Striving for racial purity in bees a pointless, counter productive, seriously bad idea?

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jenkinsbrynmair 

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Interesting essay in the BBKA comic this month (well, the odd one does slip the net) really states the case for genetic variation and (maybe) pursuing a 'locally adapted' strain with a mix of genetics rather than enforcing the maintaining of a pure breed stock may be a wiser pursuit.
Led to more questions than solutions, but thought provoking nevertheless.
I'm sure though that the wicker man will soon get an airing!! 😁
 

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Erichalfbee 

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Thanks for that. Very useful for those of us not members of the BBKA
Very interesting and though provoking,. Brought a lot of my A level genetics back to mind too.
 

bpmurray 

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I think the issue for the UK is that there are very few areas where there are still native bees- the vast majority are mongrels, many very well adapted indeed to local circumstances. However, here in Ireland, there are large parts of the country where Amm is pretty much the only bee. The issue here is that this is a native natural resource and once hybridised it is lost. So for here, there is a completely different argument which has nothing to do with productivity, etc. - as he says, it's only conservation.
 

Antipodes 

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I think the issue for the UK is that there are very few areas where there are still native bees- the vast majority are mongrels, many very well adapted indeed to local circumstances. However, here in Ireland, there are large parts of the country where Amm is pretty much the only bee. The issue here is that this is a native natural resource and once hybridised it is lost. So for here, there is a completely different argument which has nothing to do with productivity, etc. - as he says, it's only conservation.
We have some black bees here as a back up. They are isolated in the highlands.
 

gmonag 

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His thesis seems to be that racial purity leads to inbreeding. An interesting conclusion. Was the Amm population inbred before humans started messing with imports?
 
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B+. 

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His thesis seems to be that racial purity leads to inbreeding. An interesting conclusion. Was the Amm population inbred before humans started messing with imports?
That's wrong though. It depends on the size of the population.
My 2020 NL line carnica that I am testing this year have an inbreeding coefficient of 1.70%.
 

Hachi 

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His thesis seems to be that racial purity leads to inbreeding. An interesting conclusion. Was the Amm population inbred before humans started messing with imports?
If I recall, one proponent no longer of this parish, when asked to confirm the purity of his precious stocks couldn't or wouldn't. In this instance both roads lead to Rome as they say. Thus supporting the theory there are no pure AMM's which the only conclusion can be, is that they [AMM's] have mixed genetics.
 

PeaBee 

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That's wrong though. It depends on the size of the population.
My 2020 NL line carnica that I am testing this year have an inbreeding coefficient of 1.70%.

What does that mean? Is 1.70% closely inbred or does that show the reverse. Thanks
 

Beebe 

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His thesis seems to be that racial purity leads to inbreeding. An interesting conclusion. Was the Amm population inbred before humans started messing with imports?
I didn't see any summary of a thesis but the general argument seems logical...almost obvious. That being that the greater the range and variety of bees which you enable to interbreed without interference under their naturally evolved mechanisms, the more likely you are to have bees which are suited to the local environment.

Of course, this significantly reduces our ability to have bees with the characteristics which we desire. Therefore, regardless of how sound the logic may be, it is an academic argument.
 

ChrisS 

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Without wishing to take sides, I reckon everyone should watch this video and then decide whether imported hybrids are a good or bad idea.
 

Murox 

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............ do you think that the views below are essentially accurate?
Its a strange 'paper' - ?? doesn't genetic incompatibility mean that the related species are not viable, or at least sterile ?? – that will reduce genetic variation.
I don't quite get where he is coming from with his definitions of desirable/undesirable traits of Caucasian bees. Seems to be making lots of assumptions and only viewing things from one perspective.
 

madasafish 

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Its a strange 'paper' - ?? doesn't genetic incompatibility mean that the related species are not viable, or at least sterile ?? – that will reduce genetic variation.
I don't quite get where he is coming from with his definitions of desirable/undesirable traits of Caucasian bees. Seems to be making lots of assumptions and only viewing things from one perspective.

Anyone who recommends the book he does has no credibility in my eyes



And since ALL UK honey bees are imports from the Continent when there was a land bridge - as indeed we humans are - the entire discussion is meaningless.
 

jeff33 

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You can't fault the argument, it is really common sense when it comes to inbreeding and benefits of diversity. I think it may vary depending on the size of the gene pool though, you only need to look at the Egyptians to see the result of a limited gene pool.
 

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