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Thread: Maud bees

  1. #21
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    My guess is that Mobus worked with what he found there and improved it.
    I doubt he brought bees with him from elsewhere as that ol' Bibba reluctance to move queens from one area to another goes back to the Beo Cooper era.
    I would be curious to know if the descendents of those abeilles vivantes were in the mix.
    They were AMM so probably acclimatised reasonably well.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    My guess is that Mobus worked with what he found there and improved it.
    I doubt he brought bees with him from elsewhere as that ol' Bibba reluctance to move queens from one area to another goes back to the Beo Cooper era.
    I would be curious to know if the descendents of those abeilles vivantes were in the mix.
    They were AMM so probably acclimatised reasonably well.
    Hi Jon
    When was B Mobus developing this strain of bees and where
    Was wing scanning part of the selection at the time ?

  3. #23
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Wing scanning would not distinguish a French AMM from a Scottish or Irish one.
    Some types of DNA analysis would
    Wing morphometry goes way back.
    They used to project slides of mounted wings onto a wall and measure the angles with a thing called the 'bibba fan'.
    I jest you not as Frankie Howard used to say!

    Mobus was more or less mid 60s to late 80s I think.
    Scotland was his territory, Craibstone area I think.
    I own one book of his, Mating in miniature.

  4. #24

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    Hi Jon
    I think that area might have been very well hybridised by then
    A R Cumming and Margaret Logan writing in "Beekeeping Craft and Hobby" 1950
    "Choice of bees .. it is important to give some thought to the race and still more to the strain of bee to be used...
    the British Black Bee was in common use all over the country (nice description follows) then...
    This bee is now probably extinct as a as a pure breed although in some parts of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland the ordinary hybrid now used is probably three quarters Black.
    To replace the Black bee, Italians, Dutch, French and Carniolans were introduced, and most of our mongrel bees are now a mixture of many races Dutch and Carniolan bees are much like the old Blacks. They are docile and prolific but so much given to swarming that they are often unprofitable, French bees are frequently very vicious, but they are usually very good workers. Their tempers make them most unsuitable in apiaries near frequented places.
    Italian bees of a good strain ..prolific..gentle..easily handled .. commonly kept by honey farmers an good Italian crosses are very strongly recommended.
    Of late years, Caucasians, very gentle bees with grey instead of yellow bands have become very popular. An early tendency to use great quantities of propolis appears to have been bred out and Caucasians from a good breeder may well be chosen. It is, however, impossible for the amateur to keep a pure race over a period of years, and young pure bred queens should be bought in from time to time.
    Most beginners will be well advised to procure bees bred in their own neighbourhood ...."


    Hope I haven't gone too far off topic here but the areas of Aberdeen and Inverness etc were very hybridised by imports right from the early 1900's onwards and the French bees seem to have have a reputation for bad temper.

    The statement by Cummings that "it is impossible for the amateur to keep a pure race" shows how hybridised the area was
    B. Mobus would not have fallen into the amateur category though

  5. #25
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    The French bees in the video looked quiet enough judging by the beekeepers prototype Sheriff suit and Trilby.
    Hard to know if there is any research behind the comment 'the bee is now probably extinct as a pure breed' or perhaps the author was just propagating the myth spread by Brother Adam to suit his/her own agenda.
    Dutch bees would have been AMM as well and would have been quite dissimilar genetically to Carniolans.
    The author likely drew a false conclusion re. similarity as they are both dark bees.
    Carnica and Ligustica are much more closely related even though the abdomen colours are different.

    The statement by Cummings that "it is impossible for the amateur to keep a pure race" shows how hybridised the area was
    That would be more accurate if it stated that it is impossible for a beekeeper working on his own to keep a pure race. (Unless you are the single beekeeper on Colonsay)
    Last edited by Jon; 30-10-2013 at 10:53 AM.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    Wing scanning would not distinguish a French AMM from a Scottish or Irish one.
    Some types of DNA analysis would
    Are you talking microsats here Jon ? The mitochondrial analysis seems good to get them to AMM (or at least AMM or AM Iber...). What microsat regions can distinguish french /scottish / irish ? Has that been done yet ?

  7. #27
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    The Jensen and Pedersen paper covered some of this stuff.

    Varying degrees of Apis mellifera ligustica introgression in protected populations of the black honeybee,
    Apis mellifera mellifera, in northwest Europe


    My reading of the paper is that any AMM population has a huge amount of natural variation within it irrespective of the jurisdiction.
    ie, trying to distinguish a French AMM from a Scottish or Irish one would not be straightforward.

    There is a COLOSS/IBRA paper just out, Meixner et al, which does an overview of methods of distinguishing between subspecies.

    Standard methods for characterising subspecies and ecotypes of Apis mellifera

  8. #28
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    Hi Jon - yeah I've been reading those two on and off for a while now. I just wondered if I had missed a specific marker that would distinguish a French AMM from a Scottish or Irish AMM but I think it would be more an analysis of the microsat data rather than a simple "yes its irish or no its french".

    The Meixner paper (as well as the whole BEEBOOK !) is great.

  9. #29

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    There was a lot of typing involved but I didn't want to change what was written because it shows how very influential bee keepers from the area were thinking at the time.
    Cummings was the president of the Inverneshire beekeeping association Margaret Logan was a lecturer in beekeeping at The North of Scotland Agricultural College
    They are always just opinions at the end of the day but they give a general impression that hybrids were the norm and buying in queens was considered a good thing.
    Also that even in those areas of Scotland the Italian bee was the commercial beekeepers chosen breed an consequently new beekeepers were being rcomended that part Italian crosses were good bees to have
    Often beekeeping books are written with the South of England as the focal point
    I have a few where the East of Scotland is the authors area of expertise

    Anyway thats a side issue wonder why there is no information forthcoming about the Maud bees ?
    They might have their origins elsewhere

  10. #30

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    [QUOTE=Jon;22325]
    They used to project slides of mounted wings onto a wall and measure the angles with a thing called the 'bibba fan'.

    Actually a Herold fan - not invented by BIBBA. See: http://website.lineone.net/~dave.cus...asurement.html

    Our chairman jokes that he has a bald spot because of the hours spent in front of a high powered projector measuring wings by this method.
    Peter Edwards

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