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  1. #61
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    Default Re: German Black bees in the Southeastern US actually Apis mellifera iberiensis?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    I would like to post the exact mixture of genetics in Buckfast bees, but that would be an impossible task. Suffice to say that at least 20% of their heritage is from Mellifera and another large chunk is from Ligustica.

    the races he used include: Mellifera, Ligustica, Cecropia, Anatoliaca, and Saharensis. Each brought a different set of traits to the table.
    Thank you, Fusion_power. I sincerely appreciate your reply. While researching Brother Adam's background, I ran across a website that maintains his breeding records for the years 1915 - 1993 (less the war years). It proved to be a fascinating way to waste an hour:

    http://www.pedigreeapis.org/elver/ori/origin-en.html

    If I interpret it correctly, it looks as though he employed a French AMM strain (Gale’s French) extensively in the 30's and 40's and a Finnish AMM strain starting in about 1971 until about 1982.

    I also ran across this 2018 research suggesting that the mitochondrial genome still closely tracks with ligustica:

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full...9.2018.1450660

    Thank you again for your reply. I sincerely appreciate it!

    Russ
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

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  3. #62
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    Default Re: German Black bees in the Southeastern US actually Apis mellifera iberiensis?

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    Yes, you understood correctly, but I have to add that before the use of my mating station (1995) there were couple years of free mating, and therefore, although continuously in use for almost 20 years, there might be tiny tiny small fractions of Finnish Italian and Black bees in my stock.
    Thank you for your reply, Juhani. I sincerely appreciate it.

    My rationale for asking the question on this thread was curiosity as to how the local Finnish bee at the beginning of your breeding program might have compared to the local bee in the Southeast United States given that one might assume that both were likely mixtures of older AMM stock and newer Ligustica stock.

    Thanks again for your feedback.

    Russ
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  4. #63

    Default Re: German Black bees in the Southeastern US actually Apis mellifera iberiensis?

    Quote Originally Posted by Litsinger View Post

    a Finnish AMM strain starting in about 1971 until about 1982.
    http://perso.fundp.ac.be/~jvandyck/h...d_BA_1973.html

    1973 is the last year he used Finnish stock to make grafts. After that Finnish AMM is used in different combinations mostly with Turkish Anatolian lines (Sinop), like here
    http://perso.fundp.ac.be/~jvandyck/h.../F-386.77.html

    but in the end the Finnish AMM was discarded totally.

    1982 is the last year Finnish AMM is mentioned among the races which form his stock. "N mellifera (black-brown)" is for the Finnish AMM
    http://perso.fundp.ac.be/~jvandyck/h...d_BA_1982.html

    - Races ...

    A: anatolica
    B: buckfast
    E: lamarckii (Egyptian)
    G: cecropia (Greek)
    K: carnica
    N: mellifera (black-brown)
    T: macedonian Athos


    In the list of races after year 1982 the Finnish AMM is not listed in the ancestors of his stock.
    For instance year 1986
    http://perso.fundp.ac.be/~jvandyck/h...d_BA_1986.html


    -- Races ...

    A: anatolica
    B: buckfast
    E: lamarckii (Egyptian)
    S: sahariensis
    T: macedonian Athos
    Z: armenian

    P.S. Similar experiments were made with Carnica, as is seen from the 1982 listing, but it never ended up in the main stock. Same reason too, eager to swarm was too excessive.
    Last edited by Juhani Lunden; 12-08-2019 at 10:14 AM. Reason: clarity

  5. #64
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    P.S. Similar experiments were made with Carnica, as is seen from the 1982 listing, but it never ended up in the main stock. Same reason too, eager to swarm was too excessive.
    Thank you for clarifying, Juhani. I sincerely appreciate the feedback. It is amazing to consider the amount of effort and evaluation which was invested in the Buckfast, both in its initial development and its continued maintenance.

    Thank you again, and have a great week.

    Russ
    Ecclesiastes 11:4

  6. #65
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    Default Re: German Black bees in the Southeastern US actually Apis mellifera iberiensis?

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    In his book Adam sort of groups all black bees under Intermissa. This is in line with his belief that Intermissa from northern Africa is the "fore father" of all black bees in Europe, including iberiensis and mellifera mellifera. Very understandable logic.

    Propensity to brood diseases is a very bad thing in a country like Finland where every third bee yard has AFB spores.

    Keeps me away from this race, even there is a lot of proof about what Adam said, suitability for crossings, for instance the experiments what Ulf Gröhn from Sweden made with Lasö island black bees.
    Hmm... it is confusing to me when you say that German blacks have problems with brood diseases. From what I have heard they are especially good for going through long and wet winters of Northern Europe where they are native. And the German blacks seem rather close to Finland in range and so I would have thought they were likely best adapted for your conditions in Finland.

  7. #66

    Default Re: German Black bees in the Southeastern US actually Apis mellifera iberiensis?

    Quote Originally Posted by HaplozygousNut View Post
    Hmm... it is confusing to me when you say that German blacks have problems with brood diseases. From what I have heard they are especially good for going through long and wet winters of Northern Europe where they are native. And the German blacks seem rather close to Finland in range and so I would have thought they were likely best adapted for your conditions in Finland.
    AMM is adapted to long winters, that is for sure. Our winters have become wet, thanks climate change, but before this recent change a long cold winter is actually dry. Very often Finnish homes used to have an air humidifier, before they realized how they spread all kinds of spores, bacteria etc, too.

    In a country where one third (1/3) of all bee yards have AFB spores, a propensity to brood diseases is major disadvantage.

    In the end of his book "Breeding the Honeybee" Brother Adam has a table of different races he did test during his lifetime. In this table there are Intermissa and West Eropean races. Resistance to brood diseases is one evaluated thing. Intermissa gets -4, the worst score of all listed races. West European races -3 and A.m.lehzeni (? what ever that is) which has -3.

    These are the only races with minus scores.


    Italian bees +3,
    Buckfast +3,
    Carnica +5
    Last edited by Juhani Lunden; 12-10-2019 at 12:27 AM.

  8. #67
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    Default Re: German Black bees in the Southeastern US actually Apis mellifera iberiensis?

    Juhani Lunden, there could be misunderstanding about AFB being a terrible disease. I read in Les Crowder's Top Bar Hive book that it is actually the old black comb that makes the disease so bad and deadly, otherwise you could not infect a colony even if you tried to with AFB infested comb from an infested colony. If AFB was truly such a bad and contagious disease I don't think the USA would even have the ability to control an out-break if they tried. AFB is why we have inspections of our colonies here in the US, I was told.

    I believe that a lot of the bee diseases are not truly dangerous to honeybees, but become a problem in stressful or artificial conditions. In Les Crowder's Top-Bar hive book he says that he had problems with Chalk brood after he did almond pollination. The almond area was so saturated with fungicides that it killed the beneficial fungi in the bee bread so that the opportunistic Chalk brood fungus took over.

    Apis mellifera lehzeni seems to be a strain of German black bee from Norway:
    https://beekeeping.fandom.com/wiki/A...fera_mellifera

    "There are only a handful of colonies present in Germany, but larger numbers have survived in Norway (lehzeni), the Alps (nigra) and Poland and Belgium (mellifera)."

  9. #68
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    Default Re: German Black bees in the Southeastern US actually Apis mellifera iberiensis?

    Quote Originally Posted by HaplozygousNut View Post
    Hmm... it is confusing to me when you say that German blacks have problems with brood diseases. From what I have heard they are especially good for going through long and wet winters of Northern Europe where they are native. And the German blacks seem rather close to Finland in range and so I would have thought they were likely best adapted for your conditions in Finland.
    One needs to step back and think - AMM are a very diverse group spread across from Ireland to the mountains of Ural and into the Siberia proper.
    There is no other bee race more diverse than the AMM in their local adaptations (just due to the geographic span and the variety of local circumstances).
    It maybe time to split the AMM into sub-races and well-defined, unique populations (in Russia they do exactly that, in fact).

    This entire talk of the "German Blacks" is confusing, assumes some monolithic bee race I guess (not true), and going in circles anymore without clear definitions in place.

    So, what is the "German Black" again?
    What do you mean by it?
    Black bees from Germany?
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  10. #69
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    Default Re: German Black bees in the Southeastern US actually Apis mellifera iberiensis?

    Quote Originally Posted by HaplozygousNut View Post
    ... there could be misunderstanding about AFB being a terrible disease. I read in Les Crowder's Top Bar Hive book that ...
    I think you need to broaden your reading horizons.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  11. #70
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    Default Re: German Black bees in the Southeastern US actually Apis mellifera iberiensis?

    A.m.lehzeni
    This is the Dutch Brown bee, a branch of Mellifera. Stating that A.m. mellifera are exceptionally predisposed to brood diseases is an understatement. They have a number of beneficial adaptions including exceptionally good wintering, always producing a crop of honey, and phenomenal buildup in spring. You can talk about how fast Carnica builds up in spring, but in comparison with Mellifera, they are almost standing still.

    If you read some of Brother Adam's earlier writing, you will encounter A.m. Mellifica which was an early appellation applied to honeybees. There was quite a stink over this name as the Latin meaning has to do with the "honey carrying bee". The problem is that bees do not transport honey, they carry nectar. The nomenclature was changed about 1930 (I'm not sure of the exact date) leaving older publications with mellifica and newer with mellifera.

    there could be misunderstanding about AFB being a terrible disease.
    There is no misunderstanding. Read the history of the disease. Read about the number of beekeepers wiped out by it over the years. Your post comes across as someone who has never dealt with brood disease. When you have experienced it and know what it can do, you will be able to comment. For right now, you are like a man standing on the rim of Mount St. Helens just before it erupted 40 years ago.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  12. #71
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    Default Re: German Black bees in the Southeastern US actually Apis mellifera iberiensis?

    The vile smell of AFB will be forever etched in my memory. I did, however always feel that AFB was more of a result than a cause of poor bees. Long before there there was any talk about hygienic behavior battling varroa there was a well founded belief that hygienic behavior was a prime reason why some hives tended to not have much in the way of overt symtoms of afb while others became badly infected and succumbed. In the heyday of the disease as I remember from the 60's and 70's is it would show up when bees were stressed (and tapping into old honey reserves no doubt) but often fade away with the onset of a nice pollen and nectar flow.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  13. #72
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    Default Re: German Black bees in the Southeastern US actually Apis mellifera iberiensis?

    Before Sulfa, it was the law that the hive must be burned and buried on the spot. Any piece of our woodenware from pre 1940 is scorched on the inside. Yes, AFB is a huge problem, especially when an antibiotic is readily available. It is also more common in strong hives, the weak ones can not rob another hive out.

    Crazy Roland

  14. #73
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    Default Re: German Black bees in the Southeastern US actually Apis mellifera iberiensis?

    Fusion, Jim L, and Roland -
    Thank y'all for clarifying the topic of AFB. Yes, burning on the spot is still a valid treatment for AFB. Antibiotics (treatments in general, other than burning) just keep it around and spread it.

  15. #74
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    Default Re: German Black bees in the Southeastern US actually Apis mellifera iberiensis?

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    Fusion, Jim L, and Roland -
    Thank y'all for clarifying the topic of AFB. Yes, burning on the spot is still a valid treatment for AFB. Antibiotics (treatments in general, other than burning) just keep it around and spread it.
    Bacteriophages (Viruses that eat bacteria and archaea) might be a good treatment instead of antibiotics. You could keep the hive free of chemicals, like antibiotics, and so sell uncontaminated honey. People are working on phage treatment for American Foulbrood from what I read on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phage_...#Other_animals Viruses are not always bad.

  16. #75
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    Default Re: German Black bees in the Southeastern US actually Apis mellifera iberiensis?

    Litsinger (Russ) has showed me an article about "German black bees" in California:
    https://archive.org/stream/surveyofb...7vans_djvu.txt
    "German. — The German bees are small and black. The "Spanish
    Bee ' ' of California is thought to be this same old German type which
    was brought into the state in early days by the Spanish Fathers.
    These bees are often vicious with both sting and mandibles. They are
    more susceptible to injury by the wax moth than the Italians. The
    "blacks" are particularly subject to the European foulbrood disease.
    Most beekeepers have attempted to abandon this race, yet traces of
    them are still prevalent in many parts of the state. The German-
    Italian hybrid is a very good combination, having enough spirit to
    protect the colony effectively against tramps or marauding skunks,
    etc. "


    Back a long time ago the German Black bees and Spanish Black bees were thought to be the same bee, Apis mellifera mellifera. The book "Practical Queen Rearing" by Frank Pallett talks about German blacks and the bees in Spain of being the same kind of bee. There is a preview for the book on amazon, just click the picture of the book and you can look at the first pages where it talks about the Spanish black bees.
    https://www.amazon.com/Practical-Que...urceconvert-20
    "Black bees are very generally supposed to have been first introduced in America from Germany but very probably they came first from Spain. The native black bees of Great Britain, France, Germany and Spain are said to vary but little."

    Here is a video on YouTube of Russian Apis mellifera mellifera which seem to be pale white/lead grey banded instead of the dull brown bands I have seen of pictures of German black bees from Western Europe. These are from the Vyatka region in Russia, I was told by GregV (he showed me this video). These bees live in an area with a short season and a long winter. As GregV said, the Russian A. m. mellifera could be its own subspecies different from the Western European German black bees.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkNX2WBDy9g

    Quote Originally Posted by HaplozygousNut View Post
    Bacteriophages (Viruses that eat bacteria and archaea) might be a good treatment instead of antibiotics. You could keep the hive free of chemicals, like antibiotics, and so sell uncontaminated honey. People are working on phage treatment for American Foulbrood from what I read on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phage_...#Other_animals Viruses are not always bad.
    Here in this article are other good things that viruses do:https://jvi.asm.org/content/jvi/89/13/6532.full.pdf

  17. #76

    Default Re: German Black bees in the Southeastern US actually Apis mellifera iberiensis?

    Quote Originally Posted by HaplozygousNut View Post
    These bees are often vicious with both sting and mandibles. The
    "blacks" are particularly subject to the European foulbrood disease.


    Back a long time ago the German Black bees and Spanish Black bees were thought to be the same bee, Apis mellifera mellifera.

    Here is a video on YouTube of Russian Apis mellifera mellifera which seem to be pale white/lead grey banded instead of the dull brown bands I have seen of pictures of German black bees from Western Europe.
    These are from the Vyatka region in Russia, I was told by GregV (he showed me this video). These bees live in an area with a short season and a long winter. As GregV said, the Russian A. m. mellifera could be its own subspecies different from the Western European German black bees.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkNX2WBDy9g
    Pure Apis mellifera mellifera is a very calm bee, which has one an easy to notice distinctive quality: it runs like honey towards the bottom bar of the frame. When holding one long enough, they drop of. The bees on the video are most certainly not mellifera mellifera bees, which don´t have so wide white stripes.One another sign in the structure of the real black bee is the end of abdomen which is blunt (versus sharp).

    In this video (German languge) various "black bees" are considered whether they are pure or not. In this era of false information I consider the man in the video, Kai-Michael Engfer, very informative about the subject Apis mellifera mellifera, genuine black bee of Europe. There are some nice pictures, for instance about the amount and colour of the stripes. And as he notices the purity can be determined from the wing veins.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqbU-fA-URs
    The source of information he recommended: https://www.nordbiene.de/

    And once again: there is no such race as German black bee. German black bee is the name for a strain of black looking bees in US.
    Last edited by Juhani Lunden; 01-13-2020 at 10:14 PM.

  18. #77

    Default Re: German Black bees in the Southeastern US actually Apis mellifera iberiensis?

    Quote Originally Posted by HaplozygousNut View Post
    Hmm... it is confusing to me when you say that German blacks have problems with brood diseases.
    I have German Black bees, also a variety of subspecies of them. Most of them even genetically tested to be pure. Including the formerly native Brown Bee that was kept here where I lived.
    All of them are nice bees, but all of them have the problems with all sorts of brood diseases. Very weak resistance to varroa.

    Those bees are long lived, with only small broodnests, they can't drain out brood diseases like the other bees do.


    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    So, what is the "German Black" again?
    What do you mean by it?
    Black bees from Germany?
    Apis mellifera mellifera (should be mellifica mellifica, since the bees actually produce the honey through fermentation, but that's another story)

    Of course there are local varieties. But a totally foreign bee adapts to local conditions in two seasons as some studies found out. So there are local varieties of Buckfast, too. Or Carnica. Or... Life adapts. What a surprise.


    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    Pure Apis mellifera mellifera is a very calm bee, which has one an easy to notice distinctive quality: it runs like honey towards the bottom bar of the frame. When holding one long enough, they drop of. [/url]
    +1 That's true. A pain in the ***** to work with frames, nice on fixed comb hives.

    I still keep those bees in my local gene pool, because the two properties 1) long living and 2) foraging on a wider range of flowers (they forage even on very small herbs and flowers, that other bees ignore).

    Both properties probably can be of an advantage on a changing environment in the future.

  19. #78
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    Default Re: German Black bees in the Southeastern US actually Apis mellifera iberiensis?

    If care to translate, here is a good summary of Russian variants of AMM:

    https://www.researchgate.net/publica...era_Lblack_bee

    Specifically, pages 33-34 outline the grading criteria applicable to the Russian AMMs.

    For sure, AMM is not some uniform bee where some "uniformed standards" are applicable.
    If any standards are used, they only make sense on certain localized AMM populations.

    Also, the Russian variants of AMM are poor foragers on multi-varietal sources (where the Caucasians win over the AMM handily, for example).
    The opposite is the case - the AMMs are strong at mono-varietal, late flows.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  20. #79

    Default Re: German Black bees in the Southeastern US actually Apis mellifera iberiensis?

    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    For sure, AMM is not some uniform bee where some "uniformed standards" are applicable.

    The opposite is the case - the AMMs are strong at mono-varietal, late flows.
    Those both sentences are contradictory. AMMs are known for the wide range of floral sources they forage on, EXCEPT their Russian stepsisters, who do the opposite.

    You should first read stuff like: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_dark_bee and then actually get yourself some dark bees.

    Then you can write about it, making bold statements.

    Not the other way round.

    Just my 2 cents.

  21. #80
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    Default Re: German Black bees in the Southeastern US actually Apis mellifera iberiensis?

    My "bold" statements are just statements from the literature (careful enough to drag along some sources).
    The Russian stepsisters, I suppose, are insignificant according to you.
    Fine.

    As well I can read Wikipedia in multiple languages - FYI.
    But thanks.

    Like I said:
    "Also, the Russian variants of AMM are poor foragers on multi-varietal sources (where the Caucasians win over the AMM handily, for example).
    The opposite is the case - the AMMs are strong at mono-varietal, late flows."

    "the AMM ~ the Russian variants of AMM" in the paragraph - clearly.
    All I am talking about - the Russian AMMs.
    Nothing else.


    As far as the "black bees" - first 18 years of my life spent right in the middle of the "black bee" yard.
    Yes, I know some about the potatoes and the "black bees".
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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