859

    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/what...nd-feral-bees/

    http://www.nbb.cornell.edu/seeley.shtml

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    Default Re: Asian Honey Bee

    According to Brother Adam the two groups can't be crossed successfully.
    38 years - 25 colonies, 32 Nucs - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Savannah, GA USA
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    15

    Default Re: Asian Honey Bee

    This peaked my interest. Thanks AR, I was wondering if there was any historical knowledge of previous attempts. I'll have to look up Brother Adam's statements concerning it. My amateur thoughts are the European and African honeybees are both Apis mellifera so cross breeding was within the same species. Where as the Eastern/Asian honeybees are Apis cerana. Many times when you see crossed species you get strange genetics. Look at the Liger, a beautiful half lion half tiger that often dies extremely early(if not still born) and typically is sterile when they do survive. I also have to agree with Cyan, it's a two way street, if successful breeding did occur, who knows what it could do to our existing gene pool.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Morro Bay, California, USA
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    Default Re: Asian Honey Bee

    The two species do not interbreed.
    Read this document authored by Ruttner--
    https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00890606/document
    EXPERIMENTAL ANALYSIS OF REPRODUCTIVE INTERSPECIES
    ISOLATION OF
    APIS MELLIFERA L. AND APIS CERANA FABR.
    Friedrich RUTTNER Volprecht MAUL
    SUMMARY
    Virgin cerana queens, placed for mating in different locations in central Europe for several years,
    were unable to produce hybrid offspring. Mating behaviour being practically identical in both species,
    ttiellil!ra drones interfered in the mating process of cerana queens. In one case it was observed that
    interspecific copula resulted in severe injury to the claelra queen.
    After instrumental insemination of both melli/era and cerana queens with heterospecific semen,
    normal fertilization and cleavage of the eggs were observed. During the blastula stage, however,
    development stopped and finally ended in a complete breakdown.
    These observations are discussed from the point of view of the evolution of the two aforementioned
    species of Apis.

    ==============
    Beyond that, the natural history of Japanese A. cerana documents that a colony swarms six or more times per year. From a population biology perspective, that indicates that mortality in A. cerana must be very high. It is not known if the high death rate is due to cryptic viral sickness (via Varroa) or if the insect's life history is simply designed to be ephemeral (a classic parasite escape strategy in and of itself).

    My strong supposition is that the initial "co-evolution" of Varroa was towards higher virulence when the Vladivostok contact occurerd. In terms of competitive ecology, when two species attempt to occupy the same niche, the one with greater relative reproduction wins. That introduces an imperative towards greater virulence in Varroa for its tolerant host A. cerana. A. cerana was engaged in bio-warfare against A. mellifera == a typhoid Mary strategy to kill the interloper.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Asian Honey Bee

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apis_cerana

    http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/...pis_cerana.htm

    sounds a little invasive, swarmy, small hives that migrate or absconds if nectar or pollen slows.

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