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MuswellMetro 

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high up in the an oak tree in a wood near my housing in North London was a black bee colony that has asconded as it has been attacked by woodpeckers

i picked up some dead bees and wild drone comb and yep they had varroa

i then did the wing morphology of five black bees that i picked up from lots under the nest

I know its not 30 but no dead bees left when i went back so cant do more but the discoidal index is negative so i think some AMM anscetry...quite suprised as this is only 7 miles from central london....how could AMM have suvided with all the mixed blood bees about

or have i over thought the wing morphology and they are not AMM

So would you consider those readings below to have AMM ancestry

Cubital Discoidal
Index Index
1.5 -2.2
1.5 -2.7
1.1 -2.1
2.3 -2.9
1.5 -1.9
 
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Poly Hive 

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I would love to believe it but Mr Bache will be along soon to poo poo it.

I am considering the Mantra... "Dinna feed the ef**ng troll.

PH
 

MuswellMetro 

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i will wait with baited breath...i am not into AMM just bored this afternoon, thought it see what difference i could find in the local bee popuation...all the rest are positive, this one semi ferral nest is negative....its problably DWS ;)
 

Hivemaker. 

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Thats interesting MM....AMM seem to be quite common really in the uk,especially finding them in London with all the other varieties,bit like all the different varieties of people i suppose.
 

Busy Bee 

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Thats interesting MM....AMM seem to be quite common really in the uk,especially finding them in London with all the other varieties,bit like all the different varieties of people i suppose.
There is plenty of "native blacks in London" lol


Busy Bee:rofl:
 

propolis 

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Charming, really nice post. I for one find Mr Bachs posts informative, maybe Mr Bachs Mantra should be... "Yawn, I'll just go and waste five minutes and bait the arrogant b******s."



Poly Hive wrote......I would love to believe it but Mr Bache will be along soon to poo poo it.

I am considering the Mantra... "Dinna feed the ef**ng troll.
 

Richard Bache 

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but Mr Bache will be along soon to poo poo it.

I am considering the Mantra... "Dinna feed the ef**ng troll.
Nice. The wikipedia definition of troll is In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response[1] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[2]-Pot calling Kettle black?

So would you consider those readings below to have AMM ancestry
I think that you can be pretty certain, irrespective of the measurements you obtained, that these bee will have some AMM ancestry. The best evidence tells us that recording only two variables cannot distinguish pure-bred bees amongst a hybrid population, so I don't think you can extrapolate any further without performing more measurements on the bees (researchers in the field often use around 30 seperate variables to characterise bees):

Moritz (1991) demonstrated that selection based upon a few well-differentiated morphological characters did not arrest significant hybridization between two sympatric subspecies when all morphological characters were analyzed. That is, the selection program produced hybrids that went undetected when assays were based on only a few morphological characters typical of the desired parental population. Thus, it is critical to use a broad array of informative characters in the selection of potential breeding stock.
Soland-Reckeweg said:
This also indicates that within an evolutionary lineage of honeybees it appears difficult to assign a population to a specific subspecies based on morphometric traits alone.
...
Alternatively, but not mutually exclusive, the identification of hybrid individuals by the bee breeders using conventional morphometric methods is not sufficient.
bee-smillie
 

Poly Hive 

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The problem is Crg that you can find studies to prop up pretty much any theory you care to mention.

One thing that amused me about the one foray in to Scotland that I know of, is that they were astonished at the samples that were measured in Perthshire at the Stokleys apiary.

Now given that the theory is the further north you go the blacker the bee, the longer the hairs and so on one would reasonably think that Scotland would be a good starting place for finding breeding material. But no.

I have also suggested to BIBBa that they have a forum or even a message board on which to promote and exchange material but no they find it too advanced seemingly.

You see perched in London I could have serious doubts too about the existence of the tooth fairy. Living however in tooth fairy land rather lends experience to the theory and so.... I believe from experience.

The last bee advisor in NOSCA was a firm believer too and went so far as to breed a line called the "Maud Strain". But hey lets not let facts get in the way.

If your science says it is not true and it has not sampled from where I know it to be true what weight do the results have?

If you say to me that AMM does not exist in the SE of England I would nod sagely and agree that the samples are probably right. Also for most of England it would also be true.

However cross the border and get to the more remote areas and I have severe difficulty with it all as I strongly suspect there have been no samples and so I continue to believe.

As for being a troll... if I was Admin would have kicked me off long long ago.

PH
 

Richard Bache 

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Poly hive,

You shouldn't admit to believing in the tooth fairy: that sort of thing will get you locked up!:rofl: Your analogy, though, needs exploring further: if you believed in the tooth fairy, people would (rightly) ask you to prove it. If you could not prove it, but still believed it, despite everyone else thinking it improbable, then you are one step away from being labelled Mad as you are approaching the realm of a delusion. It is quite possible that native honeybees exist somewhere. Both bivariate morphometry (i.e. draw wing plots etc.) and physical appearance have been shown to be unreliable means by which to identify them. So believing you have seen native honeybees, despite being unable to reliably identify them is like believing in tooth fairies without knowing what to look for. In fact, if you told me that you had seen a tooth fairy, I would reasonably have my doubts and ask myself whether it was a bird, an hallucination or any other manner of things that your mind tricked you into believing were a tooth fairy. Likewise, you believe that you have seen native bees, but seem unable to present any reliable evidence to the rest of us. They are tooth fairies in that respect. Saying the onus is upon us to keep looking for native bees to prove they don't exist is a nonsense: you will always come back by saying we looked in the wrong place! Perhaps I too am looking in the wrong place for tooth fairies! But if you cannot prove that they do exist, why should we blindly accept that they do? I might also ask why you blindly accept that they are native bees?
 

Roy S 

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I think the sad thing about the whole thing is that no matter what you believe, there just seems to be someone willing to drag EVERY thread on AMM wether it exists or not into their own personal soap box on why it DOESN'T or DOES exist!!!

I'm pretty hacked off with BIBBA, having a long time ago been a member myself it hasnt moved on, and they seem quite content to sit back and watch the demise of any last outposts of AMM that may or may not exist.

I also am stunned by the eerie silence eminating from their camp like PH is.
I'll bet B. Cooper would be spinning.
 

Poly Hive 

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http://www.gbbg.net/pdf/ligustica_incursion.pdf

"The populations from the
British Isles were generally more closely related to each
other than to the Scandinavian population. Interestingly, the
beekeepers that provided bees from these populations, except
for the Scottish one, are all members of Bee Improvers and
Bee Breeders’ Association, BIBBA, so that the most obvious
explanation is that queens had been shared between
members. The Scottish population on the island of Colonsay
was more isolated and differs from the other British
populations. Beekeepers have described bees from this
region as being bigger, browner and having specific behavioural
characters, which confirm their distinctness and
suggest local adaptation (Cooper 1986; Ruttner et al. 1989)."

why do I believe because I read. Also because B. Mobus NDB taught me that it was so and with the tools at his command at the time proved it to my satisfaction and was also a founder member of BIBBA.

http://www.ibra.org.uk/articles/20081124_4

"December 2008

Article Title


Are honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) native to the British Isles?
Author(s)


Norman Carreck
Abstract


Biological, historical and archaeological evidence proves that honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) have been present in the British Isles for at least 4000 years, and suggests that they probably entered from southern Europe after the retreat of the last Ice Age. Recent studies show that rather than having been destroyed by disease in the early 20th century, or obliterated by imports of other strains of honey bee, the dark European honey bee Apis mellifera mellifera still exists as genetically distinct populations in various parts of Britain. There is little information available to indicate the extent of any competition between honey bees and other species of bee in Britain, or to quantify the contribution of honey bees to major ecosystems in Britain. There is a need for strategies for conserving rare or endangered bee species to recognise that local strains of honey bee may be equally endangered, and may be equally deserving of conservation effort. All species of bee are worthy of conservation, and management decisions need to be made on a case by case basis, and must be based on a sound understanding of the underlying biology of the ecosystems involved."

http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/arts/Highland-black-bees-not-wild.6009002.jp

PH
 
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Richard Bache 

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Ok, now you have started to read, start to question what you read...

The first article is the only study that (to my knowledge) has looked at the genetics of the honeybees of Britain. It was not set up to test the 'purity' of the specimens in question. They measured introgression of other genes by using a commercially available strain of ligustica from Denmark. Although they believe this was a reasonable control, we know that importation of honeybees has been from very varied sources and therefore may not have been picked up by their analysis. Furthermore a Commercial strain (presumably one not normally available in the UK) is likely to be inbred and not have the genetic diversity that would be fully represented in other ligustica populations. Is this really a reasonable control for the UK? I fear it is not.
They note that "These populations are genetically quite homogenous
as most of their genetic variation occurs within populations
and not between populations.
". If you look at the Neighbour Joining trees that are presented with the paper, the British and Irish samples congregate seperately and are seperated by French and other samples. If they were all part of the "Old British Black Bee" you would expect them to congregate together. We know that the Yorkshire and Midlands samples (which do congregate together) were part of a BIBBA breeding programme (as the authors suspected) where genetic material was shared. Their relatedness therefore is likely to an artifact of this breeding programme and not phyllogeographic clustering. Does it not worry you that "The Scottish population on the island of Colonsay was more isolated and differs from the other British populations? Surely that indicates they might be from different origins? You will note that no-one has actually checked museum specimens to see whether or not they differ from the modern populations (if you look at the multivariate analysis in Ruttner, Milner and Dews book, the Dark European Honey Bee- the ancient specimens cluster seperately to the modern specimens, suggesting that, again, they are different). At no point in the paper do they explicitly state the native honeybee to be alive and well, the closest they get is this: "It has been suggested that the native British A. m. mellifera bees went extinct resulting from the act of the Isle of Wight disease (Brother 1974), but others have argued that remnants of these original populations still exist (Cooper 1986; Ruttner et al. 1989). The relative distinctness of the British populations in our comparative study supports the latter argument and would justify and increase support of the British authorities for the conservation of British A. m. mellifera.". It is a pity that they didn't explore the possibility of imports of AMM more thoroughly, as this is a major weakness of their tentative conclusion. It may well be the case that genetic analyis is not sufficient to discriminate between strains of AMM and we are confronted with the interesting dilema about whether or not it matters if these bees come from overseas?
The second and third articles cited seem to use this first study when discussing other issues and do not present any original evidence themselves about the subject of the existance of the native honeybee.
I am not sure whether the native honeybee exists-there is not conclusive evidence, only suggestive hints (such as the above study). Equally, there is quite a lot of evidence that seems to dispute the hypothesis that it still exists. Clearly more evidence needs to be collected before any firm conclusions are drawn and, to return to the original point of this thread, better methods need to be drawn up than bivariate morphometric analysis if the such bees are to be readily idfentified.
 

Poly Hive 

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This is the bit I have the most trouble with.

"It has been suggested that the native British A. m. mellifera bees went extinct resulting from the act of the Isle of Wight disease (Brother 1974), but others have argued that remnants of these original populations still exist (Cooper 1986; Ruttner et al. 1989).

As written recently how could a novice monk of some 16 years at the time state so positively what was happening to a national bee population when he spent most of his time on his knees being a good monk and I am not being derogatory to monks here.

It just beggars belief. In reality he would have been hard pushed to know much of the outside world at that point in his career. Even the local village would have been pretty much his limit.

However the legend lives on, let's not let the reality of being a novice spoil matters.

And before the Adam lovers dive in please just consider the life of a novice monk. In fact all Benedictine monks.

"Traditionally, the daily life of the Benedictine revolved around the eight canonical hours. The monastic timetable or Horarium would begin at midnight with the service, or "office", of Matins (today also called the Office of Readings), followed by the morning office of Lauds at 3am. Before the advent of wax candles in the 14th century, this office was said in the dark or with minimal lighting; and monks were expected to memorise everything. These services could be very long, sometimes lasting till dawn, but usually consisted of a chant, three antiphons, three psalms, and three lessons, along with celebrations of any local saints' days. Afterwards the monks would retire for a few hours of sleep and then rise at 6am to wash and attend the office of Prime. They then gathered in Chapter to receive instructions for the day and to attend to any judicial business. Then came private Mass or spiritual reading or work until 9am when the office of Terce was said, and then High Mass. At noon came the office of Sext and the midday meal. After a brief period of communal recreation, the monk could retire to rest until the office of None at 3pm. This was followed by farming and housekeeping work until after twilight, the evening prayer of Vespers at 6pm, then the night prayer of Compline at 9pm, and off to blessed bed before beginning the cycle again. In modern times, this timetable is often changed to accommodate any apostolate outside the monastic enclosure (e.g. the running of a school or parish)."

PH
 

Richard Bache 

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I think they have quoted Brother Adam (and referenced it rather oddly in the text-shouldn't it be "Adam 1974"?) because his account is one of the more accesible. There are many other accounts that are very similar buried in older beekeeping text books and journals that the native bee did indeed suffer severe losses, irrespective of whether you choose to think of it as legend or not. That some survived (irrespective of what Brother Adam said) has been recorded many times in contemporary accounts also, but to suggest that all of these accounts were correct and not simply noting black mongrels or Dutch bees, and to suggest that some of these (usually isolated) survivers managed to remain pure-bred until some 90 years later is another matter.
 
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At the end of 1915 Br Adam was looking after 46 colonies. By the following year all the colonies headed by native queens had died but the 16 with Italian Queens survived. [Preface to "Beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey" by Br Adam.] I wouldn't claim to be a total Br Adam supporter but I don't doubt what he wrote was based from his experience of the bees at Buckfast but I would happily accept that what he saw in a corner of Devon cannot be extrapolated over the rest of the country.

Of more interest is whether the native bee of say the 19th century is something we actually want back. There are contempory records recording how much better the first imported Italians were compared to the native bee.
 

Poly Hive 

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There were extensive loosses I agree although by the time of the IOW situation some 15 odd years or so, there were imports going on.

There were records at NOSCA now I fear lost which mentioned the losses locally but also that numbers survived quite happily. The infuriating thing is that this info is now gone just prior to being immortalised by the net.

I know it was there because I had many happy hours in the loft at Craibstone reading it.

PH
 

Richard Bache 

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There were records at NOSCA now I fear lost which mentioned the losses locally but also that numbers survived quite happily.
Those are the sort of records that I would be very interested in. Did they assign a race to the suvivors of the "IoW disease"?- many contemporary accounts either state that losses were high and that Native bees were lost first, but don't quantify the losses of native bees or the % of survivors that were imported or hybridised.
 

Crg 

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The problem is Crg that you can find studies to prop up pretty much any theory you care to mention.
Exactly what theory does a paper that show that morphology doesn't relate to genotype support?

It doesn't.

It just shows why it would be incredibly naive to run around going, "it's black! it's got wings! it's proof that AMM exists!"

One thing that amused me about the one foray in to Scotland that I know of, is that they were astonished at the samples that were measured in Perthshire at the Stokleys apiary.
and what where they measuring - wings?

Now given that the theory is the further north you go the blacker the bee
You're obsessed with looks, rather than what matters.
Which, given what we know about genetics now, it's somewhat ironic you then go on to have a dig at BIBBA for not being advanced enough.

I have also suggested to BIBBa that they have a forum or even a message board on which to promote and exchange material but no they find it too advanced seemingly.
As you know, Dave thinks forums are based on fashioned bulletin board technology.

You see perched in London I could have serious doubts too about the existence of the tooth fairy. Living however in tooth fairy land rather lends experience to the theory and so.... I believe from experience.
I think the key word there is believe. You want to believe the tooth fairy exists. That's why you're always arguing that it does.

I'm more interested in what does in fact exist.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Getting a bit serious this thread,stating things like the tooth fairy does not exist......i have inside info on this from my youngest son, who said he believes there are two of them,he rekons he caught the second one trying to nick some cash the first one had left in payment for a tooth.....i said don't be silly there's not two tooth fairys...it was most likely the easter bunny in disguise, now there could be several of them....you know what bunnys are like.
 

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