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Thread: Honeybee races - nature or nurture?

  1. #41
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mellifera Crofter View Post
    All the sculptor bankers on Yap were aa and disappeared while quarrying for money - so no more quantitative easing of local money.

    Ps: oops - and Aa.
    It is going to be a record week for Posts of the Week at this rate .

    Bankers always pop up again anyway.

  2. #42

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    What I believe is that by selecting for certain behaviour like non stinging we are not losing anything
    Bees are quite capable of still stinging they just are more tolerant
    If they were born without a sting then that would be a change in their genetic makeup a mutation
    However that's not the case, nothing has changed in the bees genetic make up, just how the genes are activated or expressed
    Just because we choose non propolising bees to propagate from doesn't mean they lose the ability to collect and use propolis
    They just don't do it or are not inclined to under normal circumstance

    This is a study that might be relevant to the subject
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0916160845.htm

    hope that's not too boring
    sinkingcanoe.jpg
    Last edited by The Drone Ranger; 04-08-2015 at 11:56 PM.

  3. #43
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Has anyone actually demonstrated that aggressive bees which sting and follow are better at defending the hive and ensuring its survival? These are traits which expend a lot of energy which could be spent elsewhere and could well be detrimental if the colony if it is forever defending itself against trivial intrusion. There is always a trade off

  4. #44
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Drone Ranger View Post
    This is a study that might be relevant to the subject
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0916160845.htm
    Another excellent example of epigenetics in action. Coordinated regulation of banks of genes that work together when an individual goes along a different developmental or behavioural path, in this case temporarily.

    For the avoidance of doubt, your posts are always welcome!

    Last edited by gavin; 05-08-2015 at 12:52 AM.

  5. #45
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    There was a post on Bee-L this morning with another example.

    New work by Ben Oldroyd and all describes changes in gene expression between mated and unmated queens.

    Gene expression in the brains of mated queens differs strongly from that seen in virgins. Strikingly, genes that are associated with vision were all down-regulated in mated queens compared to virgins. Changes in the expression of these visual perception genes mirrors the transition from photophilic behaviour observed in virgin queens that engage in mating flights, to more photophobic behaviour in mated queens confined within the nest.

    Queens are required to fly during swarming events, and it would be interesting to see if the vision system is reactivated in queens as they prepare to swarm. It would also be interesting to determine whether queens of open nesting honey bee species like Apis florea, in which the queens are able and ready to fly at all times, show the same decline in vision-related genes after mating.

    The last important group of genes that differ between mated and virgin queens is the immune genes. With the exception of defensin, all immune genes were up-regulated in mated queens and this is likely to result in higher immunocompetence as more defense molecules, such as antimicrobial peptides, are produced, and cellular responses or wound healing reactions may be more effective. Increased expression of immune genes post mating has been observed repeatedly in honey bees and other organisms

    Manfredini, F., Brown, M. J., Vergoz, V., & Oldroyd, B. P. (2015). RNA-sequencing elucidates the regulation of behavioural transitions associated with the mating process in honey bee queens. BMC Genomics, 16(1), 563.

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    Has anyone actually demonstrated that aggressive bees which sting and follow are better at defending the hive and ensuring its survival? These are traits which expend a lot of energy which could be spent elsewhere and could well be detrimental if the colony if it is forever defending itself against trivial intrusion. There is always a trade off
    I can't speak about "following", other than to say I can't see how it would give an advantage (it would most likely be detrimental, since stinging away from the hive would be pointless).
    But I got a pretty good demonstration of how useful a more aggressive bee is from my own garden recently during a robbing attack. The only colony not completely stripped of stores and not at least halved in numbers was my feisty girls. Less than half the size of any other colony and they simply remained untouched. My super gentle Buckfast bees(some colonies have never stung in >3yrs) got Massacred .
    I know its a spectacularly narrow observation, but it is indicative of what I meant. I

  7. #47

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    Bees that don't sting the beekeeper are still usually pretty good a dealing with wasps etc
    Some bees get it into their heads that the beekeeper is bad news Usually after a bungled inspection etc and they can switch to being quite fiesty if you don't leave them alone for a good while
    That's just what I find subjectively I doubt anyone has studied it

  8. #48

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    That would imply they " learn" to differentiate between types of threat.
    I can say for sure that since the robbing attacks, they have been much more lively when I'm about too. I would suggest that after such a bungled inspection they are probably more alert to any invaders and not just the beek.

  9. #49
    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    ..... moved to a different thread!
    Last edited by prakel; 27-08-2015 at 08:36 AM.

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by SDM View Post
    That would imply they " learn" to differentiate between types of threat.
    I can say for sure that since the robbing attacks, they have been much more lively when I'm about too. I would suggest that after such a bungled inspection they are probably more alert to any invaders and not just the beek.
    I am pretty sure that's right SDM
    They can be in a high state of alert so to speak

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