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Nice always wins, fuel for allowing or encouraging beekeeping in urban settings

1781 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  tecumseh
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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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
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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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.
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