Genetic linkage disequilibrium of defensiveness and varroa resistance in scutellata
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  1. #1
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    Default Genetic linkage disequilibrium of defensiveness and varroa resistance in scutellata

    African honey bees (Apis mellifera scutellata) are generally more resistant to varroa mites than European honey bees. This resistance may be due in part to such things as the post-capping period of scutellata worker bees being shorter than that of European bees. http://www.researchgate.net/profile/...uth-Africa.pdf. Or due to hygienic behavior or self grooming or nestmate grooming behaviors. (I wonder whether the higher rate of grooming behaviors in scutellata may have arisen as a response to the presence of the ectocommensal bee "lice" (Braula coeca) in the scutellata's native region.) Unfortunately, scutellata also generally exhibit more heightened defensiveness than races of bees from more temperate areas. https://oup.silverchair-cdn.com/oup/...CZBIA4LVPAVW3Q

    The desirable varroa resistant traits of scutellata may not be inexorably linked to defensiveness but may simply co-occur with their defensiveness due to linkage disequilibrium. My question is whether the desirable varroa resistant traits can be unlinked from defensiveness through either natural processes or selective breeding. The reportedly gentle strain of AHB in Puerto Rico (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti...9/#!po=1.42857) may be an example where this has occurred.

    Traits related to defensiveness such as the relatively high ratio of guard bees to foragers in AHB may be genetically undesirable in temperate zones. The relatively high level of secretion of alarm pheromones in scutellata could also be undesirable from a survival standpoint in temperate areas. So, in temperate areas, natural selection may support selective breeding efforts to unlink the undesirable trait of defensiveness from desirable varroa resistant traits in scutellata.
    Last edited by Riverderwent; 02-17-2017 at 10:00 PM.
    David. The way you want to keep bees is most likely at least as good as any way that I could suggest. Probably better.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Genetic linkage disequilibrium of defensiveness and varroa resistance in scutella

    Over the last year, after reading about and watching few videos, I wonder:

    1. There is video from National Honey Show titled "Ghosts In the Hive", on how varroa "takes on" scent of the bees in the hive within couple hours and become "invisible".

    2. Russians are better at dealing with varroa, but Russian queens are often not readily accepted. Do Russians carry genetics responsible for "different" scent markers ? Or do they have milder scent but better sensors to compensate ?

    3. Is general defensive / aggressive behavior linked to better sensors (and lower scent markers in general) ?

    4. Does better sensors result in better varroa detection ?

    5. Does weaker scent markers make it difficult for Varroa to blend in ?

    6. Is something similar going on with Scutellata ?

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Genetic linkage disequilibrium of defensiveness and varroa resistance in scutella

    Quote Originally Posted by DaisyNJ View Post
    4. Does better sensors result in better varroa detection ?
    Maybe better detection of diseased or parasitized honey bee larvae or pupae inside of capped cells.
    David. The way you want to keep bees is most likely at least as good as any way that I could suggest. Probably better.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Genetic linkage disequilibrium of defensiveness and varroa resistance in scutella

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    . My question is whether the desirable varroa resistant traits can be unlinked from defensiveness through either natural processes or selective breeding.
    From my little experience yes they can.

    Original queens 1995 from Colombia, VERY hot. After 4 matings in Finland they are totally workable bees which show clearly better varroa resistance and general vigour than average. Important part of our stock today.
    Got some more breeders recently, hot and mean, weŽll see what comes out of them, IŽm optimistic.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Genetic linkage disequilibrium of defensiveness and varroa resistance in scutella

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    From my little experience yes they can.

    Original queens 1995 from Colombia, VERY hot. After 4 matings in Finland they are totally workable bees which show clearly better varroa resistance and general vigour than average. Important part of our stock today.
    Got some more breeders recently, hot and mean, weŽll see what comes out of them, IŽm optimistic.
    I think that this is important. Have you considered trying native scutellata from South Africa as opposed to AHB?
    David. The way you want to keep bees is most likely at least as good as any way that I could suggest. Probably better.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Genetic linkage disequilibrium of defensiveness and varroa resistance in scutella

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverderwent View Post
    I think that this is important. Have you considered trying native scutellata from South Africa as opposed to AHB?
    Why not, problem it to get some...

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