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Discussion Starter #101
German black bees may actually be the common M lineage bee here in North Carolina, rather than what I thought it being Spanish black that were dominant of the M lineage here in North Carolina.

Here is a colony that I suspect has a fair percentage of German black:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfDfVGVflVI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kFWgvl0jac

It is exceptional in gentleness, and propilizes little. They are very calm on comb. They have a good percentage of bees with thin bands on the 5th tergite, yet they look kind of different from the common Tunisian like bees that we have here in North Carolina. They seem to have somewhat broad abdomens from the best I can tell, I might be wrong though! I will have to compare to Carniolan bees to make sure these are not just your ordinary Carniolan. The article about the Black bee breeder in Scotland (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pC5NAIHGR_A) had genetically tested almost pure A. m. mellifera that had broader bands that looked similar to Carniolan bees, so I thought these could be of a similar strain to his German black bees.

The colony's mother is this colony:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooJ4KtV_F6c&list=PLl6zsdvnE8NFgA3v0Bl3cvQoBTptVmqlW&index=7
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjhYWlsAJvo&list=PLl6zsdvnE8NFgA3v0Bl3cvQoBTptVmqlW&index=6
 

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Discussion Starter #103
I think the video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hA8s72lBZU) is of Saharan bees from Quarzazate, Morocco. The climate there does get a mild winter.

I looked up the climate of Quarzazate on Google:

Ouarzazate, Morocco
Weather averages
Overview
Graphs
Month High / Low(°F)Rain
January 62° / 37°1 day
February 67° / 41°1 day
March 72° / 48°1 day
April 79° / 53°0 days
May 86° / 60°0 days
June 95° / 67°1 day
July 101° / 73°0 days
August 99° / 72°1 day
September 91° / 65°1 day
October 81° / 56°1 day
November 70° / 46°1 day
December 63° / 39°1 day


Here are a couple more videos of the colony with the light colored, thin banded bees:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9IZ0dQo13c (especially light colored one at 1:51 in the video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIhYPjgleyI

If these are Saharan bees here in North Carolina, they were probably brought here by the Buckfast bee. Brother Adams added Saharan into his breeding Buckfast bees.

Buckfast bee heritage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckfast_bee#Heritage

The Saharan bees naturally forage on Date palms in their range. I have planted Medjool date seeds here in North Carolina and they have survived a couple winters so far. They are actually more cold hardy than the young Coast Redwoods which die of frost and cold nights during winter, that is, if they do not get to a critical size to survive the cold. Figs, too, need to grow to a large enough stem thickness to survive cold nights during winter here in North Carolina.
 

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Discussion Starter #104
Okay. Eduardo Gomez's Spanish Black bees have thicker bands and smaller, rounder abdomens than other typical Spanish Black bees. It makes them more similar in general appearance to our commonly raised Carniolans. Here is a video of more obviously thin banded Spanish Black bees to compare: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ak2l5A3Jzig

I have even read on a bee journal article that the Spanish black bees in Portugal genetically belong to its own subset of "A" lineage, if I remember correctly. That might mean that the Portugal strain of Spanish Black bees are actually a different subspecies from the Spanish Black bee, Apis mellifera iberiensis.
Here, this is the image I saw about the Portuguese strain of Spanish Black bee being its own sub class of the "A" lineage:
https://www.nature.com/articles/6888420/figures/1

Well, I don't think we have a typical suite of characteristics. Our bees here are a mixture of different "suites of characteristics" from what I have seen and can tell. Many I have seen come with a "suite of characteristics" that Italian bees are said to have and others come with a "suite of characteristics" of Carniolan bees (I could easily be misidentifying for similar subspecies such as Ukrainian and Carpathian since they share many characteristics.).
Also, with some colonies showing a "suite of characteristics" of Spanish Black bees as can be seen in the video I linked (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJwaUrGD8UU) of a colony of our bees here. This makes me think that each subspecies has actually retained many of their traits despite being mixed and despite being introduced to a new climate and environment here in the New World.

But, yes... I have read that at least some of the traits of our bees here in America have changed over time. And, I have read an article about the East African subspecies of A. m. scutellata, A. m. monticola, A. m. litoria, all being the same subspecies genetically, just different phenotypically. It could be simply that our bees here in America have not had enough time (a few hundred years) here in the New World to change drastically yet, but are in the process of changing.
Actually, my memory was wrong about the A. m. litoria being genetically the same as A. m. scutellata. The article I read was just suggesting that possibility because of A. m. monticola being the same subspecies genetically as A. m. scutellata.

At an angle the suspected Saharan bees look very shiny and hairless (sorry, the low light probably made the bad photos):
20200705_121614.jpg
20200705_121444.jpg

Looking at a few colonies so far I think the Saharan bees are also somewhat common like the Tunisian like bees here in North Carolina. That would mean that the A lineage is common in our North Carolina bees? Has there been any genetic testing for the A lineage here in the Southeastern US other than Southern Florida where African scutellata bees are known to be?


Madagascar or Malagasy bees, A. m. unicolor, are also similar in looks to A. m. intermissa, but I don't know if they would be cold hardy enough to live here in North Carolina. I don't even know of A. m. unicolor being imported here to the New World. I do know that some species of Malagasy poison dart frogs in the pet trade need a few months of cold or cool period dormancy to be healthy. Maybe those frogs are from the mountains of Madagascar?

Madagascar weather:
https://www.weather-forecast.com/maps/Madagascar

Video of bees in Madagascar (very dark drones!):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46pqYC3RKdI
 

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Discussion Starter #105
Well, I don't think we have a typical suite of characteristics. Our bees here are a mixture of different "suites of characteristics" from what I have seen and can tell. Many I have seen come with a "suite of characteristics" that Italian bees are said to have and others come with a "suite of characteristics" of Carniolan bees (I could easily be misidentifying for similar subspecies such as Ukrainian and Carpathian since they share many characteristics.).
Also, with some colonies showing a "suite of characteristics" of Spanish Black bees as can be seen in the video I linked (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJwaUrGD8UU) of a colony of our bees here. This makes me think that each subspecies has actually retained many of their traits despite being mixed and despite being introduced to a new climate and environment here in the New World.

But, yes... I have read that at least some of the traits of our bees here in America have changed over time. And, I have read an article about the East African subspecies of A. m. scutellata, A. m. monticola, A. m. litoria, all being the same subspecies genetically, just different phenotypically. It could be simply that our bees here in America have not had enough time (a few hundred years) here in the New World to change drastically yet, but are in the process of changing.
Now that I am looking at different kinds of bees on YouTube, like Syrian bees, Iranian bees, Greek bees, Anatolian bees, I don't really know what kinds of bees we have in our colonies. What I used to assume as just Italian or Carniolan could be a mix of all sorts of bee subspecies. Genetic testing would help very much since these bees all look very similar!

A. m. adami (http://bee-adami.blogspot.com/2017/01/apis-mellifera-adami.html) from Crete are similar in looks to A. m. intermissa. It is quite possible I have overlooked some dark thin banded bees as A. m. intermissa when actually they are A. m. adami or something else similar.


So far I have been getting just negatives and 0s on the discoidal shift when measuring our bees, even with lighter bees. I have not done many colonies yet. It could be that I am not measuring the discoidal shift correctly. Hopefully I will find some positives so that I will know that I am measuring correctly. I place the wing on the clear plastic of a lantern so that I have a good view with the light shinning through from underneath the wing.

Website about discoidal shift and German black bees (pictures):
http://www.bees.me.uk/Bees/Morphometry.html

"The influence of small-cell brood combs on the morphometry of honeybees (Apis mellifera)"

https://www.researchgate.net/public...n_the_morphometry_of_honeybees_Apis_mellifera

Does anyone have information about the discoidal shift of other subspecies of honeybees? Like the discoidal shift for West Anatolian, Eastern Anatolian, Iranian (A. m. meda), Tunisian?
 

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Discussion Starter #109

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Discussion Starter #110
Here in this article there is a photo of German black bees from Airole, Imperia, Italy. The German black bees there in Italy are thicker banded. There is even a photo of A. m. sicula that are very thin banded on the same page:
http://www.bulletinofinsectology.org/pdfarticles/vol71-2018-257-271fontana.pdf

More videos of the suspected German black bee colony:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuTO5nUYOLQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-n8-Lvjkz7w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iks1pk-HlDs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpMYHi2zAwI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lp2ghv4EXOc


They are more nervous and aggressive now that they are longer into the summer dearth. So they may not really be so exceptional in gentleness as I had thought.

Another genetic range map of the different lineages of honeybees:
https://www.researchgate.net/figure...ve-range-using-COI-COII-region_fig1_317389459

Here are some photos of the suspected German black colony (sorry for the bad quality!):
20200705_120916_01.jpg 20200705_120946.jpg 20200705_120953.jpg 20200705_120928.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #111
Here is a photo of A. m. intermissa with lighter haired drones:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipe..._النحل_التلي3.jpg/440px-ملكة_النحل_التلي3.jpg

The picture is from the Arabic Wikipedia A. m. intermissa article: https://www.wikiwand.com/ar/نحل_تلياني

A couple more videos and pictures of Madagascar or Malagasy bees (A. m. unicolor):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4aHsSnmC3Q
https://www.facebook.com/SEEDMadagascar/posts/10155779593318603
https://in.pinterest.com/pin/291537775882695246/
https://madagascar.co.uk/projects/sustainable-livelihoods/renitantely

Does anyone have any photos or videos of A. m. major?


Here are videos of other colonies of thinner banded, wide abdomen bees that I think are German black mixture:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBmCBtXSr3k (Thin banded one at 2:14 in video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d3YhK-409I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsorpw_98sA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p096AyxVBNk

These thick banded, wide abdomen bees, that I suspect are German black, may have come from imports of Italian or Ligurian bees from Liguria or nearby that area in Italy. They look similar to the picture of thick banded German black bees from Italy in this article:
http://www.bulletinofinsectology.org/pdfarticles/vol71-2018-257-271fontana.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter #112 (Edited)

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I'm trying to figure out which mutt added the black tipped butt to my bees. I have a Buckfast mix that spun off 2 queen cells that I made new hives with. I have no idea what is around here but I would say at least 1/2 of both the spun off hives have this butt black color.
I have a video but will try to get some pics of them. They walk a bit faster then the other bees so it has been hard to get them to stay still. I will try to get some this evening when they get a bit more settled to photograph.
https://youtu.be/LM9LSYfNOjA
 

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Does anyone have information about the discoidal shift of other subspecies of honeybees? Like the discoidal shift for West Anatolian, Eastern Anatolian, Iranian (A. m. meda), Tunisian?
Friedrich Ruttner writes in "Naturgeschiche der Honigbienen", page 58, that the DS (discoidal shift) is negative only by Amm (black bees of Northern Europe), "all other European races have positive values".
 

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I'm trying to figure out which mutt added the black tipped butt to my bees. I have a Buckfast mix that spun off 2 queen cells that I made new hives with. I have no idea what is around here but I would say at least 1/2 of both the spun off hives have this butt black color.
I have a video but will try to get some pics of them. They walk a bit faster then the other bees so it has been hard to get them to stay still. I will try to get some this evening when they get a bit more settled to photograph.
https://youtu.be/LM9LSYfNOjA
The race of a bee cannot be figured out just by the color.

There is no color which is used only by one race, plus the variation inside a race is significant.
 

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Bees here in the U.S. are a royal mix of genetics from about 10 subspecies dominated by Italian, Dutch Mellifera, and Carniolan. The others are in small clusters such as Iberian in New Mexico, Lamarckii in Florida, etc. None of them are "pure" in any sense of the word. Brother Adam's breeding work gave us a dash of Saharensis, Cecropia, etc. The Africanized bees moving up through South America, central America, and into the Southwest gave us Scutellata. The only way to verify anything regarding genetics is with DNA analysis.
 

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I'm trying to figure out which mutt added the black tipped butt to my bees. I have a Buckfast mix that spun off 2 queen cells that I made new hives with. I have no idea what is around here but I would say at least 1/2 of both the spun off hives have this butt black color.
I have a video but will try to get some pics of them. They walk a bit faster then the other bees so it has been hard to get them to stay still. I will try to get some this evening when they get a bit more settled to photograph.
https://youtu.be/LM9LSYfNOjA
I have your black butts open feeding today. I have asked several ppl what they are, and the answer I get on forums is feral. I assumed for the last 4 years that they were kept by a park ranger near my home, as this is the direction they fly. We also have jet black shiny bees from a tree about 3/8 mile from home. These I have some experience with, and if they interbreed with Italians, you can get some angry bees. We always called them German, but I really have no idea. They are very distinct. Dad and I hived a colony from a tree in the 80's and they were not any more aggressive than anyone else.
 

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Discussion Starter #119
Could they be Caucasian bees?
I don't think so. So far I have read about Caucasians is that they have extremely thick bands, even more so than Italian or Carniolans, I read from Dave Cushmans site (http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/morphometry.html):

---------------------------------------------------------------------A. m. mellilfera-------------------------------------------A. m. ligustica--------------------A. m. carnica------------------------A. m. caucasia
"Tomentum Width (4th tergite)----------------narrow, less than 1/2 of tergite broad---------------------more than 1/2 of tergite------------broad, much hair----------------Very broad, much hair"

I am still wondering if there is variation within the Caucasian subspecies though. The bees we have here in our colonies in North Carolina that I suspect are German black bees look very similar, from what I can tell, to the picture (http://www.bulletinofinsectology.org/pdfarticles/vol71-2018-257-271fontana.pdf) of German black bees from Airole, Imperia, Italy. The Ligurian strain of Italian bees that have been imported to the US in the past may have actually had a mixture of this strain (if it is a strain, maybe its just from cross-breeding as AR1 talked about before) of thick-banded German black bee.

Also, the few hives that I have seen that have similarities to the German black bees in Imperia, Italy are doing dry cappings, and propilize little, which is like German black, not Caucasian that are said to propilize a lot and do wet cappings. Here are videos of the colonies that I suspect have a good amount of the Italian form of German black bee:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBmCBtXSr3k (Thin banded one at 2:14 in video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4d3YhK-409I
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsorpw_98sA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p096AyxVBNk
 

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Discussion Starter #120
I'm trying to figure out which mutt added the black tipped butt to my bees. I have a Buckfast mix that spun off 2 queen cells that I made new hives with. I have no idea what is around here but I would say at least 1/2 of both the spun off hives have this butt black color.
I have a video but will try to get some pics of them. They walk a bit faster then the other bees so it has been hard to get them to stay still. I will try to get some this evening when they get a bit more settled to photograph.
https://youtu.be/LM9LSYfNOjA
Sorry, I don't know what kind of bees they are in your video. The black shininess on the abdomen tips look like is from varroa mite hairless virus or sugar syrup drowning rather than it being natural. You are in Massachusetts, so the colder and longer winters may mean that you have only a small variety of subspecies compared to down south like here in North Carolina where I am.

Friedrich Ruttner writes in "Naturgeschiche der Honigbienen", page 58, that the DS (discoidal shift) is negative only by Amm (black bees of Northern Europe), "all other European races have positive values".
That rules out Ukrainian, Greek bees and others. Thank you for the good information Juhani Lunden. But I think that Spanish black bees may have negative on the discoidal shift like German blacks, too. The Spanish black bees were described in 1999, "A. m. iberiensis Engel, 1999". So Spanish black bees were discovered after Friedrich Ruttner wrote that, is that right? Would Spanish black bees have negative on the discoidal shift then, also like the German blacks?
 
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