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Thread: Catherine Thompson's research

  1. #11
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    I think it has value in an area where no-one has used it before, ie for survey work in a relatively virgin area, but if it has been used as a selection criteria by beekeepers you are going to get a load of false positives as in the Moritz paper I have posted over and over again.
    the other use is for identifying hybrids which might look and behave ok in other aspects.
    Wing morphometry can tell you that is bee is not Amm but cannot prove that it is.
    If you select bees for Amm wing pattern and you select bees for gentleness you should not be surprised to see a correlation.
    I know I am at odds with most of the Bibba folk over this but I consider wing morphometry to be pretty much a busted flush.
    Kate's work strongly suggests that as well.
    The people who defend it mostly have not assimilated that Moritz paper, or don't want to assimilate it.

  2. #12
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    Kate's work showed a strong correlation between wing and DNA with pure samples. It demonstrates to me that the method has not been overused in much of the country. People tend not to rely on it any more in any case so am not sure which BIBBA folks you are at odds with.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Where were her pure samples from, was that the Colonsay stock?

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    She did not say. We are still in the dark regarding managed colonies although there are rumours that I am not prepared to repeat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post

    I had a really interesting conversation last week with a guy from the far western extreme of Donegal.
    They have 70 colonies of dark bees in the area and varroa has not arrived yet.
    I was unaware that Ireland had any varroa free areas left.
    The mites arrives in Sligo/Leitrim in 1998.
    No outside colonies have come into the area in living memory and the guy I spoke to is the only beekeeper under 65
    There are still feral colonies in the trees.
    I spoke to one of the other NIHBS reps about this and we are going to go down and take grafts in a couple of months or ideally get a mated queen to bring back home to graft from.
    He said the bees have never been surveyed either.
    Now this is the type of conversation that gets us amm geeks in a froth

  6. #16
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbc View Post
    Now this is the type of conversation that gets us amm geeks in a froth
    Yes, I am quite taken with the idea and it is a beautiful area to visit in its own right.
    I'll keep you posted.
    Sounds promising but there could have been exposure to other subspecies long before the arrival of varroa.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Reviving this thread as there is an interesting update.
    At the Gormanston conference last Month I spoke to my contact from Donegal, they guy who initially let me know Glencolumbkille was still varroa free.
    He said he had a swarm in a bait box if anyone wanted it.
    They still have ferals there as there are no mites.
    One of our queen rearing group heads that direction most weekends and he picked up the swarm a couple of weeks ago.
    The bait box had no frames in it so the swarm was on its own comb.
    It was transferred to a hive but there was no brood visible so it may be queenless or more likely has a virgin.
    I got a small sample of the bees which were very black with no sign of any yellow banding at all.

    This was the morphometry plot and I would take this seriously as noone in the area had ever done any morphometry (ie no selection artifact as in the Moritz paper) and no colonies have been brought in for over 40 years apparently.

    Glen CK.jpg

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    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    Reviving this thread ...... and I would take this seriously ..........
    The spirit of Jessie Smith sees a cat, freshly fallen from a great height and spread-eagled, with its tail erect. A cartoon cat in fact.

    G.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Definite sign of a feline in there!
    I hope this colony is queenright and survives over winter as I would love to take a few grafts from it and see how they turn out.

    Kate has a paper out on Plos One.

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%...l.pone.0105164

  10. #20
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    I suspect there's another paper in the pipeline ... this one has no mention of the genetic relatedness of feral and managed colonies, but a few large hints in the intro and discussion. There's an interesting difference between the prevalence of DWV in the colonies reported here and the recent study by Furst et al., ... 100% here, 34% (if my increasingly dodgy memories serves me correctly) in the Nature paper.

    Kate shows similar levels of DWV in untreated managed colonies and feral colonies. We know what happens to the majority of the former in a bad winter ...

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