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Jose Thayil

New genetics (legal and illegal importation)

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They were mostly yellow bees, unlike primorsky which i think are dark. The profuse cell raising happened with all the queens, regardless of the strength of the hives. However it was my own bees doing the cell raising not the progeny of the introduced queen. The cell raising started soon as the queen was put in, and did not end for around a couple of months, by which time I assume the hive population was probably 50 percent + replaced with bees from the new queen.

 

As to the drones they were run of the mill mostly yellow but a few stripes looking. The thought had crossed my mind that these bees might be from an illegal import so I was looking for any tell tale signs but there was nothing obvious. Colour of the bees was like a mostly italian hybrid, brood patterns were good, if tended to be a bit compact, temperament was milder than average.

 

Some queens from the same batch went to some members of the Auckland bee Club, I followed up those people later to get comments but nobody had noticed anything, they were hobbyists, I guess.

Edited by Alastair

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4 hours ago, David Yanke said:

Tom could maybe add more

not really. my first thought was also primosky.

their urge to raise swam cell was outstanding. in that respect there seems to be a similarity.  also their varroa resistance. (what that was based on remained a mystery through the time i was there).

from memory (14 years ago) their look was darkish and varied quite a bit, so different shades of dark/yellow in one hive like a italian/amm hybrid. i believe the drones were very much on the dark side. i think they were a tick smaller than the carnis and itaians. super nasty. honey production was almost none cos they only had swarming on their mind.

 

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On 28/06/2018 at 5:14 PM, tom sayn said:

not really. my first thought was also primosky.

their urge to raise swam cell was outstanding. in that respect there seems to be a similarity.  also their varroa resistance. (what that was based on remained a mystery through the time i was there).

from memory (14 years ago) their look was darkish and varied quite a bit, so different shades of dark/yellow in one hive like a italian/amm hybrid. i believe the drones were very much on the dark side. i think they were a tick smaller than the carnis and itaians. super nasty. honey production was almost none cos they only had swarming on their mind.

 

Sorry, I have been away for a couple of days. Tom, your description was right.  I went back and found this image of the Primorsky Bees  we saw in Kirchhain, Germany.  This was a colony headed by an Instrumentally Inseminated Queen imported directly from Baton Rouge, and they had imported that stock from the survivor population in the Primorsky region of the Far East of Russia, where Varroa destructor originated and went on to be a curse to us all.

IMG_0451.JPG

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1 minute ago, David Yanke said:

Sorry, I have been away for a couple of days. Tom, your description was right.  I went back and found this image of the Primorsky Bees  we saw in Kirchhain, Germany.  This was a colony headed by an Instrumentally Inseminated Queen imported directly from Baton Rouge, and they had imported that stock from the survivor population in the Primorsky region of the Far East of Russia, where Varroa destructor originated and went on to be a curse to us all.

IMG_0451.JPG

Body colouring looks similar to a Carniolan/Italian cross.

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Seem to have thicker hair bands than a typical NZ hybrid.

 

Also, although the bees have yellow, all drones are black. Is that typical primorsky, or just a function of this hive. Bearing in mind the drones don't have a father but the workers do, I notice the workers are not uniform?

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from my memory, the workers varied while drones were all black, just like David's pic.

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@Alastair , the thicker hair band(tomenta) are a carnica influence. The bees themselves were like the image, all over the place, but the Drones were generally dark, which considering they were II Queens was a bit unexpected. I forget how many Primorsky colonies they were evaluating, but it was more than 10.  They were evaluating them against their carnica population, evaluating natural mite drop over an extended period, and then doing final mite counts.  Looking at the raw data the primorsky colonies seem to have it all over the carnica when it came to varroa tolerance, but when the statisticians did their thing with the data, the head of the Institute said there wasn't much in it, but as has been said said, they were a one trick pony, and varroa tolerance was the only thing they had going for them.

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Good info. Re the "one trick pony" comment, it is interesting that after the initial burst of enthusiasm in the USA, the breed has never really caught on in a big way. 

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Can illegal importations be traced with genetics? I know a few growers, one of whom claims to have illegally imported groth stock to grow but without evidence it is just my word against theirs, where as if the genetrics of the result can be tested it might be more possible to prove in court.

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2 hours ago, Alastair said:

Good info. Re the "one trick pony" comment, it is interesting that after the initial burst of enthusiasm in the USA, the breed has never really caught on in a big way. 

If the bees were a one trick pony and there only benefit was varroa resistance why would they ever have been brought into countries that didn't 

have varroa in the first place.? 

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1 minute ago, kaihoka said:

If the bees were a one trick pony and there only benefit was varroa resistance why would they ever have been brought into countries that didn't 

have varroa in the first place.? 

As far as I know, they were never moved to a country free of Varroa intentionally.  When they were moved back west from Primorsky, it was a thoughtless act, but I am not sure of the exact circumstances.  At the time, Varroa was understood by researchers to be a pest of Apis Cerana, and it couldn't reproduce on Apis mellifera.  Obviously strange things were happening out there, but no one understood the magnitude of what had gone on, but once these bees brought Varroa destructor back to Western Europe, it didn't take long to realise how big a mistake it was. It just spread rapidly from there around the world, making it here in April, 2000.  No one went back to Primorsky for almost 15 years, when the Researcher at Baton Rouge went there in 1997 seeking Varroa Tolerant Stock, and took it back to the States where Varroa had already been for over a decade.

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I can't help this terrible un-neighbourly awful horrible thought from recurring, involving underarm bowlers, resistant mites and Ozzie manukerers   :ph34r::ph34r:

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2 hours ago, Kiwifruiter said:

Can illegal importations be traced with genetics? I know a few growers, one of whom claims to have illegally imported groth stock to grow but without evidence it is just my word against theirs, where as if the genetrics of the result can be tested it might be more possible to prove in court.

would be hard to trace an additional carni importation from the same source, but an importation of primosky or bukfast should be traceable i would imagine. not sure if MPI is keeping historic samples these days. that would help i guess.

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2 hours ago, tom sayn said:

would be hard to trace an additional carni importation from the same source, but an importation of primosky or bukfast should be traceable i would imagine. not sure if MPI is keeping historic samples these days. that would help i guess.

I was more talking plants-a lot more stable

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17 hours ago, Kiwifruiter said:

Can illegal importations be traced with genetics?

It can provided enough is known about the distribution of the various genetic lines. A contemporary example you might be familiar with is PSA; the origin of the NZ version has been traced using a couple of different genetic techniques. To the satisfaction of a Court anyway even if the science is less definitive.

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6 minutes ago, Dave Black said:

It can provided enough is known about the distribution of the various genetic lines. A contemporary example you might be familiar with is PSA; the origin of the NZ version has been traced using a couple of different genetic techniques. To the satisfaction of a Court anyway even if the science is less definitive.

Ah yes, however the bee is a wild creature, free to fly across boundaries.

A court would have little choice but to accept the defense that "I caught the Queen in a swarm sir" or She just turned up sir, I assumed she was one of my breed and marked her but I suppose in light of this DNA evidence she must have arrived with a swarm.
 

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44 minutes ago, Philbee said:

Ah yes, however the bee is a wild creature, free to fly across boundaries.

A court would have little choice but to accept the defense that "I caught the Queen in a swarm sir" or She just turned up sir, I assumed she was one of my breed and marked her but I suppose in light of this DNA evidence she must have arrived with a swarm.
 

Sad but true

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1 hour ago, Philbee said:

Ah yes, however the bee is a wild creature, free to fly across boundaries.

A court would have little choice but to accept the defense that "I caught the Queen in a swarm sir" or She just turned up sir, I assumed she was one of my breed and marked her but I suppose in light of this DNA evidence she must have arrived with a swarm.
 

That wasn't the question.

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Like Humans, the entire genome of the Honey Bee has been mapped, but unlike Humans there is no Ancestry.com for Honey Bees so you would need to have samples from both the suspected illegal immigrants, and samples from the stock from which they were sourced.  If the results showed that they were actual illegal immigrants, then further testing and detective work would leave, " I caught the Queen in a swarm sir", as a very feeble defence, and unless they could do better than that, guilty would be the verdict.

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so has Maf or MPI ever employed dna testing to investigate illegal imports? does anyone here know?

i believe i remember a phrase like "no foreign organism was found" was used in the nosema cerana investigation about 10 years ago.  just never could make much sense of this wording.

in general, i would appreciate if those guys at bio security or mpi could come on here and explain a bit of what they did about this "caucasian bee claim" in the start of this thread and also about the buckfast bee smuggle 10 years ago, mentioned by David.

or is that too much of an ask?

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7 minutes ago, tom sayn said:

or is that too much of an ask?

Are you asking someone to ask them, or are you hoping they'll see this thread ?

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i'm asking someone to ask them. (preferably not a pink cat but).

i think we had success before with similar requests, not?

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