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Thread: Catherine Thompson's research

  1. #31
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    Maybe and maybe not re the ferals. On my site there is a lightning struck ash and in it is a feral colony which to my ken is four seasons old. They are reasonable bees as they kindly swarm into my stack of spare kit and so I have worked them. Quite black too.

    I do like self hiving swarms, saves so much fuel and faffing about...LOL

    PH

  2. #32
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Stick a temperature probe in there mid winter and see if you have a live colony. Kate was always told the ferals were long standing, sometimes for decades allegedly, but next to none of them were alive when checked in mid winter. Dead outs get colonised very quickly once the first swarms are emitted next season
    You keep Carnica don't you so you might expect any ferals in the vicinity to be dark.

  3. #33
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    Happy New Year Jon and all,

    Oddly as I drove past that tree yesterday on my way back from doing the Oxalic I had exactly that thought. Are they alive and continuous or are they being colonised. There are other keepers in the area and they do lose swarms as my bait hives and my spare kit gets colonised pretty frequently. I ain't complaining really but it can upset the master plan on finding three supers occupied when they are meant to be ready to install. LOL

    I do indeed use Carnica and am very happy with them too but they are not nearly as back as the swarms that come in to the bait hive sited very close to the tree. Obviously I have no idea whether they are neat and swarm into the bait hive, or the bait hive is picking up a random swarm. *shrug* Nice bees though all the same.

    The wife and I have just had a chat and we both know that tree well, and often when I am at the bees she walks the dogs down the road and always checks out that tree. She cannot recall a Feb when they were not flying. Our swarming starts late March to early April. On that basis they must be surviving. Actually getting a probe in might be awkward due to needing a ladder. I have a lazer heat gun so might be worth a go.

    PH
    Last edited by Poly Hive; 01-01-2015 at 06:42 PM.

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poly Hive View Post
    Happy New Year Jon and all,

    I have a lazer heat gun so might be worth a go.

    PH
    Best set it on stun Mr Spock

  5. #35
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    Hi All - this paper might be of interest to those that can access it ! I think it is open access.

    Oleksa, A., & Tofilski, A. (2015). Wing geometric morphometrics and microsatellite analysis provide similar discrimination of honey bee subspecies. Apidologie, 46(1), 49-60.

    Identification of honey bee (Apis mellifera) subspecies is important for their protection. It is also used by queen breeders to maintain some breeding lines. In this study, we compared three methods of subspecies identification based on the following: 17 microsatellite loci, COI-COII mitotypes and geometric morphometrics of forewing venation. The methods were used to classify colonies and workers from a mixed population of A. m. mellifera and A. m. carnica. There was highly significant correlation between results obtained using the three methods. More than three quarters of colonies were classified to the same subspecies by all three methods. The agreement was highest between microsatellites and morphometrics. More than 90 % of colonies were classified to the same subspecies by the two methods. There was also relatively high agreement (75 %) between microsatellites and morphometrics when workers were classified as pure subspecies or hybrids. In particular, one pure subspecies was never misclassified as other pure subspecies. The results presented here show that morphometrics can be used for detection of hybrids between A. m. mellifera and A. m. carnica.

  6. #36

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    http://link.springer.com/article/10....592-014-0300-7

    You can download the pdf.

    Adam Tofilski uses geographic morphometry which, I think, does not show hybridisation as well as 'conventional' morphometry.
    Peter Edwards

  7. #37
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    If you start with a pure race subspecies, Wing morphometry can detect hybrisation in subsequent generations as the cubital index and discoidal shift differ considerably between the subspecies. It is a useful tool in that respect. that's what the Tofilsky paper above mainly looked at.
    If you start with an already hybridised population and use wing morphometrics as a selection criteria for subspecies purity - that's not going to be reliable.
    Having a perfect set of Amm pattern wings does not prove that a bee is Amm whereas having a set of wings quite distinct from classic Amm pattern does indicate that the bee is certainly not Amm.
    In this sense wing morphometry can be used to rule out colonies from a breeding programme but should not be used to select in.

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