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Discussion Starter #1
Ashley Mortenson, University of Florida, focused on drone makeup in DCAs(Drone Congregation Areas). She monitored several DCAs around managed hives and also ones in that were at least 2.8 km away from the managed apiaries (considered feral). Her results were pretty striking!

• According to the previous research average usurpation is between 0-30%
o She found no usurpation in the managed colonies
o Colonies were managed according to Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service Best Management Practices
• She found 34% of the drones captured at feral sites were Africanized
• Only 1% of the drones at the managed apiary site were Africanized
o This appears to be significant however Queens tend to fly further than drones to mate so not 100% sure what stock the queens are mating with.
 there were swarm traps around both area and that information is still being analyzed.
o It does appear from her data that European DCA’s do, by some mechanism, keep out Africanized drones.
• She also found that the Cordovan Mutation (coloration) is present in both Africanized and European drones. So color IS NOT a good indicator of Africanization as previously thought.


Ashley is staying at Dr. Jamie’s lab for her PhD work. She will be looking into a accurate DNA test for identifying African (and other) subspecies.
 

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Where can I read more on this......? :)
 

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The report implies that Ashley is using DNA analysis to identify the Africanized and European drones. Not everyone has the facilities to do this kind of analysis. Can she produce a correlation between DNA analysis and wing venation ratios as produced by morphometry ?
 

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-snip-
o It does appear from her data that European DCA’s do, by some mechanism, keep out Africanized drones.
I hope this bears out. It was reported early on that Africanized bees coming from the South were much more aggressive, with the assumption that aggressiveness would make it harder for non-Africanized drones to mate in the presence of Africanized drones.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You have the grad student defense synopsis, long before it will be published. We did the FABIS and USDA-ID to correlate with Ashley's DNA studies. When the data is finally released I will make it available. Wing venation is still very unreliable. Wing length from the proximal hook to tip is accurate. Forewing cubital indices combined with hind wing length, femor length and first visible sternite ratio is highly accurate. FABIS you can run with a good dissection microscope and calibration with tables. USDA-ID you will need all that and a mounting solution and permission from the USDA for the software. There is only one certified USDA-ID trainer and you will have to fly him in from Hawaii.
A lot of wild speculation was made about Africanized bees. If you compare what was said and is still repeated to the actual spread of AHB and actual verified incidents, you would wonder why somebody is not in jail for defrauding the public. Did any one mention or even notice that AHB do not remain where there is 55 inches of annual rainfall (1100 MM) besides the Beltsville ARS Bee Lab. Look at a map of Africa, South America or North America with Scutellata plotted. it does not take a rocket scientist to tell someone has cranial rectumitis.
Maps at the bottom of the web page http://americasbeekeeper.org/Africanized_Honey_Bee.htm
There was a plan back in the 1980s to raise European bees in Panama and saturate the isthmus with EHB. This is actually not a new concept just a proven one now.
 

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after reading your bullet points Americasbeekeeper I was wondering what time of the year was this data collected?
the last point is very curious and I am wondering if this implies that both the european and the africanized bee have double recessive for this mutation (ie fully expressed Cordovan characteristics) <and if you have raised any number of these you find out fairly quickly that a queens reared from a fully expressed cordovan queen II mated to cordovan drone does not always express Cordovan characteristics. I myself have never really heard anyone suggest that color was positive indicator for africanization... of course some folks use to promote Cordovan queens as a means to associate color change in the worker and drone population with a change (usurpation, swarming, superscedure) in the queen herself.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
All year for many years, the study has been ongoing every month for several years. If it only included part of a year or just a few dozen hives that would not produce a reproduceable scenario. There were several apiaries with 100 hives in each apiary.
ARS Beltsville Bee lab uses the Cordovan color trait for dominant ID. http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/ar/archiv...s0304.htm?pf=1
 

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Thanks Gary. for some reason that link doesn't work for me. I just notice your own web site on post #7... thanks for that link also. Looks like you have some good stuff there... everyone should take a look.
 
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