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A picture of my Amish friend's mutt queen. ( I posted it for him for obvious reasons). Anyway this queen is a cross between feral bees, Italians, and Russians. I am not sure what percentages each of them is in this bee. He has been working on it for several years, and this queen is in her second season and is still going strong. The bees from her are relatively gentle, she lays like nothing I have ever seen, overwintered well, varroa resitant, (so far), good honey producer, and did not eat much honey over this last winter. This is not an advertisement, but just an observation, that I think we would all do better, to look for local queens. I know this queen does great here, but would she in Canada or New York?
 

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Local is local, mutt is mutt. All local mutts will survive in their local environment.
They will need a few seasons to adapt locally if moved into a colder environment.
Either she will survive or perished this is the fact of life even apply to the insect world.
It is an interesting experiment to try though.
 

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It is a good thing that the people who are responsible for bringing that Russian stock 6000 miles from Primorski, and the guy who brought the Italian stock 4000 miles from Italy, and the guy who brought the Carni stock 5000 miles from Romania, didn't subscribe to this "Local bee" craze. If they had we would all be stuck with "German Blacks" which are almost all dead.
 

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Yes, they all adapted to survive the local harsh environment.
Black bees are still alive, not extinct yet. There are groups who maintain
this genetic to keep them alive.
 

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Yes, they all adapted to survive the local harsh environment.
The Russians came from a harsh environment to an Island in the Gulf of Mexico. I am convinced that the reason they are so angry is that we moved them off of that Island and brought them back to colder weather. A typical bait and switch. I would be mad too.

Primorsky is about straight west of our Aleutian Islands.
 

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Brother Adam without question had the most experience with the most strains of bees and he wrote that the Honey bee does not acclimate. They are either able to survive or they die when introduced to a new climate.

I think that success with "local stock" is largely exaggerated. I have had good success with both Southern and Northern bees and have had equal failures with Local bees. And every year I sell bees to people who say "I bought local last year, but if they are all going to die, I might as well buy cheaper". I just spoke with a guy yesterday who stated that he buys local queens, but his winter losses are on par with my Southern package bees. I spoke with a member on here a couple of weeks ago who was talking about his source for "local" queens. Turns out that his "local" queen source is one of my Package bee customers.

Anybody who is making and selling great local queens should not have a need to buy package bees. Take Mr Bush for example; we frequently see him on the Package install threads talking about how he installs packages. OdFrank is completely depends on local swarms for his bee needs and openly states that he has high losses with them.
 

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Yes, the bees are imported. So are most of us. Michael Bush is at least partly from North America.

But when the English first came to Virginia, something like 80% were dead within 2 years. They called it "seasoning."

What was left, after four centuries of seasoning and mixing with the other survivors, were Virginians.

Rather than attempting to maintain pure strains of European bees, a fair number of us are hoping to mix all available genes, season them, and select from the survivors. My family has been in the game here for some 12-13 generations. In the same time period the bees have probably had well over 200 generations of queens. Perhaps they're not natives, any with a family tree here going back that far are certainly as American as we are.

As for this East Tennessee "Mutt", I think that's not fair. Sounds to me like she's a very deliberate breed, produced with luck plus a lot of human encouragement, and not luck alone. Although I'm sure her Amish beekeeper would credit a little outside help.
 

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Yes, the bees are imported. So are most of us. Michael Bush is at least partly from North America.

But when the English first came to Virginia, something like 80% were dead within 2 years. They called it "seasoning."

What was left, after four centuries of seasoning and mixing with the other survivors, were Virgin.
Plus there was a constant influx of new Immigrants for a few hundred years. In the peak years immigration was over a million people per year. Mixing with other "Survivors" in many areas would have been minimal when compared to the mixing with newly introduced Immigrants. The Pilgrims buried 45 members of their party in the winter of 1620/1621 out of 104 who arrived. Historical documents blame starvation related illness as the cause however, so "seasoning" had nothing to do with it.

I think most of us who have been here for more then a few generations have some Native American in us if we were to look back. I am 1/16th Niitsítapi with smaller amounts of other tribes mixed in. And even the "Natives" came from somewhere else at some point in time.
 

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"Seasoning" was a euphemism for "died". The list of reasons was long. It was very bad marketing to say what was waiting for people here, other than huge amounts of land and potential for wealth and liberty.

Today we speak of a number of European subspecies of A. mellifera. Each has a region of origin associated with it. Time, isolation, and local conditions gave rise to these. Yet there's a post above that says that bees don't adapt. Thus, obviously it is impossible for new species to evolve.

Sheesh. A little patience, please. I'll bet they'll be there in a few thousand years. But like their European ancestors, they somehow managed to hang in there before they were distinct species. A lot of dying was involved. A lot of experimentation. And they did it from a relatively limited gene pool.

In the short term, evolution of new subspecies is too slow to be of immediate use, but the advantage here is a rich gene pool of a number of subspecies that the limited populations in specific regions of Europe did not have. And they're mobile. Their ancestors didn't participate in mass migrations to Southern California each year. They didn't ride trucks to new places to live in the spring. It is possible, with human partners, that honeybees won't develop new species at all here ... just achieve a more or less uniform mix of genes in, or approaching, Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. But such a population can, if allowed to, approach such an equilibrium in a relatively short period. A lot of dying is involved. The survivors breed. And the diseases and pests evolve to not kill their hosts, which may be even more important. Introducing new genes (like the recent introduction of Russians) is certainly part of the process. We may not want Africanized bees but they probably will wind up as a significant part of the final mix, bad attitude and all.

This happens all the time in nature. A new disease crops up and 95% of the population dies. It is amazing how often that magnitude of die-off occurs. Then the population springs back.

The English arrived here in 1607. In 1665-66, bubonic plague (likely mixed with typhus) struck London. Would people of the time believe that today this disease is a minor concern, rarely showing such lethality even if untreated? We got tougher and Y. pestis may have wised up.

I find it fascinating that, while they succumbed to other European diseases, I've never seen any reports that bubonic plague had any significant impact on Native Americans, despite the fact that it entered the US around 1906 during a pandemic and is now endemic here. Do we credit the amazing properties of our immune system, the disease itself for moderating, or better sanitation and medicine?
 

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I find it fascinating that, while they succumbed to other European diseases, I've never seen any reports that bubonic plague had any significant impact on Native Americans, despite the fact that it entered the US around 1906 during a pandemic and is now endemic here. Do we credit the amazing properties of our immune system, the disease itself for moderating, or better sanitation and medicine?
Maybe relative isolation and lack of exposure relates to Native Americans not being significantly impacted by bubonic plague. Now, small pox, that's another story. If I remember correctly.
 

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Maybe relative isolation and lack of exposure relates to Native Americans not being significantly impacted by bubonic plague. Now, small pox, that's another story. If I remember correctly.
Small pox was devastating to Native Americans, but one analysis of why suggests that it was no more lethal to them than it was to Europeans. They had a fair chance to survive with treatment if they got care. The difference was that, because the population had not been exposed, the entire population of a village would come down with it at the same time. Nobody was left standing to give that care. Europeans had enough immunity in prior exposure within any community that they never took this hard a hit. Europeans may have acquired somewhat more resistance genetically, but for the most part they got immunized by either getting the disease or a lesser relative like cowpox, and any genetic component of resistance was a minor factor.

Something to think about in a world where smallpox exposure has (we think) been eliminated, and immunization has fallen from favor. And why ebola is so alarming.
 

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Today we speak of a number of European subspecies of A. mellifera. Each has a region of origin associated with it. Time, isolation, and local conditions gave rise to these. Yet there's a post above that says that bees don't adapt. ?
Don't acclimate; which is different then "adaptation"... I believe the scientific community classifies Adaptation on a genetic level. Acclimatization, on the other hand, would be what is required to survive so a living organism is around long enough for the adaptation to occur.

http://www.uic.edu/classes/bios/bios101/x209_files/textmostly/slide5.html0
 

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I personally don't place a lot of stock in local bees because we don't have a feral population. If we did they would live in the mature deciduous trees and manmade structures all over town. Not a single bee has come to watch me working on bee equipment reeking of the hive and the honey bee or my wax melter. The last two years out of the thirty years I have lived here I had bees in my yard from some hobbyist who was close. Five minute flight time there and back when I floured them. My bees are kept out of town and at 1400 feet higher altitude. A large percentage of them survive because of my wrapping and supplemental feeding. Those survivors were mostly born in Florida with some from the Carolinas. Then when hundreds of thousands of colonies fly in on cummins powered wings, half of any local bees I raise are going to be ancestral Californians!

Just saying don't despair because you can't find local bees or queens to buy. I would also wager that I could winter those southern packages that all die. If they are not AHB who do not cluster well because of lack of body hair they will winter if given help when they need it.

I am not saying that folks who are enjoying a sufficiently isolated area to establish a local gene pool and breed selectively from it don't have a definite advantage. Just don't despair if you cannot get that magic bullet. It drives me nuts hearing all the fine queens being replaced just because they came from a certain geographic area. What a bunch of racists!
 

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I think blaming beehive deaths on "Not being local, acclimated bees" is just a lazy mans excuse for not figuring out what really killed them and correcting the situation. Even local bees can have queen failures mid winter, starve, die from mite loads or viruses... Take care of your bees and they will take care of you.
 

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>They are either able to survive or they die when introduced to a new climate.

Exactly. And the ones that survive are acclimatized.

>I think that success with "local stock" is largely exaggerated.

I don't. I think bees that are not acclimatized are the leading cause of problems with Northern beekeepers.
 

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>They are either able to survive or they die when introduced to a new climate.

Exactly. And the ones that survive are acclimatized.
Incorrect: Brother Adam imported many types of honey bees to Dartmoor. As subspecies they either survived or did not. For example he wrote that he was unable to get Apis Mellifera Lamarckii to survive there despite multiple attempts. This is the ability of a species to acclimate. If they all die out they do not acclimate. "Southern" Bee stock can and do survive in the North. Move them to the Sub-Sahara where Apis M. L. is from and they don't do well... They don't acclimate.
 
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