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  1. #21
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    Default Re: keeping races pure

    Quote Originally Posted by buffaloeletric View Post
    ... If anyone knows a good book on bee genetics or genetics in general that could relate to bees, let me know. ...
    Queen Rearing and Bee Breeding by Harry H. Laidlaw, PhD. and Robert E. Page, PhD. Out of print, last I heard, but check with Dr. Larry Connor, Wicwas Press, if Dr. Page has re-licensed the rights on the book, or with Dr. Page himself at Arizona State University.

    Elemental Genetics and Breeding of the Honeybee by Ernesto Guzman Novoa, PhD. University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: keeping races pure

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >Virtually every ecological disaster and genocidal movement has been an attempt to improve things.

    Sevareid's Law:
    "The leading cause of problems is solutions."--Eric Sevareid
    Africanized bees.......... Good in theory, but who in a modernized day wants that type of angry bee, just to get more production? I've dealt with them and done a lot of reading up on them. In my opinion, they should have employed people to go out and search for any bee hives in a 20 mile radius of where the study was that the idiot removed the queen excluders. It's worth it VS what happened afterwards.

  4. #23
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    Default Re: keeping races pure

    >In my opinion, they should have employed people to go out and search for any bee hives in a 20 mile radius of where the study was that the idiot removed the queen excluders. It's worth it VS what happened afterwards.

    You know that story can't be true. The excluders would clog up with drones and everytime the hive was opened the drones would escape. You can't control genetics of a free flying hive with an excluder.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  5. #24
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    Default Re: keeping races pure

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >In my opinion, they should have employed people to go out and search for any bee hives in a 20 mile radius of where the study was that the idiot removed the queen excluders. It's worth it VS what happened afterwards.

    You know that story can't be true. The excluders would clog up with drones and everytime the hive was opened the drones would escape. You can't control genetics of a free flying hive with an excluder.
    Who tried to control the genetics using a queen excluder?

  6. #25
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    Default Re: keeping races pure

    It is the mythology around Dr. Kerr and the "escape" of the Africanized honey bees in Brazil.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  7. #26
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    Default Re: keeping races pure

    The way I remember the article reading was that there were queen and drone traps on the entrances, not queen excluders on the bottom boards. What is your version of the "Mythology?"
    42 + years - 24 colonies - IPM disciple - Naturally Skeptic

  8. #27
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    Default Re: keeping races pure

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    It is the mythology around Dr. Kerr and the "escape" of the Africanized honey bees in Brazil.
    Oh. I never really knew how that had happened. I read the wikipedia version though just now, so now I know what you are referring to.

    I guess this is a good reason why we don't normally allow bees to be imported anymore.

  9. #28
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    Default Re: keeping races pure

    According to this article, http://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/insects/ahb/inf15.html, it sounds like he was using a type of queen excluder to keep the drones and queen from leaving the hives. This guy was a noted geneticist and beekeeper too. To bad he's mostly remembered in this way.

  10. #29
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    Default Re: keeping races pure

    >To bad he's mostly remembered in this way.

    I agree. People had been importing and breeding exotic bees from all over the world all over north and south America but he got all the bad publicity. The fact is it was a very unexpected result all the way around. The USDA got stock from him and was doing the same here in the US... but they didn't get the blame for it...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  11. #30
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    Default Re: keeping races pure

    I think it is the most successful publicly funded bee breeding initiative ever. It was designed to turn around the failing Brazilian honey industry, and it did.
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  12. #31
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    Default Re: keeping races pure

    A large part of his bad reputation is because ilof humanitarian activism he participated in was frowned upon by the Brazilian govt.
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  13. #32
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    Default Re: keeping races pure

    Yes Brazil is now a force in beekeeping. North America needs to go down there and learn how to work with African hybrids and develop sensible policies. They ain't going away.

    The idea of a pure race is absurd. Even in a natural setting where no artificial bee movement, there would be genetic interaction of some sort. Some distinctive races may emerge given natural barriers to movement like high mountain ranges, water, and deserts. But usually it would be a gradient of traits with various allele frequencies shifting across a range. With all the bee movement and long history of beekeeping in Europe, there are no natural barriers to genetic flow. In this case some sort of genetic types are preserved through natural selection. If we stopped moving bees, the same thing could happen here. We would have local adaptation with bees and various traits emerging that are suited to local conditions. There would be subtle shifts in genetics across the range of honey bees.

    To focus too narrowly on traits like production and reliance on too few breeders lowers genetic diversity, making bees more susceptible to outbreaks of disease. Beekeepers that select from their own productive survivor stock may not reach the productivity of specialized breeder produced bees, but will have other traits of local adaptation and if generally followed over a long time, would build genetic diversity in bees.

  14. #33
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    Default Re: keeping races pure

    "Pure races" are not absurd - they are bees from a specific area that have not been out-crossed. They occur naturally. Humans inducing them to live in boxes and moving them with trucks and shipping the queens and germplasm on airplanes to other continents cause outcrossing. THAT might be absurd, but it is what we are dealing with.

    Maintaining some bees of "pure races" is not a bad idea at all - the principle is called "heirloom stock" - it allows us to select certain traits and to introduce them to our apiaries. The outcrossed F1's resulting from the introduction can prove to be excellent bees, those that are not, they are not selected to make F2's.

  15. #34
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    Default Re: keeping races pure

    KC, one problem with the logic you post above is that when dealing with 'inbred lines' (fixed traits...probably more inbred than a 'pure race', but the same idea), the F1 is the goal. Selecting from good or bad F1 doesn't really matter if it falls apart in F2.
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  16. #35
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    Default Re: keeping races pure

    I agree, Dean, it probably traces to my lax use of a definition of a "pure race". I think of all the right traits flying in perfect formation (same as the original race) as good enough to call "pure", whether or not it was arrived by natural inheritance, by inbred-outcross-deselect, or by whatever means necessary. That is technically incorrect, only by natural inheritance is truly "pure".

    If a race loses it's properties at F2 level, we don't even have a race, do we? Part of the fight today is maintaining recessive trait expression. But if we keep producing and re-introducing the trait, we are likely to maintain some of it. If the natural pressures favor them, time should see the bees find a way to survive, and a significant percent will likely maintain the favored trait, as long as SOME bees with that trait survive.

    The point I made about F2's (and later generations) is that they may have to go through more selection (and "de-selection") until a genetic hoop is jumped through.

    Anybody have a reference regarding Dr. Kerr's mishap in 1956? I read about the efforts of collecting bees in the Great Rift Valley and down into South Africa. I'd heard a net was left open while opening the hives, but I'd be interested to find out how his hives were set up. I used to keep AHB crosses under 3 excluder cages and a net, far away from people and bears. No accidents until the sand shifted and smothered the entire hive.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 06-30-2016 at 12:26 PM.

  17. #36
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    Default Re: keeping races pure

    Brother Adam in Breeding the Honeybee makes the point that Nature breeds for survival of the honey bee in it's environment but NEVER breeds the "ideal" or "perfect" honey bee suited to the demands of the beekeeper. However, he points out that Nature has provided Mankind with a wide variety of ingredients and with those ingredients we can breed bees with an economic goal in mind, essentially the only reason to breed bees. Otherwise we leave Nature to breed them. And Nature breeds them to survive, not to meet the demands of a beekeeper.

    If you think about that for a while it really make sense. It explains why some traits, like hygenic abilities, may not even be the most important trait (but may have a degree of importance) when considering the demands of certain beekeepers. It explains how important queen producers are to the industry, especially those producing breeder queens. It explains how it's important to even look at the surviving "feral" population as a separate group. After all, that's the "heirloom stock", like KC talks about above, that Nature has bred to survive in certain geographic localities. It explains why there is a big need for queens with enhanced hygenic abilities for beekeepers who put the most emphasis on keeping bees without using any chemical treatments. The list of reasons goes on. It's not that anyone is right or wrong.

    Edit: I said that it's not that anyone is right or wrong. That's incorrect. It's a matter of opinion on that statement. I do think the quality of the products we consume from the hives is important from a lot of perspectives, including ethics. Being responsible in our breeding efforts is also important.

  18. #37
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    Default Re: keeping races pure

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    "Pure races" are not absurd - they are bees from a specific area that have not been out-crossed. They occur naturally. Humans inducing them to live in boxes and moving them with trucks and shipping the queens and germplasm on airplanes to other continents cause outcrossing. THAT might be absurd, but it is what we are dealing with.

    Maintaining some bees of "pure races" is not a bad idea at all - the principle is called "heirloom stock" - it allows us to select certain traits and to introduce them to our apiaries. The outcrossed F1's resulting from the introduction can prove to be excellent bees, those that are not, they are not selected to make F2's.
    With bee movement, there is no purity. Hence the absurdity. At any rate nature is completely indifferent to purity. Mixing and experimentation is what she is about. Since beekeeping and bee movement started well before we understood genetics, and since relative complete genetic information is only recently available, there is no baseline of genetic information to prove "purity". In most cases genetics is a smooth function, or a gradient if you want to describe it mathematically. Possible discontinuities due to isolation have been mostly wiped out by artificial movement.

  19. #38
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    Default Re: keeping races pure

    If you read the thread about the German Black Bees, the question is raised about a possible exception to the massive outcrossing by movement.

    Don't believe that there are some un-mixed races out there? Go to Ferguson, Missouri and ask a Black person. I'm just kidding.

    To a large extent you are right. The great majority of bees in USA are of mixed ancestry. Maybe not as mixed as my Cherokee / Scot / French / Welsh / German / Italian / Black / and God-knows-what-else butt, but at least a little contaminated with something.

    While I consider an I.I. line of inbred-hybrid or back-crossed line with all the traits described long ago as, for example A.M. carnica, as "as good as pure", like Dr. Cobey has done with the New World Carniolan bees, it makes the point. Scientists may keep "Pure" bloodlines, most breeders maintain good mixes.

  20. #39
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    Default Re: keeping races pure

    In the absence of artificial movement, and you were able to define a range of a supposed race, then you took a transect across the range sampling complete genetics as you went, you would find considerable differences. If that range bordered the range of another supposed race, then transected across the two ranges, there would be a gradient of allelic frequency across it. You are faced with the problem of how do you define race in the first place? At what point do you have a type specimen? It becomes arbitrary. If you were able to do complete genetic testing you may find that almost all alleles are spread across the entire range even if the relative frequencies change. The relative frequency is determined and maintained by local natural selection. The concept of race loses meaning, but having locally adapted critters that have certain physical characteristics and behaviours make sense.

    Now if gene flow was completely shut off for a while, then true speciation events can take place where isolated populations reintroduced to each other maintain genetic isolation (largely do not mate, or have infertile offspring). This can happen quite quick. That supposed bee races are so able to mix and mate so readily implies that true isolation may not have happened long enough, and gene flow of some sort has been ongoing for a long time, even in the absence of artificial movement.
    Last edited by lharder; 07-01-2016 at 10:18 PM. Reason: typo

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