Re: Are TF BeeKeepers Stimulating Colonies to Apply Propolis Envelopes in Hives?
Yes we live with a melting pot of bee genetics. Yes we could benefit if they were permitted to stabilize for 100 years. It is not possible for this to occur with current practices.
I am not totally convinced that propolis is a necessary part of colony defense. The Egyptian bee - A. m. Lamarckii - is remarkably hygienic and shows significant disease and pest tolerance. It is noted for collecting no propolis at all. Combining this information with the known propensity of Caucasian bees to collect propolis yet having relatively little pest resistance, we might conclude that hygienic behavior is more important than propolis collection for pest resistance. Selecting for hygienic behavior has been done with every major geographic race of bees. A.m. Mellifera Mellifera is interesting in this regard with little or no hygienic potential. Italian and particularly Carniolan bees have relatively strong hygienic traits that readily respond to selection.
NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest