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Discussion Starter #121
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.
Maybe they are Tunisian bees? Were they shinny black like the bees in this video I took?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJwaUrGD8UU&t=35s Where did you find these bees, in the Southeastern US or Northern?
 

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Again, I don't know which bees we have been calling German. But here is a recent pic of some black butts, as well as a solid black "German". These have been native to TN for at least decades, and have managed to keep fairly separate as a strain (at least according to consistent color). The bee shown lives in a tree not far from my house.

IMG_1685.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #124
Again, I don't know which bees we have been calling German. But here is a recent pic of some black butts, as well as a solid black "German". These have been native to TN for at least decades, and have managed to keep fairly separate as a strain (at least according to consistent color). The bee shown lives in a tree not far from my house.

View attachment 58007
Thank you for the image Joebeewhisperer. But I am sorry to say that they look like some kind of black bees that have just lost hairs from Varroa hairless virus or old age, the same as Tigger19687's video of his shinny bees. Not sugar syrup drowning though, because yours is from a wild colony that is not fed sugar syrup.

If you could check the "discoidal shift" to see if those wild bees are negative then that would suggest that they are not the common Italian bee or Carniolan.

I made a video about the discoidal shift showing Dave Cushman's picture of the discoidal shift (skip to 3:09 in the video for the discoidal shift):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pC5NAIHGR_A
 

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I don't think it's the result of a disease of any kind. They are not hairless, just have less hair on abdomen. They colony has been in the same place for at least 4 years. I have toyed with the idea of hanging a swarm trap, or coaxing the queen into an outer box to lay some stock.

They are surviving in nature without chemicals, and by nature can get aggressive. Not quite ready to farm something I have to fight, but it's a neat thought. Here are some more pics from today.

I did notice there is a bit of yellow in them when they are full. Also noticed some hair between that last two segments.





IMG_1727.jpg

IMG_1725.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #126
Genetic study of German black bees of Tomsk, Siberia, intermixed with some Carpathian: https://www.intechopen.com/books/be...erization-of-the-honeybees-in-siberia-russia- (Good pictures of comparison of negative, neutral, positive of discoidal shifts)

Burzyan bees (German black bee strain), an Ural population (Bashkir population) of German Black bees on page 4 (the abdomens are narrow, are they not?, for a German Black bee?):
https://www.wild-russia.org/pubs/pdfs/32.pdf

After all the crossbreeding of many different strains of bees imported into the US, only genome typing can tell the ancestry of a bee.

The way gene crossing works, after a few generations a golden bee could be a nearly 'pure' Caucasian or Russian. And the opposite, a black bee could be almost entirely Italian in every other trait than color. Same with wing conformation.
Hi AR1. I have asked a bee geneticist, David Tarpy, and from what I understand, the crossing of bees would cause random mixture of genes from the "recombination" of the homologous chromosome pairs during meiosis. So from what I understand, you were right about the traits of each subspecies getting mixed together when hybridizing or cross-breeding happens. Dr. Tarpy said it was "cross-over" of genes during recombination. I am sorry, I hope that you forgive me for being dismissive of what you said about cross-breeding before. I still have a feeling that something is causing the traits of a subspecies to somehow be held together, because I have seen bee colonies that have many traits of a certain subspecies instead of just a random mixture, like the videos of the suspected Italian strain of German black bees, and suspected Tunisian bees that I have posted before here.
 

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Anything that can interbreed will eventually do so given the opportunity.

I'm actually surprised these bees maintain even the same color. If you crack any hive in my yard, you will see about 5-6 colors/patterns.

As far as genetics, I could grab a few and send them to be analyzed if Dr Tarpy or any other qualified person wants to take a shot. They may be native to Patagonia, I do not know. I have watched 100s of them open feed near my yard. However, the entrance to the tree is about 9-10' from the ground, so it's possible I'm just not seeing color diversity. I agree they could have any combination of genetic material and still be black.
 

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Hi AR1. I have asked a bee geneticist, David Tarpy, and from what I understand, the crossing of bees would cause random mixture of genes from the "recombination" of the homologous chromosome pairs during meiosis. So from what I understand, you were right about the traits of each subspecies getting mixed together when hybridizing or cross-breeding happens. Dr. Tarpy said it was "cross-over" of genes during recombination. I am sorry, I hope that you forgive me for being dismissive of what you said about cross-breeding before. I still have a feeling that something is causing the traits of a subspecies to somehow be held together, because I have seen bee colonies that have many traits of a certain subspecies instead of just a random mixture, like the videos of the suspected Italian strain of German black bees, and suspected Tunisian bees that I have posted before here.
I certainly didn't take it badly. Genetics is tricky and bee genetics particularly so. Lots I don't know! Read up on the project to recreate the aurochs. It is interesting:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tauros_Programme
 

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Discussion Starter #129
I looked at my book of Ruttner. Iberica is not a crossing, but a very old species, belonging to the group of dark bees in Europe and northern Africa.

Intermissa is the oldest (Africa)
then formed Iberica (Spain and Portugal)
then formed Mellifera Mellifera

Bees in Iberian peninsula are more diverse than the black bees in the rest of (more northern) Europe, and he writes it is because the ice age spent such a long time over Europe, the black bees in Iberian peninsula had time to develop different subspecies.

He continues and writes that in there are crossings between Iberica and Intermissa in the Iberian peninsula, but those two belong the same group of black bees (lineage M).
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?
Sorry, Juhani Lunden. You had already wrote early in this topic about Friedrich Ruttner writting about Spanish Black bees. And even that Ruttner knew about the A. m. intermissa hybridizing with the A. m. iberiensis in the southern part Spain. I had thought that because the Spanish black bees were described just not too long ago in 1999 by Engel that Ruttner would not have known about them in his time. I was wrong.
 
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