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mbc 

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Hello mbc
thank you for replying, although I sense from your tone you are no inclined to enter into a conversation on this topic, but I will just draw the attention of any readers to a few small points to consider:

1. I never said (all) Irish bees (meaning the Apis mellifera sampled here in Ireland in 2017) were Dutch, I paraphrased a paragraph in Jack's paper, to give some extra info. these Dutch haplotypes account for 40% of bees in the sample(s).
2. The paragraph that mbc partially quotes is an interpretation of the DNA results, focusing on alleles.
3. The interpretation hinges on the assumption of the existence of a "land bridge with Britain" and Ireland, I believe since 2017 there has been further evidence that shows that this land bridge could never have existed.
4. I will simply quote the first two sentences of the next paragraph without comment, "Some of the historical linkages and the more recent importation influences of the European mellifera have been shown in this study. The majority of Irish mitochondrial sequences were identical to three haplotypes that were described from the Netherlands, while one was identical to a French haplotype and another to one from Colonsay Island in Scotland"
5. And finally (this is NOT A BIG DEAL) I know of two occasions in which senior members of the Native bee community have made public (essay and webinar) reference to apiaries being restocked with skeps from the Netherlands, albeit the beekeeper in question was just a child at the time, but none-the-less has described it for us, for a historical record: Let me quote a well known, and well thought of Native beekeeper here in Northern Ireland before the publication of this paper, "Historically some Amm was brought into the British Isles from France and Holland. That will have left a genetic trace I imagine but does it matter? Not to me"

This subject of finding out from where and when the bees arrived here in Ireland is academic, meaning of no practical use, like watching a documentary about skep beekeeping, very interesting,... and I think we will leave it at that!
I'm very happy to continue correcting your misrepresentation of the abstract if you prefer.
 

Lislarybees 

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All bees live locally/ in location. Unless they swarm and change their location.

I wonder, what is the problem out there.
I can buy queens from Canada or from Italy or from Serbia and I do not need to think, are they local. I am only interested, are they better than my bees.
Or if you live in Ireland you can keep native bees that are locally adapted and will make the best of the forage available in a poor year, give you a good honey crop in a middling year and plenty in a good year. They will also be thrifty with their winter stores and generally be disease resistant. What more do you want? Nearly all the problems seen here are a result of imports and people interested in 'better' bees.
Hello mbc
thank you for replying, although I sense from your tone you are no inclined to enter into a conversation on this topic, but I will just draw the attention of any readers to a few small points to consider:

1. I never said (all) Irish bees (meaning the Apis mellifera sampled here in Ireland in 2017) were Dutch, I paraphrased a paragraph in Jack's paper, to give some extra info. these Dutch haplotypes account for 40% of bees in the sample(s).
2. The paragraph that mbc partially quotes is an interpretation of the DNA results, focusing on alleles.
3. The interpretation hinges on the assumption of the existence of a "land bridge with Britain" and Ireland, I believe since 2017 there has been further evidence that shows that this land bridge could never have existed.
4. I will simply quote the first two sentences of the next paragraph without comment, "Some of the historical linkages and the more recent importation influences of the European mellifera have been shown in this study. The majority of Irish mitochondrial sequences were identical to three haplotypes that were described from the Netherlands, while one was identical to a French haplotype and another to one from Colonsay Island in Scotland"
5. And finally (this is NOT A BIG DEAL) I know of two occasions in which senior members of the Native bee community have made public (essay and webinar) reference to apiaries being restocked with skeps from the Netherlands, albeit the beekeeper in question was just a child at the time, but none-the-less has described it for us, for a historical record: Let me quote a well known, and well thought of Native beekeeper here in Northern Ireland before the publication of this paper, "Historically some Amm was brought into the British Isles from France and Holland. That will have left a genetic trace I imagine but does it matter? Not to me"

This subject of finding out from where and when the bees arrived here in Ireland is academic, meaning of no practical use, like watching a documentary about skep beekeeping, very interesting,... and I think we will leave it at that!
This theory that there was no connection between Ireland and Great Britain is just that - a theory. It is trotted out by non Amm bee keepers here in Ireland as proof that Amm is not native and was introduced by humans. If there was no land connection then how did our flora and fauna arrive en masse after the last ice age?
This is a fairly light hearted article but I would be surprised if a senior figure at the Natural History Museum of Ireland was so ill informed in 2018

I quite like this quote from him

"No alien species is without risk to well-established fauna," Monaghan explained.

"The isolated nature of an island population makes Ireland highly vulnerable to any introduction, no matter how well-meaning or misguided." Sums up bee imports in a nutshell!

As for the arrival of Dutch Amm genetics into Ireland in the early 20th century (another classic line from importers of non Amm here in Ireland trying to justify themselves) - considering beekeepers throughout Europe have done such a good job of wiping out pure Amm populations I am delighted that we are conserving some of this lost genetic resource here in Ireland. Does it mean we don't have Amm of Irish origin? No it does not.
 

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Or if you live in Ireland you can keep native bees that are locally adapted and will make the best of the forage available in a poor year, give you a good crop in a middling year and plenty in a good year.
I read that average honey crop is in Ireland 11 kg. Is that true?

My average honey crops has been 60 - 80 kg. 150 kg/ hive from best hives is not rare. But depends on pastures, what bees get from flowers.
Best yields I have got with buckfast hives. But the hive size is dangerously too big to lift full boxes.

It took 30 years to nurse bees to find out that a good yield comes from good pastures, not from hives.
 
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Anthony Appleyard 

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Likely, as long as flying virgin queens are allowed to find their own husbands in the air, the bee stock in Britain will gradually evolve back to what
survives best in British climate, or in the climate of their area, including foraging and stocking plenty of honey to survive long hard winters. When I was a boy I read in library books about astonishing survivals of small nucleus hives through the fearsome 1946-1947 winter (and ferries from Dover to Ostend had to turn back because of pack ice along the coast of Belgium). Winter of 1946–47 in the United Kingdom - Wikipedia
 
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Finman 

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to survive long hard winters. When I was a boy I read in library books about astonishing survivals of small nucleus hives through the fearsome 1947-1947
So scientists say, that Gulf Stream is ceasing. Then Black bees are not only thing where European countries will have problems. Then imports of all kind of stuff is important. There will be next potato famine in Ireland. Another thing is, how many billion people are on the globe then.
 
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Wilco 

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What are we arguing about?

Historically at some point there were no bees in the UK or Ireland.

Historically at some point bees were either introduced by man or made their way across somehow.

Historically these populations have been further supplemented by man importing different strains.

In mainland UK the populations still are supplemented, I can't speak for Ireland but given it is used as a legal and illegal import route for many things into to the UK, I'd be surprised if there wasn't still something coming in.

This is much like the human population, myself included. I still consider myself British.

Genotype and phenotype are linked but one does not automatically equate to the other. There is also a lot of 'inactive'/hidden genetic material within most individuals genomes which will crudesce if the right selection pressure occurs. Let dogs go feral and over time they'll almost all become similar physically in terms of stature but markings will differ- often more wolfish than many modern breeds but still not wolves. Similar with pigs, they will revert from a commercial pig shape (back end more muscular, less bristly) to a feral type (bristly, more of a muscly front end triangular shape) that looks like a wild boar but isn't. 'Never judge a book by its cover' is fairly apt here.

Bees are not like most livestock in terms of being able to precisely control mating and preventing wild populations interfering with breeding as we tend to try to with other farmed species. Within most of the UK and ROI, unless bees are artificially inseminated you cannot be 100% certain what it's mated with, especially as a queen can mate with up to 20 drones. This suggests that the bees may not care as much as we do and colonies from anything other than AI'd queens should be considered some form of hybrid/mongrel regardless of appearance.

The question is really whether existing populations should be left alone to speciate further as they adapt to their habitats. If people are truly serious about this and preserving a 'native' strain, stop keeping them in hives, selecting what to breed from based on our own perceptions, etc. as any form of human direction on housing and breeding creates artificial selection. Even providing hollow logs for them to live in or engineering habitat to assist their survival is a form of selection (and will be based on assumptions made from a fairly limited dataset).

I, for my part, want to keep Apis mellifera. I try not to get too hung up on whether I can pigeonhole them as a certain subtype.
 

Arfermo 

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I can't comment on rook66's Finnish of course, but I have noticed an incredible improvement in Finman's written English over the last summer. I've been reading his posts since the old BBKA forum days but have rarely understood what he was saying without rereading at least a couple of times, now I understand it easily. Almost like a new man!
Ditto. But i
I switched him off years ago and am happy with that.
 

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WHY AS BLACK AS POSSIBLE

when we look an old forager, it is really black. Reason is that hairs have dropped off from cuticula.

I ask, why Britisk beekeepers like more naked local bees than hairy bees?
 

Steve_D 

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That's a fair point but it also suggests that performance and behaviour are not considered.
I did post some figures earlier.
Sorry Swarm, I wasn't meaning to suggest that at all.
 

0bee-1 

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Locally adapted in cold climate .

Here you see the hives of Finnish beekeeper Sari Sivula, who has bees on Sodankylä in Finland. It is a reindeer behind the hives on its own natural pasture. Sari's hudband is a reindeer keeper.

I think that bees are Carniolans.
Santa 🎅🎅🎅 just out of shot !!!;)
 

Wilco 

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WHY AS BLACK AS POSSIBLE

when we look an old forager, it is really black. Reason is that hairs have dropped off from cuticula.

I ask, why Britisk beekeepers like more naked local bees than hairy bees?
We Brits are funny about nudity. We are opposite to Finland and like to keep covered in the sauna but apparently for the bees to be naked.

Edit: for the record the Finnish approach is better. Including the way 'sauna' is pronounced.
 
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Lislarybees 

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My average honey crops has been 60 - 80 kg. 150 kg/ hive from best hives is not rare. But depends on pastures, what bees get from flowers.
Best yields I have got with buckfast hives. But the hive size is dangerously too big to lift full boxes.

It took 30 years to nurse bees to find out that a good yield comes from good pastures, not from hives.
[/QUOTE]

So are you happy to see the continent wide eradication of a bee subspecies so you can harvest more honey?
 

Finman 

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So are you happy to see the continent wide eradication of a bee subspecies so you can harvest more honey?
[/QUOTE]

WHAT! What continent? Where? Europe's?

When I get a good yield, how it eradicates whole European continents bee races? Prices are going down?
 
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fizzle 

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[/QUOTE]

So are you happy to see the continent wide eradication of a bee subspecies so you can harvest more honey?
[/QUOTE]

It's like arguing with the grey squirrel appreciation society. Well they out compete the red squirrel so they must be better squirrels.
 

Finman 

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It's like arguing with the grey squirrel appreciation society. Well they out compete the red squirrel so they must be better squirrels.
I know. Grey are better on British Isles.
We have red squirrels, but they turn grey for winter.
 
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