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Thread: SG consultation on an Amm reserve on Colonsay

  1. #11
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    Not so much about enforcement but more about education and awareness of beekeepers that we still have varroa free areas and we still have Amm strongholds in Scotland

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    Not so much about enforcement but more about education and awareness of beekeepers that we still have varroa free areas and we still have Amm strongholds in Scotland
    I agree with you there Jimbo
    I was just saying that lots of things might be technically illegal but there is no-one to stop them.
    My experience with SEPA (environment) is they are pretty toothless
    Have you been submitting bees to the BIBBA bee mapping project ?
    Will they be publishing the results ?

  3. #13
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    I did submit some samples from my area to Project Discovery a number of years ago. I was then asked by Terry Clare to send some good Amm samples to Catherine Thompson for DNA analysis.
    I did see a map of the UK on the BIBBA stand at the SBA conference with circles drawn where Amm were found but I think Scotland could have been more specific.
    The samples I am currently getting from Ewan's Acarine project has the postcodes attached to the colony sample so we should be able to map the areas a bit better

  4. #14

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    Sounds like you are making good progress
    what sort of costs are involved in the testing ?
    Is there some funding or support from Government?
    I noticed Gavin's thread about EU funding
    The suggestion that Commercial Beekeepers would get help replacing losses seems an odd use of funds

  5. #15
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    There are no costs as the software is available free to download. The scanner cost me 50 from e-bay but a newer version is about 100 and a laptop/PC The only costs would be in posting the samples to members who can do the wing morphometry
    As a hobby beekeeper there is no support from goverment sources.
    This could be a good project that the SBA could oversee and support at little cost to the SBA. but would provide a lot of valuable information on the sub species of Amm found in Scotland

  6. #16

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    Once the initial identification takes place though BIBBA say are doing DNA testing
    I wondered what the cost of a project like that might be and whether it would possible in Scotland (with funding)
    I think that is your area of expertise ?


    Just might be worth going for it while the Scottish Gov are looking at the Colonsay reserve
    Once you get their attention you don't want to have to explain the whole thing again
    Sorry Jimbo I don't know of Catherine Thompson where is she based ?
    Last edited by The Drone Ranger; 04-04-2013 at 10:18 AM.

  7. #17
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    It only costs about 5 to extract DNA from a bee plus staff costs. The analysis is the problem. A DNA analyer can cost about 750,000. It would also be best to send the samples to a research lab who specialises in insect DNA analysis possibly in Europe. Then there is the interpretation of the results and what value they are to you.
    Wing morphometry is a useful tool to identify potential breeding Amm colonies if this was corrilated to some Amm DNA results then beekeepers would have a simple tool to work with without having to do DNA analysis on their bees. Wing morphometry is just a good starting point but you still need to check for the other Amm traits eg body hair, white cappings etc

  8. #18
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    And the trouble with wing morphometry is that you need to be very careful you are not selecting you breeder queens just on the basis of the wing venation. There is an assumption that there is correlation with AMM genetics other than wing pattern but that is just an assumption.
    I think it's main use is to rule out potential breeder queens which look ok otherwise, rather than as a positive selection tool.
    As Jimbo says, we need to correlate wing samples to DNA to ascertain how useful it is as a rough and ready tool. It may be a lot less useful than many of us imagine.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    I did submit some samples from my area to Project Discovery a number of years ago. I was then asked by Terry Clare to send some good Amm samples to Catherine Thompson for DNA analysis.
    I did see a map of the UK on the BIBBA stand at the SBA conference with circles drawn where Amm were found but I think Scotland could have been more specific.
    The samples I am currently getting from Ewan's Acarine project has the postcodes attached to the colony sample so we should be able to map the areas a bit better
    More in the post today Jimbo ! I have some samples where people have only sent me drones.....is it worth keeping the wings from them or is it only workers you can do the analysis on ? By the way who is the BIBBA chap with the white beard that seems to run the show ? He asked me about the colonsay reserve at the WBK convention and I can't remember his name !

  10. #20
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    DR, Catherine Thompson is a PhD student I think sponsored by BIBBA through Co-op funding. Her thesis is about to be published. The main thrust of her work I think was on assessing feral colonies.


    Ewan. Send all you have including the drones I will check and see if there are CI and DS values for Amm Drones.
    The BIBBA chap is Terry Claire and is the current BIBBA Chairman. I think Terry is coming up to Inverness soon to run his practical bee breeding course again

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