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Jul 5, 2010
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Thought it would be of interest to share this:

NIHBS News Update June 2018

The long-awaited Research Paper has been published in the Journal of Apiculture Research and NIHBS have paid for ‘Open Access’ so the full work is available for all to view – just follow this link:
A significant pure population of the dark European honey bee (Apis mellifera mellifera) remains in Ireland
This is excellent news for our Native Irish Honey Bee - here are a few extracts to whet your appetite “The natural range of the dark European honeybee, Apis mellifera mellifera has been significantly reduced in recent years as a result of importation and replacement of queens with those of other Apis subspecies. Previous studies have indicated that a substantial amount of A. m. m populations throughout Europe are heavily hybridized but that pockets of pure populations do still exist and need to be protected as this subspecies is a highly valuable gene pool and is of considerable conservational interest… The objective of this study was to investigate the genetic composition of the A. m. m population on the island of Ireland…This study presents the first comprehensive genetic analysis of the indigenous population of A. m. mellifera on the island of Ireland. Data from 412 honeybees from 80 sampling sites across 24 counties shows the existence of a highly pure breeding population throughout the island. This is evident in that 97.8% of Irish samples were assigned to the subspecies with a probability of 0.96, when a probability of 0.90 indicates purity. The possible reasons for this low level of introgression include the island isolation, the comparatively non-commercial nature of beekeeping in Ireland with relatively little importation of non-native species, assortative mating, better survivability under Irish conditions and finally, a preference for localized breeding programs.”
Jack Hassett from LIT worked on this study for over 4 years under the guidance of Dr Elizabeth Moore and Dr Micheal Geary with the collaboration of Professor Grace McCormack, Keith Browne from NUIG, a number of research institutes across Europe and of course with the practical support of NIHBS and the beekeepers of Ireland. We are grateful to all for this valuable research.

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