Not native, but the m70 haplotype (AMM) isn't found elsewhere.. which isn't that surprising given its a northern european bee dropped off on a tropical island with isolation, one would expect it to adapt and evolve to suit the new climate
Hawaii is a very cool place, I've spent a lot of time there between working at JB Pearl and we have a family outpost on Maui. (allegedly won by Pop in a card game in 1945 while in the Navy). I've also worked out on Guam and through Micronesia and you can't understand how remote Hawaii is until you've traveled the Pacific-especially if your from the US east coast. On Maui, there is a goose called the Nene which is descendant of some Canada goose that somehow got there thousands of year ago. The island have a lot of unusual flora and fauna, including people that got there and stayed.
The Hilo Bee program has roots in 25 years of selection to improve Varroa resistance in honey bees. Selection for resistance has been based on “Varroa Sensitive Hygiene” (VSH), a trait of adult bees to remove reproductive mites.
I just read though the link-very interesting. Hawaii offers a very unique environment with mild weather year round and one of the most remote locations on the planet. (the direct United flight from NY is just over 11 hours air time) From the link, it appears that they have overwintered some in North Dakota and Michigan successfully. I guess the question is how do we move from a contained environment to an open environment. Part of the link indicated that they discourage open breeding (of island) for fear of diluting the genes. I think without that part of the puzzle we have a business that exists on $200 queens.
As to the question of native honeybees, the answer is none reached Hawaii. There are some solitary bees of the genus Hylaeus, and perhaps some other solitary bees have arrived by accident more recently.
Honey bees, said to be German Blacks, were first 'sailed' in around 150+ years ago. These evolved with queen introductions from the mainland which, like everywhere else, escaped into what became a large feral mixed race population. The 'ferals', at least on Hawaii island, basically disappeared with the arrival of varroa 10-12 years ago.
If one finds a feral today, it is probably a recent escapee from commercially kept bees on the island. I've heard there are some small feral hives, but I have yet to see them.
I'm only speaking of Hawaii (Big) island where I have resided and kept bees for 45+ years.
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