Karl Kehrle (aka "Brother Adam") was born 1898 in Mittelbiberach, Germany - and died Sept. 1 1996 in Buckfast, Enngland). He was a Benedictine monk, beekeeper and an authority on bee breeding. His life's work was the development of the Buckfast bee.
Due to health problems his mother sent him at age 11 to live at the Buckfast Abbey, where by he joined the order. He witnessed the origin and devastation of Acarapis woodi (parasite) on native bee populations. 1916/17 he started his development of the Buckfast strain to find a substitute for the native bees. 1925 after some studies he installed his famous breeding station in Dartmoor. 1964 he was elected member of the Board of the Bee Research Association which was later named the International Bee Research Association. 1973/74 he recieved the Order of the Brisish Emiper and the German Bundesverdienstkreuz. 1987 he was appointed honorary doctor by the faculty of agriculture of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and later appointed honorary doctor by Exeter University in England.
February 2nd 1992 at the age of 93 he retired his post at the abbey. He visited his niece Maria Kehrle for a time before returning to the abbey. In 1995 (age 97) he moved to a nearby nursing home. Peter Donavan, Adam's former assistant, and present manager of the abbey's bee genetic bank, announced his death on September 1st, 1996.
Brother Adam, O. S. B. - St. Mary's Abbey, Buckfast, Devon, England
Mirrored to source: http://perso.fundp.ac.be/~jvandyck/homage/bibliof.html#prvoyen
British Bee Journal by A. Mousty. Apiculture The Belgian, 1933 p 227-230.
Translated from French (L' Apiculture Belge):
The expectation of the impossible is the lot of people. I think it's the thought that the publisher had made, when I said he wanted an interview of Brother Adam. The atmosphere of a convent is the opposite of that of the world and state of confinement seems impossible for an interview inquisition. Can I hide my impertinence and place me in the things of Buckfast? Will I see Brother Adam to talk alone?
He found the task much easier than I imagined it was me. Bees are more than half the life of Brother Adam. Apart from the abbey itself, it lives only for his hives. It serves the church he loves so passionately to the work among the bees.
"Have you always loved bees, Brother?"
An inimitable smile which seems to him said he had always kept bees.
"It was when I was in the kitchen after the masonry work of the building m'eût appeared too strong, that I began to help Brother Columban in the small group he had hives in the garden . Brother Columban became old and had many occupations, cooking, and I had to do what I could from the bees. There were little and all sorts and found it fun to do everything in order. "
There was a smile on my face now. Columban Brother could not have found a better way to interest his young assistant that let him start by putting in order. He was young at that time, just twenty years. He had left his home and arrived at the Abbey at the age of eleven years. He had heard tell the great adventure when Mittelbiberach left and traveled on the Rhine and across the country and black unknown. I know Biberach, warm country friendly people, its medieval buildings, streets and sunny courtyards closes. A place where pears hang to all branches of each wall. An enchanting place.
"Do you like to become a Brother? Did you want to be a monk? "
"I loved to serve and I wanted to serve God."
A child of eleven years! He wanted to serve. This is the key to beekeeping. This servant bees are just a servant of the abbey. The abbey is his crusade. Bees are his means to serve.
When I found that I can no longer wonder why he does everything so carefully. It's his religion, his mind.
As young man - he was more enterprising - began to put in order, and he began to study the bees, because supposed to order the study. When it was over-educated, he increased the number of colonies. The Honey also increases. It was too much honey for its needs. Pelgrims bought the Abbey and they did business together. More bees were kept and honey as well. And now 15 tons of honey and clover 7 to 10 tonnes heather honey is a normal harvest. It sells easily.
"Now tell me, Brother, do you? What is the secret of your success in beekeeping? "
There was now a real smile, almost laughing.
"But there is no secret. This is normal, and certainly, there are no secrets!"
"Well, tell me Now How do you say to a beautiful result? "
"Simply by the care and work. Bees are like other things. They can not do that if they are well cared for."
"But you have 260 beehives of production and 400 ruchette fertilization. How can you treat a large amount?"
"But, you know. I do nothing else in the good season and everything is ready in advance. And without doubt, I began very early in the morning, working until 8, and 9 am to même10 good season . But Brother Gabriel helps to harvest and Brother Wilfrid helps sometimes apiary and there are others who do small things from time to time. However, we are extremely busy. "
"But you look at your hive every week?"
"Yes, yes, every week!"
"And you have 400 virgin queens in the land all the time."
"Yes, all the time."
"And you build new cells as they are fertilized?"
"Yes, 300 at a time."
"And you are shipping to customers immediately."
"And you remove increases, the wear at home, pull, carry the hive in the heather, remérez all, pull, extract the honey from the heather and feed for the winter."
"Oh, no. Frère Gabriel when we extract and transport the hives to the heather, a number of us lend a hand."
"But you go to prevent the spin and you do the transplant cells. You put the increases, you ship the queens and you enter the virgin queens in ruchette fertilization?"
"Now tell me, Brother, how are you doing to prevent the spin?"
"I do not warn."
"But you do not have a lot of swarms."
"No, not much. I repeat all the queens after my hives have returned from the heather and the only spin disorder happens to me when I have a hybrid queen in a hive. My queens to me do not."
"I believe that all the bees swarm!"
"Yes, but not when queens are young. All my queens are less than a year. And the queen of purebreds swarm less than hybrids."
"Do you have any diseases?"
"No, no. This is something that I have not had. I never saw the wreck."
"Give this to you young queens?"
"Yes, partially, and partially to the new frameworks, and partly to the care and cleanliness. Any disease like dirt and although I do not say that the wreck was due to the dirt, you will help you keep the cleanliness."
"And how do you overwinter your bees?"
"What do you mean?"
"Do you use the tile, or planks. Do you use double-walled or wrap your hives (called the packing) and feed you high?"
"I use planks as managers, for all my hives, and all my hives are modified Dadant, 12 frames, wall simple. But I would be sad if I give you some impression that I consider the amended Dadant walled simple the ideal type of hive. The town and the beekeeper factors are changing, and what I can serve in Devonshire may well be wrong in Westmorland. The Advisor of the Ministry of Agriculture, who knows all the districts where I do not know of one, strongly advocates the idea, and I am the first to say that this opinion is allowed and very large weight. The beekeeper and the district are doing. Thus, for food, I ensure that all my colonies still have enough to keep 30 to 35 pounds of honey (14 to 16 kg) when 1'hiver is passed and the first pollen enters the hive. "
"Is not it too?"
"No, not really enough. I have very early spring in addition. I give each hive a feeder with a hole for the whole time a little nectar happens to hold the livestock in the process. "
"Is that why you invented a feeder?"
"What do you serve before?"
"De boxes sealed lid and a hole in the lid. But you see progress. I wanted a very slow feeding in the spring, it requires lots of 2 boxes and more boxes required housings, and the cooled syrup and sometimes they flowed and caused the looting. "
"So you invented the feeder on the market?"
"Yes, but I did not invent for sale. I invented for myself. Others said it should be patented."
"However, your patent?"
"Oh, yes, indeed.
"And the benefits you back?"
"Certainly, they return to the Abbey. A little. But in the early costs were heavy and the income is small. We do not wish to do so expensive that beekeepers can not buy it. We wish them the most be done carefully and we can do, even if it is patented. I see it is well done and I take care that gives satisfaction. "
Daylight came, the Dart River flowed at our feet and the last bee soon return to the hive.
The monk had become like us, just a beekeeper. I had forgotten his coat and his monastic and solitary life. We were talking about bees and the conversation would have lasted forever if the bell of the abbey had begun to ring. I asked him if could go to church with him and attend the last service of the day.
It led me gently through the cloister, I found a place in one corner removed and then joined his brothers. I was listening to Gregorian chant under the arches, I saw kneeling figures encapuchonnées. Brother Adam, beekeeper, was among them. Then the Abbot fire with his blessing and they spent in their cells. And I, in mine, because I spent the night at the monastery. But sleep was slow in coming. My mind traveled around the world discussed with Brother Adam. All was silence around me. The peace of God?
Notes by the translator. The monastery is located at Buckfast (Devon, England). It is inhabited by the Benedictines, whose parent is in Biberach (Germany), as the Benedictines Maredsous had their headquarters in Germany .
Let me draw attention to the means used by Brother Adam to prevent spin: annual replacement of all queens, these purebred. I had the opportunity to exhibit the same verse this year, at several conferences. Frankly, I 1'impression clear that I was watching (and not with eye favorable). Boards of Brother Adam are to read and reread, even by most scholars.
Extract from The Bee World, 31(12), 1950, p 89-91
It is not an easy task to make a report on beekeeping as it is pursued at Buckfast Abbey in South Devon. Quite a few of our methods are not in line with principles generally accepted, or more correctly, they offend against rules acknowledged by most authorities on beekeeping — at least in England. In the course of the last thirty-five years we have established, and then adhered to, certain principles which are scientifically sound and also essential for good honey production — and the honey harvest is the ultimate aim in beekeeping. There are also certain factors which, although significant, we consider to be of secondary importance; these include the type of district, the climate, and whether the bees are kept for a hobby or on a commercial basis. In this short article, we shall deal with these secondary factors first, inasmuch as they are characteristic of the methods used in Buckfast; after this we shall give a description of our special methods of queen rearing, which we regard as the essential principle upon which our success rests.
Type of district.
Buckfast is in the south-west of England, only a few feet above sea level and only a few miles from the Atlantic coast. Three miles to the north-west there is the wide plateau of Dartmoor, which rises to a height of 700 m (2 300 ft). This situation, and the influence of the Gulf Stream, determine the climate; here we have neither the severe winters of the Continent nor their long, continuously hot summers. Owing to our particular geographical situation we have an excessive rainfall, with an annual average of 165 cm (65 in.) compared with 58.5 cm (23 in.) for the south of England. The weather is extremely unsettled and changeable, but on the other hand the close proximity of Dartmoor offers the advantage of a second honey flow in August, just after the main flow from clover in June and July. Sources of nectar of secondary importance are: willow, blackthorn, hawthorn, sycamore, blackberry and fruit. Among the fruits, apple blossom is of real importance; we have no cherries, pears, etc.
The structure of our hives and equipment is in line with these circumstances. The Buckfast Abbey hive is similar to the Modified Dadant, but accommodates twelve frames instead of eleven. The honey supers are half as deep as the brood boxes, i.e. 15.2 cm (6 in.), and a full super contains about 25 kg (55 lb.) of honey. We have also made several important changes in the design of our hives and equipment to facilitate rapid and comfortable operation, and to simplify transport to the moors.
At present we have 320 colonies for honey production. They are distributed in ten out-apiaries of 30-40 colonies each. The out-apiaries are from 7-20 km (4-12 miles) from Buckfast. We do not have our hives in rows according to the general practice in England and America, but in groups of four. The entrances of the four hives in each group face outwards and in different directions (north, east, south and west) in order to minimise drifting.
Our management is intensive rather than extensive, and our goal is a high annual average honey production from each colony. We have so simplified all our equipment and methods that a minimum of time and labour is required, since everything unnecessary has been avoided. On the other hand the aesthetic aspect of apiculture is by no means neglected.
The average annual honey yield over the last thirty years has been 30 kg (66 lb.) per colony. Thus we have a favourable balance compared with the average production in America or in Europe. We claim Buckfast as the holder of a record achievement in honey production not only in Great Britain but probably in the whole of Europe, namely the greatest honey inflow over a five-day period. This was recorded when one colony, in an out-apiary of thirty-nine, produced a net increase of 65 kg (143 lb.) in weight; this is equivalent to 13 kg (29 lb.) a day. Another eight colonies did only slightly less well. However, it is not the records of individual colonies that count, but the high average production from the entire apiary over many years.
Honey and wax extraction.
Our harvesting equipment was designed to tackle big honey crops with ease in the shortest possible time, and the extracting equipment is entirely power driven. The uncapping machine has a steam-heated knife which moves horizontally. The cappings fall on to copper steam coils in a container; these promptly melt the wax which then separates from the honey. As honey falls on to the coils at a considerable rate, there is no danger of its being spoilt by overheating. There is only a momentary contact of the honey with the coil, and an outlet provides for the drainage of the container, leading the honey into the extractor by means of a pipeline. The wax, which has a lower specific gravity, floats on the top of the honey and is run into moulds automatically.
We have a radial type of extractor taking 44 shallow frames, which extracts approximately 100 kg (2 cwt.) of honey in ten minutes. In earlier years we had found the pressing of heather honey a very troublesome job, but by means of a hydraulic press of special construction we have overcome the difficulties involved. Experiments have shown the need of a pressure of 200 kg/cm2 (1.3 tons/sq. in.) to separate all the honey from the wax. Our discovery that by the application of heat we could reduce the required pressure down to 100 kg/cm2 (0.63 tons/sq. in.) enabled us to build a press which deals with 24 shallow frames in a single operation within seven minutes, and yet is of reasonable dimensions. Last autumn (1949) we pressed 23 tons of honey within 12 days. Moreover the press worked so effectively that the loss was as less than 1-2 %; according to our experience of many years an ordinary heather honey press results in 15-20 % loss of honey.
The extracted honey, whether centrifuged or pressed, is pumped into storage tanks. We have eleven of these, each of 2.5 tons capacity, and each tank is equipped with a steam coil to heat the honey before bottling. Automatic control of the temperature of the water circulating in the coil has been provided, and this prevents overheating of the honey. A tank full of granulated clover honey (pure heather honey from Calluna vulgaris does not granulate) is ready to be emptied within 18 hours, without any labour beyond filling up the boiler and the coils with water and lighting the gas. An automatic bottling machine fills 1600-2000 pound jars an hour.
The problem of equipment depends so much upon the circumstances that it is useless to set up any fixed rules, and for this reason we regard the equipment as a secondary factor.
The rest of this article will be devoted to the problem which in our opinion is of the greatest significance — the problem of queen rearing.
Bee breeding and queen rearing.
The solution of this problem is of major importance to every beekeeper; and it means breeding the best possible queens of the very best strain for every colony. By means of systematic queen rearing undue swarming can be prevented, a high average honey yield can be secured, and resistance to diseases so strengthened that disease will appear only as an exception. This statement requires a short explanation. We do not believe greatly in the various treatments generally recommended for bee diseases, such as the Frow treatment or the use of sulpha drugs. These may retard the spreading of the disease, but they certainly do not stop it. In this country, and especially in the vicinity of Buckfast (probably due to its particular climate), acarine disease is prevalent. However, by means of careful selective breeding throughout a period of twenty years we have overcome the inherent susceptibility to this disease to such an extent that it practically never occurs. Whenever we introduce bees from any other district they succumb to acarine disease within a year or so. Our wide experience in the campaign against acarine disease, which goes back to the years when it reached the peak of its virulence, has shown clearly that resistance and susceptibility to this disease are inherited, and moreover that they are inherited through the queen; the drone has no direct influence on this resistance or susceptibility in the first generation. Whether this is similar with the brood diseases has yet to be proved, but our observations have given ample indication that resistance to them is inherited. It requires many years of wide experience and exceptional knowledge to breed this quality and at the same time to retain other characteristics of economic importance. In our opinion the increase of resistance is the only way to attain permanent freedom from bee diseases.
The Buckfast bee is a cross between the native British and the Italian bee; this cross was produced thirty-five years ago, shortly before the native bee was exterminated by acarine disease. In the meantime no fresh blood has been introduced into the strain, except for experimental purposes. The harmful effects of inbreeding, which have now been demonstrated in America as a result of artificial insemination, were clear to us twenty years ago. Continuous inbreeding is possible only when it is practised on a sufficiently large scale; experience has taught us to rely on a number of breeding queens (for the breeding of both queens and drones) in order to eliminate undesirable characteristics, and also to obtain optimal results. This is the only method by which we can make valid comparisons on which to base our selection of the purest strains and the most productive offspring; it is also the only way by which real progress can be made every year. For instance last year we bred from six breeding queens; this year (1949) our average crop has been 72.5 kg (160 lb.) per colony, but 22 colonies with queens from the same breeding queen achieved an average of 92.5 kg (204 lb.), i.e. 20 kg (44 lb.) above the average of all 320 colonies. This is not a chance occurrence, as these 22 colonies were distributed among all our ten out-apiaries. Moreover, the colonies which give this high performance also have all the other good qualities which we have aimed at.
The appearance, gentleness and prolificity of the Buckfast bee are similar to those of the Italian, but the excellent vigour, the longevity and the unique white capping of the native bee have not only been retained but greatly improved. Other qualities which have been achieved through our breeding are resistance to acarine disease, absence of propolising and of swarming.
All this would have been impossible without a queen-mating apiary. The Swiss beekeepers have given the world a valuable example by their scientific bee breeding and by the introduction of mating stations. Artificial insemination is of great scientific value, but the use of mating apiaries is still the only means by which we can produce reliable super-quality queens.
We have already mentioned the close vicinity of the wide heather-covered plateau of Dartmoor, and there, after a long search. about 17 km (10 miles) from the monastery, we discovered an ideal site for our mating apiary in the very midst of the moors, 400 m (1 300 ft) above sea level in a wide valley which is well protected from the prevailing south-westerly winds. Moreover — and this is the main point — the isolation of the site is excellent. Within a radius of 10 km (6 miles) there are no colonies of bees from which drones could fly out over the open, wind-swept moors to our mating apiary. Also, Dartmoor offers the striking advantages of being almost uninhabited and of having no trees whatsoever, and the climate on the moors is so rough that no swarm can survive. It is there that we set up our mating apiary twenty-six years ago — then the only one in England.
Owing to the particular climatic situation, we had a difficult problem to solve in the design of our mating nucleus hive. We made numerous experiments to find the type best suited to our purposes. The first trial was made with half-size British standard frames, in boxes accommodating four nuclei, each of three half-size frames. These proved to be very good for summer use, but they were too small for overwintering. In the end, the Dadant half-frame proved to be the only suitable one for our needs; consequently we built our mating boxes to accommodate 16 Dadant half-frames, dividing a box into two (crosswise) to take them. Another division (lengthwise), by means of moveable division boards, gives four compartments each holding four half-frames. These mating nuclei can support themselves in a normal summer, and are strong enough to overwinter the fertile queen; on the other hand they are small enough to prevent the breeding of drones.
Our feeders are designed to suit this type of hive, and they depend on the same principles as those used in our honey producing hives. All the four nuclei have simultaneous access to the syrup. At present we have 500 mating nuclei, which enable us to overwinter approximately 400 fertile queens in the mating apiary.
Our stock allows us to requeen our colonies every spring with queens which are in the full vigour of their youth. This, in our opinion, is the secret that makes our colonies develop so successfully, and which also is responsible for the 100 % acceptance of the queens at introduction.
Translated from French version Bee World 32 1951 p13-16, 38-41, 71-75, 102-104, 139-140, 168-172
It was a century ago, exactly in 1850, appeared the hive-ray mobile modern beekeeping was inaugurated. The next in order of importance, was the arrival in England, 19 July 1859, the first shipment of Italian queens.
The bee has made tremendous progress in technology practitioners in the design of hives and equipment for the production and packaging of honey. Indeed equipment and devices, new developments can not fundamental be considered. The discoveries and improvements of the future are in a completely different direction is the side of the bee itself that we expect the more successful and the largest potential for progress. We expect something as revolutionary - or more - that developments retentissants experienced during the last hundred years the technique and mechanics Bee.
In 1880, Canadian J ONES, then, in 1882, the American B ENTON visited the Middle East to establish the value of local breeds. Queens imported Cypriot and Syrian disappointed their efforts to find superior to the races 'Italian. These races, which will never be able to compete with the Italian, however, provided valuable inputs to the farmer in search of improved strains or new races of bees.
Here, in England, no effort has ever been done to improve a bee. So any innovation in terms of method, style hive equipment and arouses interest, both the infinitely important factor for improving the same bee, was not seriously considered. Perhaps the key requirement is imposed to beekeepers because of economic circumstances, then the secondary issues, such as driving the apiary in the spring, control of spin, etc.., will be relegated to a position of minor importance. In fact, with the bee improved, as we conceive, the majority of problems that haunt the minds of beekeepers will cease to exist. As for example, we will give the resistance to acariose. A line with a susceptibility to the disease must be treated periodically in order to avoid serious losses. As against a resistant strain does not require any treatment, saving labor additional drug costs and the inevitable losses, resulting from treatment or its effectiveness. When we take bees resistant acariosis of purely practical point of view, no longer exists.
The attempts to improve the bee made so far consist mainly of breeding lines; pursued with patience and perseverance, they can bring real progress. But if they were not made on a broad base and no have not been carefully designed and executed - especially if inbreeding was pushed beyond a certain limit - the results can be disastrous. A loss of force, which increases gradually in line with the uniformity precludes any major improvement, even revolutionary, when you attack the problem this way. Raising the bar lines in addition to the possibility of developing such a characteristic for which there is no trace in the genetic composition of the lineage. To introduce a new character, it must be made at the intersection. métissage is, in fact, the only means by which desirable traits of different races are likely to be integrated into a line - by which progress can be achieved radical and entirely new lines available.
The complexity of the problems associated with the blending of bees do not escape. Parthenogenesis and genetics of haploid drone makes the task particularly difficult and success requires exceptional means. A Buckfast you've got the elements, the technical expertise, accumulated over many years of crossbreeding experiment and experience that allow us to embrace the enormous potential of the junction.
T which is vital, that is, above all, the best possible breeding colony. The second choice, infallible source of disappointment, queens imported through regular trading, while it is banned. So that we found we had no alternative but to put us personally on a quest for the habitat of native races to our breeding experiments. In addition, each race having a large number of lines, value highly variable, it was only there that we could make our final selection in each case. Also, agreeing to cross lines are found only in remote and isolated areas where, quite apart, the Racial purity is preserved through time and a continuous close inbreeding produced a maximum genetic uniformity.
W e have therefore undertaken a series of trips that include all countries bordering the Mediterranean with an indigenous bee value. Besides research that we talked about, we will continue a series of secondary objectives, but not without impact on the ultimate success of our company.
One of them is to obtain first hand information on the range of variation in morphological and physiological characteristics for each race. A collection of samples will be collected for the station of Rothamsted Research. It is visits generally not that many races and strains are dying more or less advanced, following métissages disordered, particularly in Western Europe.
We have, on the Continent, following with interest all the special efforts made to improve a bee. It was tremendously worked in this direction, which in England we had a very vague idea. The great movement - DIE RASSENZUCHT (breeding race) - was launched in Switzerland in 1898 by Dr. U. K RAMER, and rearing stations have operated for some half a century in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. And last but not least, we understand that visiting research institutions and Continental establishing a direct link with the best foreign scientists we would immensely helped in our task.
D ébarqué March 20 1950, obvious reasons we headed immediately to the south: the spring had appeared. In the Mediterranean coast, the honey was already in train. The rosemary was flourishing in Provence and the Corbières and the season advanced. Céret A, not far from Perpignan, white clover was in bloom along the road March 28. Corbières, one of the most admirably melliferous the world, located between Narbonne and Perpignan in the east and Carcassonne and Quillan in the west. The famous honey of Narbonne from the Corbières rosemary, rosemary thrives in these rocky hills and barren appearance. A full bloom and favorable weather conditions, incoming order 6.5 kg per day per colony, are not exceptional. Unfortunately, a wind storm, occurring around 220 days per year in this region, has too often destroy the hopes of beekeepers. air currents diverted west on this region by the Pyrenees to the south and the Massif Central in the north, strangled near the Mediterranean coast where the speed reaches 150 km per hour, the bee challenge, even if the sun shines. It is conceivable that bees extremely robust, exceptionally powerful in flight, are a necessity in this region. And we will not be surprised to meet again some of the best lines of the bee pure French. This bee pure native French, as we know there are twenty or thirty years, is about to disappear. There are only a few commercial farmers still doing the black bee indigenous to the price of almost insurmountable difficulties in order to preserve its purity. The vast majority of beekeepers use french Queen American crossed with local males. The descendants of Italian queens pure d America is no value to the production of honey, but a first crossing makes admirably. With the exception of a few isolated cases, we have found in France as the first cross hybrids or mixed, wherever we go . One of the very best breeding queens we've ever owned came from Gâtinais. Some years ago. Browse the country last May, it was impossible for us to get their hands on a single colony of pure French race . As against we met some of the most horrific métisses that we knew.
The decline in bee French native is certainly due to his bad temper. Although irritated, especially towards the end of the season or soon after harvest, prick it all living in the round. It is also scope to spread and unduly to reduce the amount overstated in propolis, surpassing any other in this bee to our knowledge. The interior of beehives encountered some in France was literally capped propolis type resinous adhesive, making the handling of frames something very painful. This would still be a misfortune if the irreparable bee were to disappear, a victim of this tendency to indiscriminate hybridization, because its qualities are as great as its shortcomings. It is extremely robust, long life, is powerful and garlic one of the best loot. Its rays are well built and manufactures seals almost any defect. The queens are very prolific.
The French bee may be considered as a variant of the brown bee in Central Europe with the difference that many of the specifics of the latter, good and bad, are developed at home in the extreme. View the geneticist, it is the best of both, because that lends itself particularly well at the intersection. Irritability, whatever the degree, can be removed without penalty during the subsequent segregation and clustering of new features.
The French bee was plagued by a defect it shares with almost all varieties of brown bees of Central Europe: an innate susceptibility to disease and severe brood. Again the French is more than up to hardliners any other, and almost as much as what is the default character, a lack of cleanliness or the fact tolerate such abnormal things in the brood nest is one of the primary causes of diseases predisposing to brood.
The bee has declined in France over the last 150 years. But there are clear signs of renewal and 1'apiculture trade is currently carried on a more important than here in England. A country with such a range of flora nectariferous, where sainfoin grows along roadsides and in vacant lots, which abound rosemary, lavender, buckwheat and heather, to see the bee blossom. The methods used in commercial beekeepers can only be described as intensive, according to our standards, but it's beautiful production, a system of conduct would improve even more intensive, I believe it.
At the first visit in early April, it was clearly too early. Much of the country was under snow. In Arriving in Bern, we turned our steps towards this mecca bee research, the Institute Liebefeld. Unfortunately, Dr M ORGENTHALER was absent. Dr M AURIZIO presents his collaborators, MM. YC F, S and B RUCCI CHNEIDER, then explained in detail his own work on the analysis of pollen as it is a past master. We Goutam the first honey of Alpenrose, this species of dwarf rhododendron that grows only 'high altitude in the limestone regions of the Alps, in our view honey as "delicious" product on the Continent.
A u lab MM. S CHNEIDER RUCCI and B, discussion regarding the many issues acariosis and the work of research Liebefeld. Acariosis gaining ground on the Continent. In Switzerland, major efforts are being made to combat the danger: in the countryside the movement of infected hives is prevented and where acariose is detected, all colonies in the region are subject to mandatory treatment. The measures, it is hoped, will be right from wrong and the losses will be minimized. Unfortunately acariosis extends its tentacles ever deeper into the countries surrounding Switzerland. For now, at least, the disease has not, on the Continent, reached the summit of virulence that we have seen here England.
T out is modest, shy and does not trust its capabilities zoologist at the very top level, W. F YC nevertheless undisputed authority for all matters concerning the structure and pathological conditions affecting the reproductive organs of the queen. I believe it is the only scientist in the world to have confined exclusively to this purpose and his contribution to our knowledge of anatomy, physiology and pathology of the Queen is priceless. Our discussions have confirmed that on many controversial issues, our respective views consistent.
We promised to Dr M ORGENTHALER, who had invited us to Züchterkonferenz (meeting breeders) from Rosemberg that our visit we stopped in Carinthia to go back to Bern. On 15 May, we were there to again. On this visit, our main task is the study of the distinctive lines of the indigenous bee that have been developed in Switzerland in the last fifty years. The second day, our group, composed of Dr M ORGENTHALER and M. L EHMANN increases Unkel Dr. H, Chief of raising the breed. Several lines derived from the indigenous bee Swiss commune, it is generally accepted that each embodies certain characteristics or a specific adaptation to its own environment instead of origin.
On that the maximum adjustment that will give the best results. Without going into detail on each, choose the one that truly remarkable, deserves special mention: the Nigra.
This lineage, as Switzerland was obtained, there are some fifty years by Dr. K REYENBUHL. A few years before the last war it was still widespread in Central Europe. His popularity has declined in Germany in the last ten years and Other lines are replaced. It is likely that defective and livestock too much attention paid to its external features have prompted its degeneration in Germany. The test substance that we have done in our apiaries us made great impression. It has lots of qualities, but unfortunately a serious defect that the department completely: it spins too, which makes it worthless in our climate for commercial beekeeping. As its name suggests, it is black, not brown, black as jet. Color extraordinary, the unusual tendency to spin and other features of the Nigra seem to indicate an affinity with German heather bee (Apis mellifera var. lehzeni ).
Besides the main objective of our work in Switzerland, we gained first hand experience of Swiss beekeeping methods and technology of beekeeping in flags. Pavilion has its advantages, but does not lend itself to operations and manipulations rapid are the sine qua non of the practice apiarian following the most advanced methods. The Swiss have unquestionably acquired an address to handle extraordinary rays, to remove, replace, through the use of special pliers. Nevertheless Any consideration of convenience aside, taking into account the physical inability to perform any operation and handling as quickly and efficiently, a flag appears to have many disadvantages in many cases. overprotection, excessive heat during the summer in these constructions boards are not - according to our experience - in the sense of a normal, natural and healthy colonies. And I am in any particular case on the clear impression that, in the pavilions that we visited, the bees were kept far too hot to give good results.
It should not be thought that the flags are in use throughout Switzerland. In French-speaking Switzerland, the hives are arranged on the outside, just like here in England. In the extreme south, penetrating in Switzerland by the neck of Saint Bernard, en route to the Rhone Valley, we noted an apiary under shelter open, as is customary in Sicily, northern Germany and in parts of Carinthia.
W e went back once more in Berne on October 8. This time, our investigation led us in the far west of Switzerland, the region of Neuchâtel. The Dadant hive is used almost exclusively throughout the French-language Switzerland. In fact, the linguistic dividing line appears to be actually the dividing line between both systems, totally different beekeeping. In the German speaking part, the flags are general purpose and context is about the surface of the standard English. Where the french is spoken everywhere on the vast hive Dadant.
The organization of beekeepers in the Swiss German is the most developed and, in many ways, the most advanced of its kind in the world.'s Insurance program against diseases of bees control honey, and, above all, the systematic improvement of the indigenous bee by controlling the fertilization of the queen - work begun by Dr. K RAMER in 1898 - are among its most remarkable achievements. Last year, the Association 's had no fewer than 183 stations in service fertilization.
In spite of the tremendous achievements, I could not convince me in my heart, that with the type of bees and used beekeeping system in vogue, yield per colony was actually obtained in Switzerland. The arguments products for native bees and beekeeping system reminded me of the considerations and opinions argued that here in England, there are thirty-five years ago. With great tenacity, some of our teachers said while the ancient indigenous bee was, ipso facto, be the best for our climate. It argued, not without reason, that over the millennia, natural selection would have developed and shaped with an infallible certainty a bee better suited than any other particularities of our island climate. The hard lessons of my own experience taught me how that argument would be fallacious. In beekeeping, we so easily go astray on false trails, with this difficulty by more than not realize that false theoretical viewpoints inevitably lead to a cul-de-sac. During our travels on the Continent, how often, unwittingly, has been recalled the memory of erroneous reasoning of this kind, with the consequences they entail. If bees grow poorly in the spring or in some extent, they fail at any time during the season, it is so easy - too easy, in fact - to believe with the most absolute conviction that the time is at issue or for such inexplicable reason, the flowers are not secreted, or at least not secreted as well as they should have. In America, beekeeping is overly dominated by purely commercial considerations and practices. Conversely, Central Europe, points of abstract and theoretical views tend to stifle all the practical aspects of beekeeping. Advantages and disadvantages theoretical tested rigorously the beekeeping practice, are often illusory.
Upon arrival in Austria, 13 April 1950, while the cherry trees were in bloom along Lake Constance, it was raining in torrents in the Upper Rhine Valley. On the alpine slopes, the snow fell and we spent the Arlberg very difficult, in the middle. One day in April was hot while we explore the Gaital borders of the Alps Carniolan. Again, a storm occurred on the evening he came to cool the temperature once again. Force we was to return in late August.
On in Austria distinct three varieties of bees: the brown of Central Europe, the Alpine and Carniolan. The first, Upper Austria, the latter confined to regions north of the Alps, especially in the valleys of the the Salzach and Enns, with the boundary in the south, the high chain of mountains called the Hohe Tauern and Niedere Tauern. The native habitat of the third, Carnica is immediately south of the Tauern, Carinthia and Carniola. Its main limitations are in the west, the Dolomites, south and southwest, the Alps Carniolan. They have not yet been determined with precision in other directions: north-east, east and southeast.
The examination of a number of lines of the alpine variety leaves us with the impression that in many respects it is identical to the varieties found in alpine Switzerland. As far as we have seen, all these lines Alpine are only forms of European brown bee, a few variations and modifications, due to the natural isolation of the country, mountainous nature. While some of the best breeding lines, both Switzerland and the Tyrolian have no features of special value. Nigra The aside, they look hard at the old bee indigenous to England. In fact, these lines are the only alpine representatives, very related with the rest of the original brown bee from Central Europe, which, in its pure form, with very few exceptions, should be considered as an extinct race.
In English-speaking countries, called Carnica, bee Carniolan because that most imports were from past Carniola "or Krain" a province of the former Austrian Empire, incorporated into Yugoslavia in 1919 . It may be that the Carniola is the geographic center of the native habitat Carnica but Carinthia is still certainly one of the main areas of its distribution. In addition, the high mountain barriers encompasses Carinthia may have be, as elsewhere, maintained its purity to this race since time immemorial. Valleys closely closed almost complete inaccessibility of some alpine farms, harsh climate and scarcity of flora nectariferous have helped bring the existence Carinthia same, quantity of distinct lines of Carnica. Here, the natural isolation and natural selection are not put together in harmony to develop these distinct lineages. Also Carinthia and the North-West of Yugoslavia they represent a veritable Eldorado for enterprising fans of Genetics.
De authoritative source, the Carnica is depicted as a gray black yellow Italian bees. The color and gray fly apart, the Carnica is more akin to Italian than any other race. This does Carnica true that is, without any doubt, a distinct sub species of Apis mellifera. But the range of variation between the various lines is probably greater than any other race that we knew. neglecting the morphological differences, the physiological variations of a line to another are really considerable.
One of the most remarkable of credit is its docility Carnica phenomenal. If we have the experience is certainly the most docile breed of bees. It can be handled with impunity, without any protection or sailing. Bees remain calm and, to this point of view, they behave any differently than Italian. However, during our wanderings, we came across some lines that can be described correctly as having bad character.
The next point, about the importance, is its incomparable strength, durability and power of flight characteristics that developed to an extent almost incredible, over time, a long winter, extreme cold, the climate Alpine usually severe and changeable, as far as the paucity of flora nectariferous.
For example, April 19, we visited a remote farm, about 1350 m altitude, on a barren slope. Pinching cold and the mountains all around were covered with a thick mantle of snow. The bees were Carinthia boxes typical high of about 15 cm wide by 25 long and 1 m in thick plates of 1.5 cm. To follow tradition, the teacher never wintered over eight settlements: two batteries three superimposed, and a stack of two, side by side. Apart from this protection resulting from the disposition, the thickness of the wood species and a roof against the rain, there was no other care and shelter. But where the front of each of these boxes had been opened, no smoke or anything of that kind, each colony was full of bees. Some people were a group of 3 inches thick (7.6 cm) on the front of shelves built 1'année earlier. Carnica The form small colonies in the fall, and then arranges to winter with a minimum of provisions "a feature highly desirable and valuable "in opposition to the Italian. We were told that it gets to 6 kg and not lose sight that this is not the best quality. This is especially pine honey or buckwheat if the colonies were conducted buckwheat the northeastern side of Klagenfurt. But the essential point is that the colonies Carnica develop very quickly in the spring, as soon as the Erica carnea and give wild crocus pollen. Flowering the first begins in mid-March and the second in mid-April. But at this time the weather is extremely variable, as we have we see a sudden, it can come a surge of heat, even oppressive and the next day, we are plunged in the heart of winter. In these circumstances, what should not be the potential for adaptability and endurance bees! And in those circumstances, the depopulation of the spring should result in death some colonies.
The Carnica is considered by many authorities as the producer of honey excellence. Many cases are found where it has made wonders in particular with the first crossing. In fact, it is a first half which has the reputation having beaten the world record harvest ever made on a colony.
Apparently to indicate that a good line combines all the qualities to amass the honey. However, according to our experience, major differences exist between the various lines and the best is not to be found strolling along the roads. The language of the pump Carnica exceptional depth, which, of course, is particularly important where red clover is grown extensively.
In addition, she built the department well and tends to cover the lids of honey white as snow. But these lids are rather flat, not convex, and the hexagon well marked, as in the old indigenous bee d England. The true harvest Carnica less propolis than any other European race, instead of using wax as propolis to fill the interstices of the hive. This quality is, we believe, very significant, making it nothing more distasteful handling frameworks that the excessive presence of propolis, especially the type sticky, pasty, resinous. But the whole line of Carinthia not produce the white lids and will not use a minimum of propolis.
The only problem capital of this race lies in its propensity to excessive spin. A race or lineage spinning erratically, therefore, no value for the commercial production of honey here in England, this major defect annihilating alone any other merits. Last year, we tested queens received from various breeders of the Continent. Each of these lines of trade has been found of no value to our apiaries because of this tendency to uncontrollable spin. It should be noted that until recently, this character has been deliberately spread in Carinthia and continues to be encouraged wherever the hive-body is still in use. However, it is possible to eliminate , at least to reduce it to tolerable limits by selection. The importance of bee that Carinthia, 40 or 50 years was much smaller swarms than it currently imports. Although we thought that put his hand last year, on one or two lines may correspond fully to what we seek, we will be set after our test apiaries. But according to information provided to us and that our observations seem to corroborate, there are indications that the indigenous bee of Carniola and the joining region further south and is not identical in many ways, the lines found in Carinthia. We hope to be able, under little to address this important issue.
W e did not attempt a description of the characters less immediately striking features of the Carnica. This would lead us too far. It is in many ways, a race to the mysteries still incompletely surveyed to date because of its potential damage, drowsiness, did reveal that at crossings. Carnica I consider as a bee of any great value, and form the basis of our experiences of crossing is the best line that existing 'must be found to this end.
A rrivé in Italy on September 7, we have exactly a month a week to devote to Sicily. This lack of time will force us to sacrifice the North East region neighboring Yugoslavia.
It was in this region since time immemorial, the bee and the Italian Carnica are intertwined and have in all likelihood set of intermediate lines incorporating the desirable characteristics of one or the other race way Homozygous lines between all valuable. Without a thorough investigation in this region, our mission is not fulfilled and we hope we spend when we go to Yugoslavia. (I believe that the North of Yugoslavia could be sensational surprises - Note Translator)
The worldwide popularity of Italian bees is undisputed. In fact, we believe that modern beekeeping never progressed as it did without the Italian bee. Beekeeping trade, as currently practiced in all countries with high production of honey is almost practical impossibility without it. The Italian bee is one of the gifts of nature, given to a country that has met with unprecedented generosity. It is not perfect in all respects, but nature has given it a combination of qualities and to an extent that no other race does. The Italian bee has its flaws - they are serious - that it should not reached an absolute and universal popularity. Its general characteristics are so well known that it would be pointless to name them here. But its main defects, such as we see them, can apply to be clarified. It has a tendency to an excessive use of livestock end of the honey and a few exceptions, it draws so extravagant in its provisions during the winter. It lacks the strength, endurance, longevity and power of flight manifest, in varying degrees , most other races. It derives its abundant and low endurance exposed to depopulation spring, when weather conditions hamper development of the colony early in the spring.
There are three distinct varieties of Italian bees: one with the color of leather, bright yellow variety generally provided by commercial breeders, and a type very pale lemon colored, rarely encountered. The bee is so-called golden Italian not a true Italian. It is the product of a combination of Italian and black, as was clearly demonstrated our crossbreeding experiments.
The general experimenters contends the economic superiority of the Italian leather dyed in the most attractive yellow. The first queen of Italy exported came from the Ligurian Alps, hence the name "Ligurian bee," and that is this bee fauve indigène Liguria which established the reputation of the Italian bee. The real "Ligure" is only found in the mountainous area between La Spezia and Genoa. Immediately to the west of Genoa, are mestizos. From near Imperia and San Remo, the French black bee, with his bad character distinctive Italian territory beyond.
A bright yellow habitat bounded mainly to the north, the plains of Lombardy and in the south, extended to the entire peninsula to Catanzaro. Further down, the most execrable bastard to dominate in the rest of the Calabria, heterozygotes conglomerate of "Italian yellow" and "black indigenous Sicilian." Although it has fully explored the regions north of the plains of Lombardy, judging by what we saw and from the information collected, it would be hybrids that dominate on the southern slopes of the Swiss Alps.
In the Dolomites and around Bolzano, there are marked prevalence of mixed race. As against, Lake Como and the surrounding Ticino, the 'Italian yellow "is found more commonly. But these are black bees and bastards who clearly predominate in the area further west, in the Val d'Aosta. In regions where the "Italian yellow" is indigenous, we see the tendency to increase gradually propoliser as we descend south.
We have visited the most well known breeders of Italian queens, near Bologna. They have assured us that their customers demand queens yellow. Any trader provides what the customer - by necessity - if it wishes to remain on the market. There is no doubt that these institutions provide what can be done better as a line of bright yellow type. But we have not the slightest doubt that the "fauve Ligure" that is, far, the best bee.
There are relatively few commercial beekeepers in Italy, especially beekeeping on a small scale. Agriculture is practiced too intensively to allow to keep a large number of colonies in a locality. This mountainous areas where abound thyme, sage, heather, etc.., offers the best prospects for commercial production of honey. Calabria particularly favored this view. There is, moreover, vast groves of orange and lemon along the coast, which provide a rich harvest in the first spring, before the start of mountain flora. The heath of mountains of Calabria, Mediterranean white heather give a white honey that centrifugal force can extract. It would seem that many provisions Winter juice from figs of the second crop that usually leaves rot, fruit is too small. Good source, it was reported that some colonies had stored nearly 7 kilos net last fall. In this subtropical climate, bees winter well on the juice of figs.
The bee has so far not reached a high level of efficiency, in Italy. But a movement is taking shape. The framework used is the "Dadant" or the "Langstroth. In Campania, the hills Alba Italy and in the north-west, is still used widely hive-boxes of about 25 cm square and 60 cm high.
Arrivé to Messina on September 19, we left immediately for Randazzo, on the northern slopes of Mount Etna, a region well known in beekeeping. It is not so many years, could not be found throughout the extent of the island that the native bee, Apis mellifera var. sicula, but in recent years, queens of northern Italy were imported. If the import of bees "yellow" must ultimately be beneficial to beekeeping in Sicily, is a question not yet resolved. A well-known authority of Rome expressed doubts and deep concern about this. In the area of Randazzo we found that mestizos, following information received , the same would be true for all of north-east. But coming in Randazzo, we consider particularly to contact the Cav. AGLIASINDI PA V, the most qualified apiarian of Sicily. On his advice We were leaving for the extreme south-east of Sicily, to Noto and Ragusa, where rich carob (Ceratonia siliqua). Every year, when the carob tree flowers in October is an influx of colonies that down from the hills. The carob is one of the most generous sources of nectar. During our visit, the trees were in bud and the migration of beekeepers had not yet begun so we missed a chance to inform us on the extent of variations in the characters of pure Sicilian lines. We were able, however we provide some specimens of pure Sicilian queens in the region.
The sicula has a reputation of being very similar to the bee Tunisia, without, as far as we know, the thing has been established definitively. At the time of our visit, it was very difficult to get an idea of the characters General of the sicula. It was after the long dry summer, the autumn rains had not yet started and the big honey carob either. Also all the settlements they were at the lowest point. Almost The brood was absent from the colonies that we examinâmes and in each, the provisions were almost exhausted. Our conclusion is no less than the indigenous Sicilian bee must have an extraordinary energy and exceptional durability, without which it can survive not for long periods of starvation. It has the reputation for having bad character, we could handle without any protection - at least the settlements discussed in the areas of Noto and Ragusa. As against, we fell in Sicily on Central some colonies terribly bad. We were assured that the sicula is not prone to looting, looted or not at all - which, if true, would be a very valuable trait. This is just to test our apiaries which reveal the true properties of the bee and determine its merits and as a producer of honey in this country, and its possible value for the crossing.
In many places of Sicily, is made of beekeeping primary that she must also be, as far as we know, in the remote antiquity. For this and there are managers mobile, but most colonies are housed in boxes fixed ray. They are made either of wood or, more often, giant fennel stems (Ferula thyrsifolia), hence the name of the hive: "rule". The stems are about 4 centimeters in diameter and are extremely light, as the cap they certainly insulating capacity. Constructed of wood, or fennel, crates were about 25 cm square and about 75 inches long. The two ends are closed by a board of adjustment. The space occupied by the bees may be reduced, if necessary, by pushing the board back toward the center of the hive. These cases are invariably stacked, five on each other in general, and sometimes up to twenty batteries are placed side by side, forming a huge block. A shelter opened, stones, roof tiles inclined, give the necessary protection against sun and rain. All operations are forward: the boxes are drawn and re-installed following necessity. At harvest, the bees are not destroyed but only returned to the front by means of smoke. The Hive "ferula" is typically Sicilian and, in our knowledge, this method of construction can be found nowhere else.
The nectariferous flora of Sicily is subtropical significantly. The main sources are: lemon, orange, mandarin, acacia and carob, thyme and mountain Oleandri, plus a number of sources of lesser importance.
We made in Austria, April 12, we went to visit Lindau, on the eastern shore of Lake Constance, Professor Ludwig RMBRUSTER A, one of the most eminent masters of the world, beekeeping. In its time it was Director of the Institute of Apiculture Dalhem Berlin and editor of the eminent "Archiv für Bienenkunde. Retirement of Professor A RMBRUSTER in Lindau, follows the 'no' that man of high conscience and advocate full of truth, he had opposed Hitler in 1933.
When we say "masters", we see these men, relatively few in beekeeping, which exceeds the scientists whose contributions and discoveries may have advanced the knowledge of the culture of bees in the area more or less restricted their research, had the gift to embrace the very foundations of beekeeping. These men, through their broad vision and their judgments, are able to draw a clear route through the maze of purely theoretical considerations, the prejudice, even deserts of beekeeping pseudo-science. From a purely practical beekeeping business, I consider EW A LEXANDER, of Delanson, USA and RF OLTERMAN H, Brantford, Canada, as teachers we have provided the most valuable. From a scientific and theoretical - especially in matters relating heredity and the laws of M ENDEL to the breeding of bees - they are the work of Prof.. A RMBRUSTER who have been our guide and our inspiration the most valuable.
Son "Bienenzüchtungskunde," published in 1919, was our guide in the development of our lineage. Its purpose was identical to ours: to get a line to maximum return for minimum sentence.
It states, like us, only the cross leads to the fact of combining in a single line, as far as possible, the desirable characters of different races. N'amènera nature never such a combination: we need l 'direct intervention of man. We are fully aware that such views and doctrines are absolutely against the teachings that have courses on the Continent so widespread.
Prof. T. A RMBRUSTER that we had never met, immediately offered to help in any way, and four times we went to find it last year, we left each time and holding a mass of information . Later, upon our return from Austria, he was our guide in the region around Lindau, called the Algèu. The region of southern Germany recalls in many respects the South Devon: climate, rainfall, flora . The dandelion, which turned the meadows in golden carpet at the time of our visit, there is a source of nectar often prodigious. There was a net gain of 7.5 pounds in one day, amazing performance given the extremely early the season.
On this occasion, we visited one of the commercial bee the most remarkable of Germany, the Mack Company, to Illertissen: 1000 bee colonies and intensive pastoral.
SUCCESS, colonies were transported in regions rich in fruits, dandelion, strawberry, sainfoin, clover and white heather. The pine forests, close, also provide a rich harvest of the honey more appreciated than the original flower. All hives are single wall, the nest containing ten brood frames of a size similar to that of standard English. At the end of the season, all the hives are brought into shelters and hivernées specially constructed for that purpose. The system thus combines the advantages of beekeeping outdoor active season and the winter safely in a pavilion. There was a time to Illertissen where all the European breeds and lines were tested side by side for the production of honey. Finally it is a line-up of Carnica was chosen to the exclusion of all others. The firm maintains an apiary of isolation in the Bavarian Alps, to maintain and ensure the purity of the breed. Certainly, this case the transaction is the most advanced and most successful in Central Europe. And it was a revelation to see what the entrepreneurial spirit, free from tradition and prejudice, was able to achieve in a country where the yield average colony is so incredibly low.
In many respects beekeeping in Germany remains an enigma. In the case of bee science, Germany took the first place until the last war, it is recognized by the people of science around the world. But in fact beekeeping practice, it dragged on tail behind most civilized countries - judging performance. It is around 4 kg of honey per colony harvested annually. I can not save in mind that the scarcity of flora nectariferous is only because of the poor. The indigenous bee must in some measure, be partly responsible. The brown bee in Central Europe is now threatened with extinction. The lines which, if remains are very rare. Carnica replaced bee cultivation until recently. This change has been imposed by pure economic necessity: it is a step in the right direction, but this is a first step. The culture of the bee is unfortunately mired in tradition and prejudice in Germany, and it lacks a clear vision and broad horizons. purely theoretical considerations have completely obsessed practical considerations. A look at a catalog of German equipment will immediately see a bunch of objects and scaring devices - not to mention the amount of different hives and frames of various sizes. It becomes clear that the most meritorious efforts to produce honey will be wasted in these conditions. Perfect beekeeping is not in the multiplicity of devices, but in the simplicity and the elimination whatever is not absolutely essential.
Our first task in Germany was to study in detail the breeding queens as we practice in this country. Remember that outside the German speaking countries, it is only very recently that newspapers our countries have, without exception, to address the breeding of improved breeds through control of fertilization. On the other hand, fertilization stations operated on the Continent for more than half a century. Dr. U. K RAMER began "Die Rassenzucht der schweizer Imker (Livestock breeds of Swiss beekeepers) in 1898. Professor E. Z ANDER resumed movement in Germany. Since then, scientists as eminent beekeepers of both countries have committed to this problem. No doubt that during these fifty years, information of high value have been collected. What it is hugely regrettable that this wealth of experience and lessons learned is not to reach for most beekeepers outside the German speaking countries. We considered as an integral part of our task to collect all that we have have as information. IRKLEIN Dr B, President of "Imkerbund (Beekeepers Association), we gave the signal for us to allow a visit of major research institutes: Erlangen, Frankfurt, Marburg, Celle and Freiburg.
Erlangen, the best known, was our first visit, on 16 October; Erlangen ANDER and Z are synonyms for the bee world as a whole. ANDER Professor Z is regarded as the creator of this research institute and as the founder of the movement to raise bees in Germany indigène improved. According to him, Nigra had the best characters that bee German representative could offer. Nigra The color varies from jet black to brown. ANDER Z threw his vest on Jet black. The disappointment would not be spared. Nevertheless qu'Erlangen continues to be so far one of the few bastions of "Nigra" outside Switzerland. Dr. Z has ANDER retired recently after nearly half a century devoted to the bee. The new director is Dr. FK OTTCHER B, qu'assistent Drs H and O IRSCHFELD STERHOLZER.
Ith Dr IRKLEIN B, then we went to see Dr. H. G ONTARSKI, leader of the Bee Research Institute attached to the University of Frankfurt. Well known for his work on Nosema, but also embraced a wide field of research, Dr G ONTARSKI courageously continued his studies under conditions yet insecure at the moment, the American armies took possession of the laboratories in 1945.
Puis it was the turn of Marburg. REHER Dr. D, its director, is also responsible for the central body of the Imkerbund "controlling breeding. In this respect, it has vast knowledge and experience: his views and its articles are worthy of attention. Institute student each year a large number of queens to help beekeepers to ensure a pure lineage.
A’Celle, on the outskirts of the Lüneburg Heath (Director, Dr. E. W OHLGEMUT, with Dr. J. E VENIUS assistant), all efforts converge, as in other institutes to improve the bee. For ensure absolute control and purity of line, the Institute maintains a fertilization in an island in the North Sea, facing the German coast.
Erlangen an exception is Carnica we found in the place of honor in the German research stations. The A, however, three breeds were maintained for comparative experiments: the Nigra lineage and d 'Italian in addition to the Carnica. To ensure the value of comparisons, there is an apiary specially designed for this purpose, 23 colonies of each of these races, subject to the same conditions. During the seasons 1948 and 1949 the mean, included provisions winter, gave weight percentage: ligustica: 79.9%; Nigra: 85.8%; Carnica: 146.1%. The differences are very substantial in relative terms. It is only by comparative tests of this kind, continued for several years on a considerable scale, it becomes possible to determine the real value of a race or a lineage. Indeed, such tests, and against -constant tests, breeding bees is a game-colin maillard and no progress is actually possible.
As already mentioned, the indigenous bee of Central Europe is being rapidly supplanted by Carnica. The institute Mayen (Eifel), now closed, Dr G OETZ worked on a line called indigenous " hessen. The origin of this lineage seems wrapped in darkness, some of its characters reminding us of the old native English. But even Dr. G OETZ is now in favor of Carnica. The most commercial strains known to the bee are under the following names: Peschetz, and Sklenar Troisek. All three have approximately equal favor in Germany.
Conclusion of this First Voyage
As a result of almost half a century of efforts deployed to improve the native bees, a complete change took place for the Carnica. The great work undertaken by Dr K RAMER in 1898 did was not the case lost its momentum. But the net results obtained during these years have given rise to doubts, hesitation, uncertainty. The selection system "Körsystem" set in train under the Nazi era, appears to have sounded the death knell for indigenous bee German. This system was based on the assumption that some characters outside of the bee reported infallibly what its value as a producer of honey. The selection based on a predetermined set of external characters, not taking account of comparative studies between colonies was necessarily doomed to fail. I do not think that only the "Körsystem" be responsible for the loss of indigenous strains in Germany. Based on our experience, based on twenty-six years of controlled matings, we believe that the plan from which Dr K RAMER was based on too narrow a basis and a number of erroneous assumptions.
On still commonly taught on the Continent it is important to use at no cost to the livestock, a queen whose colony would have a bumper harvest. This is because we can not rely on what these queens send this exceptional production capacity of honey to their offspring. The record harvest colonies are called "Blender" (dazzling - whose performance makes blind), a performance of this kind is not based on heredity but on fortuitous circumstances. Although a queen of a colony of this species, taken as a breeder, can lead to failure and disappointment. As against, giving the highest price to the poor performance ...
It is certainly a grain of truth in these assertions: bumper crops can be purely accidental, or may result from a crossing with no sign is visible in the external character of bees. But it is one of the axioms in livestock, when it comes to hardware homozygous, that "this creates the same." But modern genetics has shown that in the case of sexually reproducing organisms, so there is virtually no case of absolute uniformity . Some variation will occur, that we raise on poor hive or hive exceptional. And yet, by constant elimination of the exceptional performance, real progress made in breeding is impossible. To make this progression a certainty, it is of importance for the use of a quantity of queens for breeding each year for two reasons: there is no way to be certain that among a given number of queens Performance also high, we can determine in advance which would be the best breeder. Secondly, when we use a quantity of students, we are able to undergo tests compared to their offspring, and the actual outcome will determine the conclusion. Without continuous comparative tests, raising queens is a game without hope.
The truth applies equally to the practice of using a single colony by male breeding station, as recommended on the Continent. Here, even uncertainty as to what or how queen colony will the best males. If there is a mistake in this choice, the resulting damage is irreparable. Also we have three or four bee colonies in our isolation. It is necessary that the queens at the head of these colonies are sisters sisters selected, if any, between the queens of a hundred or two hundred colonies. The four queens are sisters probably never absolutely identical genetically. As a result, in the female offspring of the four lots of males, a change more pronounced and stronger selection are performed. In addition, four times more males are taking the air, fertilization more certain and faster will intervene only if it were otherwise.
The value of stations fertilization, as it leads in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, is currently being questioned by many of the most prominent of the Continent. After fifty years of efforts, a decline of lines s is produced instead of an improvement. I believe that the suggestions I made will bring the solution of certain problems that have defied these years of effort. It may seem presumptuous on my part to advance these suggestions. However, we spent the whole legacy of difficulties that the conduct of a solitary bee, and we are able to record progress, although our methods differ completely from those on the Continent.
Des mistakes were committed on the mainland, in the controlled breeding of bees. They have cost dearly. This does a wide background of practical experience and invaluable knowledge has been accumulated. The rest the world would do well to come and draw.
* * *
We were at the end of our task on 26 October. The next morning we left Baden-Baden in an intermittent snow. The temperature had dropped to near zero in winter had arrived overnight. We completed the first part our investigation without having a day too many.
Extract of The Bee World, 32(1), 1951, p 7-8
Methods of queen introduction hitherto practised result in losses which many authorities estimate at 50 %. Direct losses occur, also indirect losses due either to supersedure (often unobserved by the beekeeper) of queens which are injured, or to the toleration by the colony of a queen which, through faulty introduction, never prospers.
Queen introduction is the pivotal operation round which the Buckfast system of beekeeping revolves. The object is not only to get every queen accepted, but also to establish each one in her permanent home in full possession of all her vigour and fecundity. Previous methods have been based on the supposition that before a queen is accepted she must acquire the same odour as that of the colony to which she is introduced. No good evidence has, however, ever been produced in proof of the assumption that each colony possesses a characteristic odour of its own. There is a "hive odour" derived from the combs, propolis, honey, brood, etc., which varies in intensity and character according to the season, temperature, nature of nectar flow and other factors, but the theory of individual "colony odour" can be regarded only as a convenient and plausible hypothesis put forward to account for otherwise unexplained phenomena.
Experience at Buckfast shows that, whatever the method of introduction, the factor on which the success of the operation -depends is the behaviour of the queen, this in turn depending on her condition at the time she is liberated. The condition of the colony and the disposition of the bees is of importance only when newly mated queens are introduced before they have reached maturity. A newly mated queen is a delicate creature, nervous and easily frightened, and very susceptible to injury when caged at this stage of her development. But as she attains maturity, usually after laying for not less than four weeks, a change in her behaviour 'occurs : she becomes more sedate, less nervous, and will proceed with her normal routine when the colony is manipulated., She will not, however, reach her prime until the following year.
The system now adopted at Buckfast is to winter young queens in their mating nuclei and to transfer them to honey producing colonies at the end of March. Queens not required then are left in reserve for colonies whose queens are found to be below standard later in the season, any surplus queens beyond these requirements being given to honey-producing colonies early in October. Colonies are requeened, therefore, mainly in the spring or occasionally in the late autumn. Nevertheless, queens can be replaced at any time of the season, the essential point being that the process is always one of immediate substitution -the old queen being replaced by a fully mature queen in laying condition - rather than one of introduction, the new queen proceeding with her activities regardless of her new surroundings. All queens are clipped. The whole operation is reduced to an absolute certainty and there are no losses.
If it is essential to introduce a newly mated queen raised in the same apiary (or one which has arrived by post) to a full-sized queenright or queenless colony, the 3-comb nucleus method is recommended. First, the nucleus in which the queen has been reared (or the nucleus formed in advance for the liberation of the queen from a postal cage), and in which (in either case) the queen has been laying for at least a week, is opened and the bees exposed to the light. Next, the old queen, if one is present, is removed from the colony, and then three combs from the brood chamber. In their place are quietly inserted the three combs from the nucleus, together with the new queen surrounded by her own bees. The brood chamber must be left open to the light for 5-10 min, when the supers are replaced and the hive closed. A full description of this method is given.
Bee World, 35(10 & 12), 1954, 193-203 & 233-345
In the report published in Bee World for July and August 1951, on my journeys and findings of the previous year, I stated that the search must of necessity cover all the countries bordering the Mediterranean, which possess an indigenous bee of outstanding merit. At the end of June 1951, preliminary preparations were made for carrying out this project the next year. In a search of the kind that we are engaged in, nothing can be accomplished without the direct assistance and close co-operation of the central and local authorities in each country concerned. Therefore the more thorough the initial preparations, the mote likely the prospect of success. Eight months devoted to this part of the task proved none too much. I desire to record here my deep appreciation and gratitude to the authorities in every country I visited, for the assistance they gave me. Indeed without their wholehearted co-operation, the success achieved would never have been possible.
In a search of this kind, the timing and the sequence of the countries visited are largely dictated by the progress of the beekeeping season. As events proved, my timing was most fortunate. I left England on 19th February. My first objective was North Africa — Algeria, Morocco, Tunis, Tripoli, Cyrenaica and Egypt. But after my departure, a message was received from the Egyptian authorities requesting a postponement of the visit, in view of the current political difficulties. Furthermore, when already in Algeria, the imposition of martial law prevented the projected search eastward along the North African coast. In fact I was compelled to return by sea to Marseilles and sail from there to Israel, where I spent ten days. Haifa was reached on 9th April; Jordan was then visited, and Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus, Greece, Turkey, Yugoslavia, northern Italy, and lastly Spain and Portugal. But as the search progressed it became clear that Turkey would have to be omitted on this occasion, if the task was to be concluded within the time and means at my disposal. On reaching the Ligurian Alps, about mid-August, a further factor arose which cast some doubt about the inclusion of the Iberian Peninsula that autumn, even though the ultimate success of the work seemed to demand it. The long drawn-out effort since February made a break essential, but after a brief rest I was able to return to England on 28th September.
The indigenous honeybee of North Africa is known by a number of names. Naturalists called it Apis mellifera unicolor var. intermissa. The zoologist H. von Buttel-Reepen gave it the sub-title intermissa, for he thought it was an intermediate species between the single-coloured black bee of Madagascar and the variety lehzeni of north-west Germany and Scandinavia. Whether this supposition is correct, further research will determine. However, since 1906 this race has been known in scientific literature as intermissa.
Frank Benton of the U.S.A. visited Tunis in 1883, to ascertain the value of the bees found in this part of the world. He collected some queens and caned this new variety the "Tunisian bee", assuming no doubt that this race was confined to Tunisia. John Hewitt visited the same country subsequently and brought the North African bee to the notice of English beekeepers under the name of the "Punic bee". In North Africa it is commonly known as the "Arab bee".
The distribution of this race in its most typical form is confined to the region of North Africa bounded on the east by the Libyan Desert, on the south by the Sahara, on the west by the Atlantic, and on the north by the Mediterranean. It is therefore isolated on every side by a barrier insuperable to bees. Its native habitat is clearly not limited to Tunisia; it is also indigenous in Tripoli, Algeria and Morocco. However, its main centre of distribution is undoubtedly in the high ground known to the Arab as tell; the name "Tellian bee", first suggested by Ph. J. Baldensberger, would therefore seem to be the most appropriate.
Surprisingly enough reference books have only the scantiest details of the characteristics of the Tellian bee, and the information given is almost all disparaging. In an effort to obtain some first-hand experience of this race, I tried unsuccessfully to import a few queens direct from North Africa over thirty years ago. However, from the information collected in the extreme south of France and Sicily on the 1950 journey, I had high hopes of the Tellian for cross-breeding. My findings in its native habitat confirmed these expectations, which have since been further substantiated by observations made in our own apiaries in 1953. The biometric investigations carried out by Dr. F. Ruttner, on material supplied to him, have corroborated my view on the value of this race for cross-breeding. According to his findings the Tellian incorporates all the known external characteristics of the European races of honey bees.
When we set out at the end of February, wintry conditions prevailed almost everywhere. A more violent contrast and transformation than that which I found on stepping ashore at Algiers would be difficult to visualize. The orange blossom was well forward; several eucalyptus were in full bloom — there was in fact a riot of blossom defying description, in gardens and fields, in the woods and primitive bush, and in the hills and the desert. Swarming was in full swing and the main flow at hand.
Professor A. Sturer was at the quayside at Algiers, and also M. Paradeau, one of the most progressive and successful professional beekeepers in North Africa. I wish to convey my grateful thanks to him for his invaluable help, without which it would not have been possible to accomplish the task within the time at my disposal. His preparations during the proceeding months, together with his intimate knowledge of local conditions, enabled us to explore Algeria more thoroughly and speedily than would otherwise have been possible. We set to work within a few hours of my arrival.
A series of apiaries was visited in quick succession in every part of Algeria — in the secluded valleys amongst the snow-capped peaks of the Djurjura range, in the primitive bush still found here and there along the Mediterranean seaboard, on the sparsely populated plateau wedged between the Atlas and the Sahara, and on the very fringe of the Desert and in the Desert itself. We visited a large number of commercial apiaries; these are mainly in the fertile region between the Atlas mountains and the Mediterranean, where the almost boundless citrus groves are found. However, our main search took place in the primitive apiaries in remote parts of the country, where by force of circumstance the Tellian bee has retained its greatest uniformity and purity.
Extensive beekeeping and the use of modern equipment is mainly restricted to the French population, and the progressive commercial apiarists rely on hybrid Italians. The hives are of Langstroth or Dadant pattern. The huge citrus groves (mainly oranges) provide the principal source of nectar. Extraordinary crops are secured in a favourable season and with appropriate management. Considerable yields are obtained also from eucalyptus, rosemary, lavender, thyme and a host of secondary sources. Migratory beekeeping is widely practised by the professional apiarists.
The beekeeping carried out by the natives is of the simplest and most primitive kind imaginable. Throughout the whole of Algeria we never came across any other type of primitive hive than that made of ferula stems. Ferula thyrsiflora grows everywhere in profusion, and to gigantic stature. It furnishes the cheapest possible hive material; the mature ferula stems can be had for the gathering in the autumn, and a complete hive costs about 75 francs (about 1s. 9d.). On our journeys we often passed camels and donkeys with loads of these hives on their way to market. In spite of the very primitive mode of beekeeping, the crops secured by these Arab beekeepers probably fall not far short of those obtained in some European countries with modern equipment and by advanced methods. Apart from the possible initial cost of the ferula hives, these Arabs do not incur any expense in producing honey.
In Sicily, where ferula hives are also widely used, some protection from sun and rain is given; the hives are neatly stacked in tiers, four or five on top of each other, perhaps as many as twenty tiers side by side, the whole arrangement forming one huge block of hives. In addition, an open shed provides some protection against extremes of temperature and torrential rain. No such orderly arrangements and elementary safeguards are met in a primitive Arab apiary. Usually the ferula hives are scattered about on the ground with a wanton abandon; often they are disintegrating. Thus exposed to the elements, the bees must thrive or perish. However, they have not only to brave extremes of temperature and, torrential rain in winter; they must also defy a host of enemies such as is perhaps not found elsewhere in the world. In the course of ages, in environments of this kind, Nature has relentlessly moulded the Tellian bee as we know it today. But as so often happens, where surpassing qualities are found these are themselves the direct cause of some serious defects.
With a somewhat subtle unanimity, every work of reference I have seen gives the Tellian bee a deprecatory mention. The general appraisal and recommendation is thus summarized: "an inferior race in almost every respect, one that should never be imported into any country". However more than seventy years have passed by since Frank Benton collected his first queens in Tunisia and, as so often happens, what was at one time discarded as of little value is — with increased knowledge — later deemed to be of supreme importance. Admittedly the Tellian bee is of no value to the amateur beekeeper. But there seems little doubt that it is one of the most valuable races for crossbreeding. Its intrinsic usefulness for this purpose will be largely determined by the care exercised in selecting the breeding stock and — equally important — in the care brought to bear on the crossing, in order to bring out the best qualities of the race.
The pure Tellian bee is black — jet black — and if anything more so than the "Nigra" of Swiss origin; its blackness is accentuated by the scanty tomenta and over-hair. It is perhaps slightly larger than its nearest cousin, Apis mellifera var. sicula. The queens are more uniform in colour than those of any European race. They are jet-black, long and slender and very pointed — quite unlike the plump Italian or ponderous Carniolan queens in shape. Both queens and bees are quick in movement and liable to extreme nervousness when manipulated. Indeed, when a hive is opened, the bees are disposed to "boil over" and "mill around" inside the brood chamber in a most alarming manner. But if left a few minutes and given a chance to calm down, they will thereafter submit to manipulation as readily as any of the common bees of northern Europe. They can be bad tempered, but not more so than the black bees of southern France which used to be imported in such large numbers into this country. Though we came across some extremely bad-tempered Tellians on our search, we discovered at the same time a few strains which could be handled with the greatest impunity. In my estimation the most serious defects of the Tellians are: (1) extreme swarming tendency, (2) a highly developed susceptibility to brood diseases, (3) a lavish use of propolis, (4) watery cappings. Against these defects must be set unparalleled stamina, fertility and foraging power.
The extreme addiction to swarming of the Tellian is doubtless a direct effect of its amazing stamina and fertility. The pronounced innate susceptibility to brood diseases is a defect of nearly every variety of the common European dark bee, particularly the French ones. This defect is however even more marked in the Tellian than in the French bee. There are in fact a great many close similarities between these two races — for instance the lavish use of propolis. In every characteristic (except cappings) a close relationship can be traced, but the qualities are more pronounced in the Tellian.
The fecundity of the Tellian is remarkable. But extreme fertility is of no avail unless it is coupled with a high degree of stamina, and it is in this very quality that the Tellian surpasses every other race. Moreover stamina is the source of a whole series of desirable traits, longevity, hardiness, wing-power, etc. Observations made in 1953 lead me to believe that the Tellian is the longest-lived bee. I also noted that it is active at temperatures at which no other honeybees would dare to venture forth, not even Carniolans.
As already indicated, the Tellian has not only to brave extremes of climatic conditions in its native habitat, but it must also withstand the ravages of innumerable enemies. The huge jet-black pollen beetle, Cetonia opaca, unknown in northern Europe, is an ever-present menace, and will, if it can find its way into a hive, wreak sad havoc among the combs. The bees seem fairly helpless in face of this creature. They are equally defenceless against the voracious blue-cheeked bee-eater, Merops superciliosus — one of the most lovely birds in creation, but a deadly enemy of the honeybee. This bird thrives on bees, though it will occasionally include a wasp or two in its diet. The loss of bees is all the greater because Merop superciliosus does not live singly, but in flocks of up to a hundred birds. It is estimated that a flock of this size will dispose of a pound of bees in a day. The bee-eater is a seasonal menace, for it migrates in September to the Cape of Good Hope and re-appears in March. The Oriental hornet is represented in full force in North Africa; the blind ant (Dorylus fulvas) must however be regarded as the most treacherous enemy. This insect will make its way into a hive unnoticed by gnawing a hole through the bottom board, and before the beekeeper is aware that something is amiss, the colony has perished and the invader has made good his escape. Lizards and toads are constantly around the hives. When lifting the roof off a hive, it is not uncommon to find a batch of lizards scampering away. Wax moths are a serious problem in every subtropical country; a colony which is not resistant, and which cannot maintain its strength through the summer months, has little chance of escaping destruction from their ravages.
It is often claimed that the production of parthenogenetic or impaternate females is a common phenomena in Tellian colonies. I have not so far found any evidence to support this view.
Our search in Algeria would not have been complete without exploring some of the oases in the Sahara, and we should have missed one of the best opportunities found in Nature to study the effects of many centuries of inbreeding on the honeybee. Moreover, there was every likelihood that, in the complete isolation and added rigours of an oasis, a strain of the type required for crossbreeding would be found. Though our time was drawing to a close, we nevertheless decided to visit Laghouat, Ghardaia, Bou-Saada and perhaps some less well-known oases en route if at all possible.
Since my arrival in North Africa I had seen much of the wonderful flora of Algeria: pinky white drifts of asphodel; wide expanses carpeted in bright orange by the native marigold, Calendula algeriensis: Oxalis corniculata rubra and variabilis in great masses; giant dumps of the glistening white Erica arborea; and thymes in mauve, blue and purple. Perhaps the sections of primitive bush along the Mediterranean seaboard contain the most fascinating collection of wild flowers and shrubs within any given space. The most important nectar-bearing sources of this sub-tropical jungle are rosemary and lavender, Lavendula stacchas, which thrive here in a profusion hardly seen elsewhere. But on our way south into the Sahara we found a totally different kind of wild flora: the desert in bloom, in its full but ephemeral springtime glory — a dense carpet of desert flowers, stretching to the horizon in every direction. The air was heavily laden with the sweet scent of honey, and the traffic of insects gave the impression of al large number of swarms crossing to and fro overhead. But there were no honeybees amongst this busy throng. In these desolate regions they could not survive after the brief, brilliant spell of spring.
At Laghouat we found about fifty colonies of bees, owned by three beekeepers: one a Christian, another a Jew and the third a Mohammedan. At the apiary owned by the Christian, the bees were in modern hives and kept with a meticulous and finicky solicitude characteristic of an amateur. At the apiary belonging to the Hebrew, we found a conglomeration of different hives, as well as boxes of every size and shape suspended upside-down amongst the branches of tangerine trees; these contained newly hived swarms. Dead virgin queens could he picked up by the dozen under these boxes. The third beekeeper, a retired Arab officer of the French colonial forces, graciously allowed us to view the seclusion of his bee garden, but not until the customary formalities had been duly observed. His apiary consisted of ferula hives, of traditional shape and size, except that for some reason they were encased in a heavy coating of clay. The old Arab proudly pointed to one hive, hidden in a mountain of alfa grass, which furnished no less than seven swarms the previous year. At the end of the swarming season no more than two or three hundred bees were left. Yet this miniature colony survived and filled the hive with new comb, brood and honey - ready to respond again to the impulse of colonization. Inbreeding — perhaps since time immemorial — had in this instance no harmful effect on viability of the brood and on the stamina of the bees. Indeed, it was at Laghouat that we found the most powerful stocks of pure Tellians, covering twenty combs of Dadant size in March. The bees at this oasis were remarkably good-tempered, notwithstanding the fact that at the time of our visit a fierce sandstorm was raging.
Owing to the violence of the storm there was no possible chance of penetrating deeper into the Sahara. We had to retrace our steps, and even the journey north, to Bou-Saada, proved a perilous venture. The extreme heat, accompanied by a following sirocco, further accentuated by the difficulties of the desert track part of the way, proved almost our undoing, as there was no water within miles to replenish losses from the car radiator. Though I endured extremes of heat and hazards of one kind or another during the subsequent months, the ordeal of the trip from Laghouat to Bou-Saada was never equalled. We reached Algiers on 30th March, and next morning we left for Marseilles, to re-embark on 2nd April for Israel.
I have refrained from a more detailed description of the less obvious characteristics of the Tellian bee, for my investigations are not yet concluded. However, all the findings I have made up to now indicate that the Tellian is a primary race, and that the numerous varieties of brown or black bees — at least those of western Europe — have in the course of time evolved from the Tellian. I have not yet had an opportunity to explore the Iberian Peninsula, but the strains I found in the extreme south of France are in every characteristic only a few degrees removed from the prototype. The close affinity is obvious. The pattern of evolution, north and north-eastwards from the Pyrenees, can be readily traced, and the differences are only of intensity and degree. The studies of Dr. F. Ruttner, on material supplied to him from North Africa, confirm my tentative conclusions.
Last-minute difficulties debarred me from including Morocco in my search in 1952. I was also reluctantly compelled to omit the extreme south-western fringe of Algeria, the habitat of the Saharan bee.
After a rather unpleasant seven days at sea, Palestine — the land flowing with milk and honey — was reached on 8th April. I spent the night on Mount Carmel, and on the journey to Tel Aviv next morning, the Holy Land revealed itself in all its springtime glory. I was told that the extraordinary profusion of wild flowers, which I saw, had not been known for nearly half a century; it was due to an exceptionally heavy rainfall the previous winter.
The route to Tel Aviv took me through the most fertile part of Israel, through the Plain of Saron extending southward from Mount Carmel. A belt of orange groves, about twenty miles wide, stretches all the way to Jaffa and beyond. The groves were in full bloom, and the heavy fragrance of orange blossom pervaded the countryside. I was told that the nectar flow had almost reached its greatest intensity, and that beekeepers were already busy extracting.
At the Ministry of Agriculture in Tel Aviv I was introduced to Mr. D. Ardi, Apicultural Adviser to the Government. Plans were quickly drawn up for the search throughout Israel, and it was arranged that Mr. D. Ardi should act as my guide. I wish to record here my grateful appreciation to him, for his help and hospitality.
The dynamic drive of this newly formed State was in evidence everywhere. Economic problems are being solved in the most direct and effective way possible. Perhaps the most notable example is the action taken by the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture to supply the highest quality breeding stock to beekeepers throughout the country. The breeding stock is raised at Government-owned mating stations, the most important being at Hefzebah, near the site of ancient Caesarea. By law no other bees may be kept within three miles of this mating station. Breeding stock of a specially selected strain of Italians is sent out from Hefzebah; this strain was exhaustively tested over a period of years in the climatic conditions of Israel, side by side with many strains from various sources, before it was generally adopted. By this course of action the Israeli Government is assisting the craft in the most effective way possible.
It is occasionally claimed that Israel possesses its own indigenous race of bees, but more comprehensive enquiries showed that there is no clear-cut difference between the bees found in Lebanon, Syria and Palestine. The slight variations do not warrant a special classification. Geographically Israel is part of Syria, and there are no natural barriers, which would prevent an intermingling if there had been more than one indigenous race.
The Syrian bee, Apis mellifera var. syriaca, closely resembles the Cyprian; the two races are however quite distinct, although closely related. The Syrian bee is smaller, and it shows every defect of the Cyprian in an intensified form — particularly temper. In my estimation the temper of the Syrian deprives this race of any practical value it might otherwise possess, although — unlike some European races — it will not attack unless interfered with. Primitive beekeeping is therefore well able to get along with this bee, for beyond the annual taking of the honey at the end of the season (when colony strength is at its minimum) no interference is called for. But the manipulations demanded by modern beekeeping do not seem feasible with Syrian colonies. Even miniature colonies covering only a few combs will not tolerate disturbance, as I found by experience. Moreover a swarm of angry bees will pursue and attack any living creature within reach. This habit of attacking en masse at great distances from the hive is a very dangerous trait. Tellians, Cyprians and some French strains also show it, but to a much smaller degree.
The pure Syrian is an elegant bee. The abdomen is very pointed, and the first three dorsal segments are a clear lemon-yellow. Tomenta and over-hair have a silvery sheen, and the scutellum is bright yellow.
The fecundity of Syrian queens is prodigious — too much so. The bees are good foragers and have great stamina. They are however given to excessive swarming, and when the swarming impulse has taken hold of a colony, it will construct an enormous number of queen cells, often hundreds of them. One of the Syrian's most noted good qualities is its intrepid defence of its home.
The true Syrian is distinct in appearance and biological characteristics from all other races. It is however no longer easy to find colonies of the pure Syrian. In Israel itself they can perhaps only be found in Upper Galilee, in the region between Lake Hula and Metulla. In the Jordan sector they are more common. But in northern Lebanon and Syria the influence of the Anatolian bee can be clearly discerned. In fact there is considerable variation even in colonies immediately north of Beirut. Hybrids predominate everywhere in Israel, for strenuous efforts are being made to supplant the indigenous bee.
There are a few Israeli beekeepers who regard the introduction of Italians as a serious mistake. The well-worn arguments in support of the indigenous bee are brought forward in Israel, as in many other countries. We visited one of the adherents of the Syrian bee, and were given a demonstration of their docility. I left unconvinced. In my estimation the Syrian bee has not one redeeming quality which would atone for its irascibility. Though I was often assured that really docile strains do exist, I never came across any on my search. On entering an apiary where Syrian bees were kept in modern hives, one was instantly confronted by a horde of angry, hissing bees, and a throng of them would pursue one for a considerable distance after leaving the apiary. This extreme viciousness is sometimes regarded as eminently desirable: one of the most able Arab beekeepers assured me that he only got a honey crop because the temper of his bees prevented unwarranted persons interfering with his hives.
In 1952 Israel possessed about 33000 colonies of bees, and efforts are in progress to double this number within a few years. The required material is being imported from America. Langstroth equipment is used exclusively, and to ensure economy and simplification in management, full-depth brood chambers have to serve as supers. Primitive hives are only found in isolated Arab villages.
Commercial beekeeping is mainly confined to the communal co-operative settlements or kibbutzim. Some of the kibbutz operate up to a thousand colonies. Emphasis is placed on intensive rather than extensive beekeeping; the scarcity of timber, the high cost of imported hives and general economic conditions preclude any haphazard keeping of bees. The main honey crop is from the orange blossom, which yields 20-30 kg per colony. At the end of April or early in May the hives are taken from the orange groves in the coastal plain to the hills and mountains of Galilee, to gather the second crop from the wild flowers, the most important being acacia, cactus, lavender, wild carrot, sage, thyme and a great variety of thistles. The second crop averages a further 20-30 kg per colony. Commercial beekeeping undoubtedly has a promising future in Palestine.
As one would expect, the honey crop in the Levantine countries depends largely on the rainfall during the brief winter months. This is true for the orange blossom, and even more so for the crop from the wild flowers. Yet hopes raised by an abundance of rain may in the end be dashed to the ground by the dreaded khamseen at blossoming time. This happened in 1952. All the Middle East countries had an exceptionally heavy rainfall the previous winter, and the orange groves were laden with an exceptional abundance of blossom. But as nectar secretion reached its maximum intensity, the hot khamseen from the desert shrivelled the blossom in a few hours. Instead of a record crop, only 6 kg per hive was secured — the lowest average for ten years. However, the wild flowers on the hills and mountains were unaffected, and an exceptional crop was secured from them.
From mid-July until November, when the rainy season starts, there is no nectar or pollen; during this period the colonies must also fight for survival against hornets and wax moths. This fight is a grim one: the colonies are first weakened by the hornets, and the wax moths give the coup de grâce. In spite of every effort by the beekeepers to combat the hornets, by poison baits and the destruction of nests, the annual loss of colonies is about 10 per cent — in some seasons even 30 per cent. Some beekeepers have been compelled to move entire apiaries to areas less heavily infested with hornets.
The rain and cold in November bring to an end the fierce struggle between the honeybee and its enemies and, with the beginning of the rainy season, a new lease of life sets in for the bee. In the maritime regions the carob (Ceratonia siliqua) and the loquat (Eriobothrya japonica) yield abundant nectar and pollen when the weather is favourable. In the higher regions severe though brief wintry conditions are not uncommon; winter however offers no serious problem to the beekeeper.
I had heard so much in years gone by of the Syrian bee through the kindness of Fr. Maurus Massé who, during his sojourn at our Monastery at Abon-Gosch, tried to make the best of this race. He had little success, and small reward for his efforts, and I am now no longer surprised at his failure.
On 19th April I crossed over to Jordan, to our Monastery of St. Benoît on Mount Olivet. This is south-west of Jerusalem, and gave a perfect view of the Old City and the Temple Area. Until quite recently Syrian bees were kept at the Monastery, in modern hives, but with no great success.
The Arabs have great faith in their native bee. Over and over again I was assured that there were two distinct varieties of indigenous bees, one of which builds combs in the shape of the moon, and the other in the form of a furrow. It was further claimed that the former was of good temper, but short lived and a poor forager. The second kind was of vile temper, but long lived and a great honey gatherer. Unfortunately this ready differentiation will not bear close scrutiny. Expressed without the Oriental simile, a cast hived in an Israeli clay cylinder will build comb parallel to the entrance, and therefore in the shape of a more or less perfect circle. On the other hand, a prime swarm will at once occupy the greater part of the cylinder and build comb at right-angles to the entrance — or cold-way in the more prosaic language of the European. A cast has little chance of escaping the ravages of hornet and wax moth, and is therefore in the eyes of the uninitiated short-lived and not very valuable as a honey gatherer. This notion of there being two distinct varieties of bees, of one and the same indigenous race, is surprisingly widespread in the Middle East. The same view, based on the same differentiation, is held in Cyprus.
Considerable efforts have been made in recent years to introduce the modern hive into Jordan. But without introducing a more manageable bee at the same time, these well meant endeavours seem doomed to failure. There is nothing to be gained by putting Syrian bees into a modern hive and then — because of their unmanageability — leaving them to their own devices. They might as well be hived in a clay cylinder. The net return in surplus honey would show no material difference, but there would be a substantial difference in the cost of production between the modern and primitive way of keeping bees. In a country without timber, a sustained effort to introduce a bee more suitable to modern methods of management will probably never be made, the cost of a frame hive will never be justified. The sun-baked clay cylinders cost next to nothing and, if large enough, they offer a satisfactory home for the Syrian bee.
My enquiries in Jordan took me to a great many primitive apiaries, but I came across none containing many colonies; there were a dozen at most, but more often only two to four. The clay hives are substantially constructed and of no mean capacity, and thus well suited to the extremes of temperature and the ability of the native bee. They are 26 inches long and 12 inches in diameter internally. The walls are a full 2 inches thick. Less common are the hives of stoneware, made in the shape of an Oriental water jar of about two gallons capacity. The narrow neck forms the entrance. The jars rest on their sides, and the opening for removing the honey is at the back which is fitted with a detachable disc. These stoneware hives have the advantage of great durability, and also provide an almost complete safeguard against the many troublesome pests. But hives of stoneware require shelter from the direct rays of the sun, whereas the clay cylinders do not. These stoneware hives seem to be confined to Jordan and Lebanon: at least I did not see them anywhere else.
On 7th May I left Jerusalem for Syria and Lebanon, via Jéricho and Amman. As I approached Jéricho, the wheat harvest was already in full swing. The season was advancing rapidly. The lilies of the fields had gone until the next return of spring, and the landscape was brown and seared. But on leaving Israel I was again confronted with some of the loveliest scenery imaginable, in the verdant valley of the Wadi Salt, along which the road winds its way to Amman after leaving the Plain of Jéricho. This narrow valley, set amidst the desolate hills of ancient Moab, with its profusion of wild flowers, its masses of oleander in full bloom, and the vivid scarlet waxy blossom of the pomegranate everywhere, combined to form a picture of unforgettable loveliness. In this beautiful setting, the Jordan Department of Agriculture recently established an experimental apiary, between Suweile and Ensalt.
When I arrived in Amman I paid the expected call at the Department of Agriculture, and then set out on the hazardous trek across the desert to Damascus.
BW 35(12), 1954, 233-245.
Syria and Lebanon
By the time I entered Syria I had gathered quite a valuable collection of samples for the Bee Department at Rothamsted of value for biometric studies, but for no other purpose. However the Syrian Customs thought otherwise. The many cases full of glass tubes, each with its preservative, label and number, seemed to them too valuable to pass without payment of a heavy deposit. And I was on the way to Damascus, where they held that such things could be sold. After two hours’ delay, spent in the insufferable heat of the Arabian Desert, I was allowed to proceed (having paid substantially for the trouble I had caused), with every case securely fastened with a lead seal. This was but the beginning of the difficulties these samples involved, until more enlightened Customs were reached months later.
Among the marvellous vegetation of Lebanon must be counted many wild clovers. I had already seen many varieties new to me when in Galilee, but they grow in much greater profusion in Lebanon. Indeed I was told in Beirut that no record of all the species had yet been made; it is thought that there may be 150 or more. My attention was attracted particularly to two miniature species, one white and one red. Neither grows more than three inches high, but the profusion of blossom is amazing; the clover-heads form dense carpets of white or purple. When I first crossed the highest part of the Lebanon mountains coming from Damascus, huge patches of purple caught my eye, which proved to be the miniature red clover in full bloom; its value as a source of nectar was instantly apparent, for it was alive with bees. Indeed I had never before witnessed so many honeybees foraging with such intensity in a specified area. Moreover they must have come from a great distance, for on this otherwise bare and bleak mountain plateau no hives could be seen for miles. The miniature white clover is just as valuable as a nectar source. Both species thrive at sea level and at higher altitudes, but the tiny red clover seems to do best at about 3000 feet, and on the poor soil found on the Lebanon mountains. The white species (but not the red) I observed in Cyprus at the higher altitude of Troodos.
The flora of Lebanon is more luxuriant, and if anything more varied, than that of Israel. The mountainous country ensures a heavier rainfall, and the high humidity and the oppressive steamy heat impart to the low-lying maritime regions a genuine tropical character throughout the summer. The belt of citrus groves, banana and loquat plantations along the seashore furnish one of the main sources of nectar, but the extremely varied nectar-yielding flora of hill and mountainside provide a honey harvest no less rich. Indeed I believe that Lebanon has at its command one of the richest and most varied bee flora in the world.
The potentialities of beekeeping in Lebanon are reflected in the size of the primitive hives. Tradition and experience over the centuries have doubtless demonstrated the advantages of a hive which will hold a honey yield much above the average secured in other countries. The Lebanese hives are tubular, and measure a full 4 ft. in length and 11 in. in diameter. They are not made of timber, clay or stoneware, or of ferula stems, as in the other countries I had visited, but of wicker with a thin finishing coat of clay. Stiff wooden members are woven into the wickerwork lengthwise, to give the tubular construction the necessary stability and rigidity. These wicker hives cannot be stood directly on the ground (particularly in a humid climate); they are placed individually on shelves, a series of shelves being built one above the other, in an open shed with some sort of roof. At Baalbeck — renowned for its honey, as well as for its unique temple ruins — I saw the most capacious primitive hives of all; they were made of wood, and were no less than 5 ft. in length and 1 ft. in height and width internally.
Modern hives (Langstroth and Dadant) are in fairly common use throughout Lebanon. The Government is doing everything possible to encourage a still wider adoption of modern equipment and advanced methods of bee culture.
The native bee leaves much to be desired. Though it is not quite so irascible as the bee found in Israel, it resents interference. There is a marked difference in colour, size, temper and general behaviour of the Syrian bee north of Beirut. There have been some imports, but I am inclined to ascribe these variations to the influence of the Anatolian bee. Something useful might perhaps be evolved from this heterogeneous collection by selective breeding, but it is questionable whether the labour entailed would be justified. A good reliable strain of ligustica, and a distribution of breeding stock on the lines carried out in the adjoining country to the south, would seem to be the right solution. Such a course would yield quick and reliable results, with a minimum of expenditure.
Lebanon is a land of incomparable scenery, and it would be hard to find another of equal size with such a varied climate and such a rich flora. It is a country where bee culture should flourish as nowhere else in the Middle East.
I owe a great debt of gratitude to Sir Henry and Lady Knight, for the help they gave me in so many ways during my stay in Lebanon. I extend to them my grateful appreciation and thanks.
It was with keen expectations that I visited Cyprus. More than thirty-three years had passed since the first consignment of Cyprian queens reached Buckfast, and a number were imported later. I was therefore fairly well versed in the idiosyncrasies of this race (Apis mellifera var. cypria), but there were several important problems which could only be solved by studying it in its native habitat. Moreover there was good cause to suspect that a thorough search would reveal isolated strains of a more benign disposition than any we had so far possessed.
Cyprus was reached on May 17th. Representatives of the Department of Agriculture kindly offered me every assistance when I disembarked at Limassol. However, nothing useful could be done that day, for I had hardly arrived before it began to rain, and it rained with a tropical intensity. This downpour was not only unseasonable but also most inopportune, as the corn was still being harvested. It was however a welcome change to me after the steamy heat of Beirut.
I returned to Nicosia on the following Monday to call on the Department of Agriculture. Immediately on my arrival, the Department kindly gave me a list of all the important apiaries in the Island, complete with the number of colonies in each and the type of hive. After a brief consultation, Mr. Osman Nouri drew up an itinerary and issued instructions to the District Officers concerned. The first week was taken up by exploring the northern and central sections, and the search was then extended to the districts of Famagusta, Larnaca, Limassol, Paphos and Lefka. On June 4th I left for Greece from Larnaca. Thanks to the efficient arrangements and the willing co-operation of the various District Officers, I was able to carry out the search not only expeditiously but very thoroughly, and Mr. S.A.L. Thompson also made a substantial contribution to the success of my efforts.
The nectar-yielding flora of Cyprus is fairly varied, but it cannot be compared with that of Lebanon. Moisture is lacking, and there are no permanent rivers. The central Plain — the Messaoria — offers only a bare subsistence to bees for most of the year; it is barren and seared from the end of May until the rains return. The hills and valleys, and the two mountain ranges which extend in parallel lines from east to west of the Plain, offer a much richer provender. The highest peak of the Troodos range to the south reaches 6406 feet; the Kyrenia range to the north is lower.
The main honey crop is derived from fruit blossom, citrus, thistles and the wild thyme. Owing to the lack of moisture, the clover is useless to the bees, and it is probably for the same reason that the carob (Ceratonia siliqua) which is much prized as a nectar source in Sicily, does not yield freely here. This is most unfortunate, for Cyprus is famed for its carob trees; there are about two million of them and, unlike most trees, they seem to thrive everywhere. There are many secondary sources of nectar, from the commencement of the winter rains until the seasonal drought. Bees can collect enough to meet their needs throughout the winter — from the loquat, Acacia and Eucalyptus which yield in December, then from the various species of dandelion, bean and Anchusa, and towards spring from Oxalis, rosemary, sage, etc.
The extensive citrus groves are centred near Famagusta, Limassol and Lefka. The wild thyme, Thymus capitatus, the same species from which the famous Hymettus honey is derived, thrives only on bare and parched hillsides, where nothing of much value could subsist. The many species of thistle are mainly found in the more arid sections of the country. Some of them are lovely; the most beautiful of all, found everywhere by the roadside at the end of May, is clothed in a heavenly blue — the slender stem, leaves and all.
Nature has not been particularly indulgent to the honeybee in Cyprus. Except among the orange groves there are no heavy nectar flows. The native bee, by dint of effort, is able to make a living during the greater part of the year, but the amount of surplus gathered is small.
There are about 22 000 colonies of bees in Cyprus, less than 2000 of them in modern hives. Efforts are in progress to further modern methods of bee culture, and regular courses are given on advanced beekeeping at the Central Experimental Farm at Morphou. There is a small plant for manufacturing comb foundation at this Farm — the only source of it in the Island. Apiaries with modern equipment are largely owned by the great fruit-growing concerns. The beekeeping and queen-rearing establishment belonging to Mr. S.A.L. Thompson, at Jingen Bahchesi, Kyrenia, is probably the most progressive of its kind.
The primitive hives in Cyprus are of either burnt or sun-baked clay; they are tubular, about 30×10 inches internally. Apiaries containing 100–150 colonies are quite common; the clay tubes are stacked and joined into one solid block, like the individual bricks in a wall. They are usually tiered four or five high, and a large collection of them often resembles a long boundary wall; the roofing tiles which are usually placed on top help to complete the illusion. Small apiaries are uncommon in Cyprus. In some villages, for instance Paphos, one may occasionally find hives built into the walls of houses, the hives opening on the inside into a bedroom or living room. Though Ferula thyrsifolia thrives in Cyprus, it is not used for hives: the more durable clay is preferred.
It is not known when or whence the first colony of bees was brought to Cyprus. The possibility of a vagrant swarm flying from the mainland must be excluded, since Asia Minor is 40 and Syria 60 miles away. There is some evidence indicating a descent from Egyptian stock; Cyprus was first occupied by the Egyptians in 1450 B.C., and it is known that about 850 years later there were bees on the Island, because Herodotus refers to a swarm which had taken possession of a skull suspended before the temple of Aphrodite. The attention of modern apiculture was first drawn to the Cyprian bee in 1866.
The Cyprian bee is midway in size between the Italian and Syrian. The colour of the first three dorsal segments is a clear bright orange; the fourth and fifth segments are also orange, but only near the ventral plates. Each of the first three dorsal segments has a sharply defined black rim, which is narrowest on the first and widest on the third segment. The colour of the three posterior dorsal segments is a decided black, which tends to enhance the orange of the first three segments. The ventral plates (except the posterior two) are usually a transparent orange without any trace of a darker coloration: this is one of the most characteristic markings of the Cyprian. The scutellum is pale orange, and the over-hair and tomenta are buff.
The queens are considerably smaller than any of European origin. Their colour and markings are much more constant, and the markings so definite, that a Cyprian queen can readily be identified. The abdomen is pale orange, but each dorsal segment bears a narrow, sharply defined crescent-shaped black rim. A somewhat similar marking is occasionally observed in a common hybrid queen, but the bands are then wider and not so sharply defined. Although they are small, Cyprian queens are exceedingly prolific. Their fecundity only reaches its maximum, however, when they are crossed with another race.
Contrary to expectations, pure Cyprians are not addicted to swarming. This would be fatal in their native home. Under the swarming impulse they usually construct a great number of queen cells — often several hundred — and they tend to build them in clusters resembling a miniature bunch of grapes. The breeding power of this race is truly prodigious, and more honey is devoted to brood rearing than pleases the beekeeper, but this must be regarded as a device of Nature to ensure the survival of individual colonies in their native habitat. Cyprians are hardy, long-lived and endowed with great foraging abilities. Their cappings of honey are dark and watery in appearance. They construct little or no brace-comb; they are disposed to use propolis freely, but fortunately not usually the sticky resinous kind, but a compound of propolis, cappings, etc., which does not readily adhere to one’s fingers. Lumps of this mixture are often deposited along the entrance in the autumn. Cyprians pass through the winter more safely than any other race, even in our northern climate (although their native home is in the sub-tropics); this is one of their outstanding characteristics. I have never known a Cyprian colony, pure or first cross, fail to come through the winter.
Perhaps nothing has made the Cyprian bee more unpopular than its irritability. Most strains strongly resent any interference, and this irascibility is just as pronounced in its native habitat. Records of the first imports into Europe, however, laid stress on its remarkable docility, and I found that there are still such good-tempered strains in the Island.
Although the Cyprian is probably the most homozygous race known, my enquiry has revealed a measure of variation. There are many deep valleys where individual isolation is as complete as that of the Island itself. These isolated pockets hold the material for the further improvement of the Cyprian race; it should be possible by suitable selection to develop strains as gentle and as tolerant of manipulation as any Italian.
The absolute isolation and the harsh environment of the Island have together given us a priceless asset, and to the enterprising geneticist Cyprus is a veritable Treasure Island. However the thousands of years of inbreeding between relatively few colonies have in a measure masked the potentialities of the race, and experience leads me to believe that the pent-up qualities of the Cyprian will only unfold to the full in cross-breeding. But I must emphasize that although they are of incomparable value in developing new strains, pure Cyprians are useless to the average beekeeper.
Beekeeping in Cyprus is favoured by one unique blessing — the complete absence of disease. To maintain this good fortune, and to ensure the continued purity of the Cyprian race, imports of queens and bees are strictly prohibited.
I wish to express my grateful thanks to the Director of the Department of Agriculture, Mr. P.C. Chambers, for his invaluable help, and to the various District Officers for their co-operation. I should like also to record my gratitude to the late Mr. Osman Nouri, who made the necessary arrangements for the search in Cyprus; unfortunately he died suddenly shortly after my departure. I further wish to thank Mr. S.A.L. Thompson for the help he rendered in so many ways; I shall always recall with pleasure the brief visits to the mountain chalet above Kyrenia, and the view of Cilicia and the snow-capped peaks of the Taurus in the far distance.
After two days at sea, we sighted Cape Sunium about noon on June 6th. Athens was reached in the late afternoon, and what proved to be the most exacting and strenuous three weeks of my search lay immediately ahead.
Beyond the bare information that there are more colonies relative to the population (about one for every ten inhabitants) in Greece than in any other country, little was known of beekeeping conditions in this extreme section of south-eastern Europe. But the large number of colonies indicated a certain measure of apicultural prosperity, although not necessarily a substantial surplus yield per colony, which would presuppose amongst other things an indigenous bee of outstanding abilities. I was not left in doubt on this point for long.
The day after my arrival found us exploring Attica, as far south as Cape Sunium, with Dr. A. Typaldos-Xydias and Mr. C. Michaelides. Dr. Xydias, who met me the day before at the Piraeus, has been for many years Technical Advisor to the Ministry of Agriculture and may be regarded as the father of modern apiculture in Greece; indeed I realized daily during the next few weeks that Dr. Xydias is known and revered by every Greek beekeeper.
Our journeys took us twice to the Peloponnesus, and then on the last visit from Patras to Missolonghi, Arta, Janina, Konitse; thereafter to Metsovon in the heart of the Pindus range, and on to Kalambaka, Grevena, Kozania, Veria, Edessa, Salonica and the section of country north-east of that city. The trip to Crete I made alone, as the Agricultural Officials of the Island furnished all the assistance required. Arrangements were already made for a visit to a few of the islands in the Aegean Sea, to which both Dr. Xydias and I attached great importance, since it is here — as in Cyprus — that the most valuable breeding stock is likely to be found. Unfortunately, in the end I had no time for this visit.
The ancient Athenians, we are told, were constantly praising four things: their honey, their figs, their myrtle berries, and the Propylaea. The honey the Athenians were so proud of was gathered on Mount Hymettus, immediately east of the city. It is derived from the mountain thyme, Thymus capitatus and is highly aromatic, with a heavy body and a light amber colour: a most delicious honey indeed, but not one which will always appeal to a palate used to the evanescent flavours of our paler northern honeys. Wild thyme is not confined to Mount Hymettus: it is common throughout southern Greece, the Peloponnesus and Crete, where it is the principal nectar source. In these regions it thrives on any bare, rocky and otherwise barren hillside, where nothing else can subsist for lack of moisture. At the lime of my arrival it had just commenced to bloom, and at some of the apiaries I visited the air was laden with the rich scent of the newly gathered nectar. However, I was told that it was not secreting heavily for lack of the necessary atmospheric humidity.
Groves of orange and lemon abound in the maritime regions of southern Greece but, except near Arta, none are as large as those in the Middle East and North Africa. Other varieties of fruit of value to the bees are confined to the northern part of the country; there are extensive plantations between Veria and Naoussa. It is indeed in the north of Greece that the heaviest crops of honey are secured. The main sources are clover, sweet chestnut, wild sage, mountain savory and honeydew. Crete has an extremely abundant and varied nectar-bearing flora, with many species of Erica; these seemed to be absent in the Levant.
Greece possesses approximately 700 000 colonies of bees, and I was greatly impressed by the high standard of efficiency of its bee culture the modern (with Langstroth hives) as well as the primitive. In northern Europe beekeeping is usually regarded as a sideline, or as a pleasant hobby, and beekeepers often have only three or four hives. Not so in Greece! There are probably more professional beekeepers in Macedonia than anywhere else in Europe. Migratory beekeeping is the accepted thing, and it is practised on a grand scale with most laudable results. I was told that averages of 100 kg are not uncommon. From a good vantage point some thirty miles north-east of Salonica, it was possible to pick out apiaries containing altogether no less than 2000 colonies — the area was literally teeming with bees. To the west, beyond Edessa, in well nigh inaccessible regions adjoining Albania, extensive apiaries were tucked away in the folds of the hills everywhere, and the thousands of colonies in them had just been brought there from long distances. Now and again one could see equally large apiaries of primitive hives, which had also been brought to these inhospitable regions. Professional apiarists, modern and primitive alike, rely on migratory beekeeping for a dependable income.
The primitive beekeeping in Greece is instructive, and historically of great interest. We know that the basket hive of today was in common use in Greece more than 3000 years ago, and that the principle of the movable comb, re-discovered about a hundred years ago, was in fact employed in this hive by the ancient Greeks. The hive is constructed of wickerwork, and has the same shape as an earthenware flowerpot. It is 23 in. deep, 15 in. across at the top and 12 in. at the bottom (internally). Nine bars — 1½ in. wide to give the correct spacing — fit across the brim. The combs are attached to these bars, exactly as in the hive invented by Dzierzon about the middle of the last century. With a little extra care, each of the nine combs can be examined individually as freely as the combs of a modern frame hive. Moreover the shape of this Greek hive corresponds more closely than any modern rectangular one to the natural inclinations of the bees. In Greece the baskets are given a fairly substantial external and internal coating of clay, whereas in Crete — for some reason I was never able to discover — a thin coating only is applied, internally and for about two inches around the bottom externally. In Crete one occasionally sees earthenware hives of the same shape and size; they are skilfully moulded with a crucifix over each entrance. Occasionally one also sees hives made of reeds, somewhat similar in shape to our own English skep, complete with hackle. But the Greek skeps are usually larger, taller and more pointed; one type, less common, has a rounded dome-shaped top. They are all more capacious than their traditional English counterparts. I saw no hives of sun-baked clay or ferula stems, though Ferula thyrsifolia is fairly common in Greece.
In Crete, particularly on the peninsula north of Suda Bay, I saw extensive apiaries — set amidst the wild thyme — entirely of wicker hives. The bare wicker, with a few handfuls of reeds flung across the top, was all the shelter and protection provided. Some of these primitive apiaries contained more than a hundred hives.
A few miles south-east of ancient Mycenae and Agamemnon’s Tomb — in Argolis, Peloponnesus — is a unique walled-in bee garth with no less than ninety-eight bee boles, each with its basket hive, complete with the heavy coat of clay which seems traditional in that part of Greece. Even in ancient times great value was apparently placed on the direction hives should face, for each of these bee boles faces east or south-east.
The indigenous honeybee of extreme south-eastern Europe has so far, for some inexplicable reason, never attracted any notice. True, it is not endowed with any of the glamour that would arrest attention — it lacks the bright colour and uniformity of appearance which are often so highly valued. But as a general business bee, it has perhaps no equal. It resembles the Caucasian in many of its characteristics — tendency to propolize, and the construction of brace-comb. Both these defects are less highly developed in the Greek bee, and in some strains they are negligible. Its most outstanding qualities are gentleness, breeding power, and disinclination to swarm. I came across no bad-tempered colonies, except in Crete. The Greek beekeeper hardly ever resorts to a smoker; a small piece of smouldering fungus is usually placed on top of the frames while an examination is in progress. The bees are as good tempered and quiet under manipulation as the average Carniolans. Their breeding power is truly phenomenal: I am inclined to believe that no other race will equal the numerical strength of a Greek colony, or particularly of a Greek queen crossed with an Italian or Carniolan drone. But unlike the Italian or Eastern races, breeding is severely restricted — too much so, to serve our purposes — after mid-July. The brood chamber may well be found chock-a-block with stores at the end of July. The brood is compact and faultless in every respect, and our experience suggests that the Greek bee is less disposed to swarming than any other race or strain we have tested in our apiaries. But it is definitely inclined to propolize and to build brace-comb freely, and the honey cappings are rather watery in appearance. Our preliminary tests and observations indicate that the Greek bee embodies the qualities required for a honey gatherer par excellence.
Aristotle observed that the bees of Greece are not uniform in colour; in his time the bees with yellow markings were considered best. The Greek bees of today are brown, with a yellow segment showing here and there. However west of the Pindus range, from Messolonghi to Janina, they are uniformly black. We were assured at Janina that near Konitsa, on the Albanian frontier, a pure yellow variety could be found, but our search there revealed a mere sprinkling of yellow, which is as commonly seen east of the Pindus range as in the heart of these mountains. In these regions one rarely finds a colony absolutely uniform in colour ; a small and varying proportion of the bees have one or two tawny segments. As would be expected, the queens show a wide range of coloration; drones, on the other hand, show practically none.
In Crete — according to Greek mythology the birthplace of the honeybee — the bees show a high percentage of yellow markings. Indeed, the bees of this favoured Island are a mixed lot in every way. Before I left Europe, I was assured that in Crete I would find the most gentle bees extant, but the temper of some of the colonies I examined indicated a decided Eastern influence. In Cyprus I found the greatest uniformity, in Crete a deep-seated dis-uniformity.
Although our experience of the Greek bee has been confined to one season, the preliminary results indicate that, given a good strain, this race may well prove to be of great value. It is definitely superior to the Caucasian, of which I had previous experience.
I wish to record my deep appreciation to the Greek Ministry of Agriculture for the many facilities which were placed at my disposal, and to Dr. A. Typaldos-Xydias and Mr. C. Michaelides for their help and generosity, which I shall always recall with gratitude. I also extend my thanks to the beekeepers of Chalchidiki, whose help proved such a decisive contribution towards the ultimate success of all my efforts.
The indigenous bee of western Yugoslavia, of Montenegro and Bosnia, is reputed to be more prolific and less given to swarming than the typical Carniolan of Slovenia. Though the latter has the reputation of being prolific, I have in recent years been forced to conclude that this is not so. The measure of fecundity of a race or of an individual queen is rather an arbitrary concept, and the Carniolan is undoubtedly prolific when compared with the old English native bee; Cheshire and Cowan clearly made such a comparison, and their verdict seems to have been repeated ever since without being checked. The average Carniolan is not prolific according to our standard. We have tried out more than a dozen strains recently, secured from widely different parts of its native habitat, and most of them could not fill more than seven M.D. frames with brood at the height of the season, whereas our own strain would readily fill ten. It was therefore with a keen concern that I looked forward to a search of the Montenegran Alps and the high mountain range along the Dalmatian coast, for I confidently hoped to find there a strain better adapted to our particular needs.
On leaving Greece I intended to make for Skoplje, then to turn westward towards Cetinje immediately north of Albania, and to go on to Ragusa, Sarajevo, Split and Ljubljana. Alas! a mishap on my last day in Greece — a burst tyre which could not be replaced — made it necessary to use the less hazardous route from Skoplje to Nish, Belgrade, Zagreb and Ljubljana. Even so, it proved a most gruelling journey, and we had the uncomfortable knowledge that we had no spare tyre. Blit after a nightmare journey, in a country where roads are almost non-existent, Ljubljana was finally reached safely.
Ljubljana, or Laibach as it used to be known, is the centre of Carniola and the headquarters of the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association — Zveza cebelarskih društev v Ljubljana — which helped me in my search in Slovenia. This Association, like most others on the Continent, supplies its members with all necessary equipment at cost price. It also publishes a monthly journal of very high standing, Slovenski Cebelar. The members of the Association own altogether 70 000 colonies, of which 50 000 are in modern hives. The total number of colonies in Yugoslavia is about 800 000, half in modern hives.
We secured our first Carniolan queens more than fifty years ago from Michael Ambrozic of Moistrana, Upper Carniola, who founded the world-wide trade in these queens and bees. We had since then imported queens from various sources and with varying results, but it had been impossible to obtain direct imports from Carniola since 1939. I therefore looked forward with keen anticipation to visiting the central habitat of this race. Furthermore, I had an idea that I would find something of special value, apart from gaining a more precise knowledge of the environment which helped to mould the most classical type of Carniolan, which is found in this region.
Our search took us first to Lower Carniola, south and south-east of Ljubljana. The bees here are fairly uniform, but as we travelled further from Central Carniola, either due east, south or south-west, the slight variations in external characteristics became more apparent. In addition, the temper of the bees occasionally left something to be desired. However, east of Ljubljana, close to the Hungarian frontier, the bees seemed to me to be more prolific and perhaps less disposed to swarming, but less uniform externally (this may be due partly to the influence of the Banat bee, a sub-variety of the Carniolan whose central habitat is further east or south-east of Maribor). A month later I had an opportunity to explore the adjoining area to the north, approaching Hungary from Styria.
The Carniolan bee in its classical form and in greatest uniformity is only found in the isolation of Upper Carniola, particularly in the secluded valley running due west of Bled. The towering Karawanken to the north and north-east, the Carnic Alps to the north-west, and the Julian Alps to the west and south-west, constitute an insuperable barrier. In fact this lovely valley from Bled to Bistrica forms one of the most perfect mating stations designed by Nature, and it is not surprising that some of the best Carniolan queens are reared there.
In the very centre of this valley lives Jan Strgar, known the world over as a breeder of Carniolan queens. His establishment was founded in 1903, and a considerable section of Slovenski Cebelar for December 1953 was appropriately devoted to commemorating this event. In spite of his advanced years, Jan Strgar is still actively engaged in beekeeping and queen rearing; strangely enough, he has retained the primitive Bauernkasten to this day, apparently with great success. Most of the Carnica queens sent to England between the two World Wars came from Bitnje, Bohinjska Bistrica. One noted breeder, Jose Susnik, Brod 1, Bohinjska Bistrica, has a mating station at the western end of the valley; Franc Vook, Hroš 27, Lesce, Bled, is another breeder of high repute.
In my first report (Bee World 32 : 49 & 57, 1951) I gave a fairly comprehensive outline of the general characteristics of the Carnica bee. That description also holds good for the strains found in Carniola itself. There are undoubtedly some variations; indeed the wide variation between one strain and another is one of the most marked features of the race. We have had some strains which could hardly have been surpassed for uniformity in external characteristics, but which proved valueless in practice. Too much stress is often placed on uniformity, particularly in the Carniolan. There is a factor for yellow in its genetic make-up, which often manifests itself as a seasonal variation. The breeder of one of the best strains assured me that his bees will not infrequently show some yellow coloration on the first dorsal segments in the early part of the summer, but that these markings will completely vanish in subsequent generations raised at a lower temperature in the autumn. Actually the best strains (judged by performance) I have so far come across are known to manifest a fair amount of yellow. In every race, variations in colour find markings are shown in the most startling manner, in the queens, and this is especially true of Carniolans. There is a danger that by placing too much emphasis on external uniformity, we may lose the much more important objective of performance.
One outstanding fact is the complete absence of brood diseases throughout the native habitat of the Carniolan bee. This impressed me deeply, for in every country I have so far visited (except Cyprus) A.F.B. and E.F.B. are common, and in some instances endemic. But Carinthia and Carniola seem to form an island of immunity. Acarine, Nosema, and paralysis are present, but not foulbrood. Its absence cannot be fortuitous (the mountain barriers would retard, but not prevent, the spread of disease, and I have seen A.F.B. in an almost inaccessible region of the Pindus mountains on the fringe of Albania). We are dealing here not with a true immunity, but probably with an innate resistance.
Beekeeping conditions in Carniola, especially in Upper Carniola, are very similar to those in the adjoining Austrian Province of Carinthia. However, in Central and Lower Carniola, especially in the mountainous region along the Adriatic, there is a more varied nectar-bearing flora. In Upper Carniola honeydew from the pines forms the main source. In Central and Lower Carniola limes abound, and they seem to yield freely here; they were in full bloom at the time of my visit, and I was able to sample pure lime honey. Another honey of high quality is gathered in August and September in the mountainous region of Dalmatia, from the mountain savory, Satureia montana. Some of the more enterprising professional beekeepers transport their colonies in spring to the rosemary, which grows in great profusion on some of the Islands of the Dalmatian coast. Some wonderful crops of a honey of supreme quality are thus secured. Many colonies are also moved into the Istrian Peninsula at the end of June, for the honey from the sweet chestnut, which is however of a lower quality. There are many secondary sources, and the flora in general is more favourable to beekeeping in north-west Yugoslavia than in the adjoining Austrian territory.
I have no idea when house apiaries first came into use. In Carniola beehouses are an accepted and integral part of both primitive and modern beekeeping. For migratory beekeeping the hives are stacked in sectionally constructed sheds. I did not see any beehouses in Yugoslavia outside Carniola.
The people of Yugoslavia are renowned for their kind-heartedness and hospitality, and I received more than my share. The evening before my departure, the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association organized a great farewell gathering in Ljubljana. Amongst other things, souvenirs of ancient beekeeping were presented as a token of good will and remembrance. I owe a deep debt of gratitude to the President of the Association, Krmelj Maks, to the genial secretary, Franc Cvetko, and to the Editors of the Slovenski Cebelar, Vlado Rojec, Stane Mihelic and to Josip Kobal. I extend to them all, and to each one individually, my heartfelt gratitude. And I shall always recall with a very special remembrance the kindness I received at the hands of the Slovenian people.
On leaving Yugoslavia I had a number of enquiries to make in the adjoining Carinthia and Styria, which in due course proved of great value. However, the Ligurian Alps were the next important sphere of search. A brief visit had been made there in October 1950, but we were unable to secure any Ligurian queens as the season was too far advanced.
The world-wide fame of the Italian bee is partly based on the success achieved with the first imports made nearly a hundred years ago. These bees came from the Ligurian Alps — hence the name Ligurian bee. Our findings indicate that the genuine leather-coloured Italian, which embodies all the desirable qualities which have made the Italian so popular, is only found in the Ligurian Alps, in the mountainous region between La Spezia and Genoa.
Apart from the direct practical value, I felt that a more precise knowledge of the tawny Ligurian would have a great bearing on our future cross-breeding experiments, and after much effort I now succeeded in securing queens of the type required. The parcel containing the collection of precious queens was left overnight in my room, ready for posting next day. To my amazement, the next morning both table and package were covered with tiny black ants, and on touching the parcel, thousands of these wretched creatures fell out of the cotton wool packing surrounding the cages. All the queens and bees had been killed by the ants. The loss of the Ligurian queens proved the greatest disappointment of my journey: I could not retrace my steps for the required time and energy were no longer at my disposal.
However, I went on to the south of France in the firm belief that I could include the Iberian Peninsula. But it soon became clear that the long sustained effort since February called for a halt and an overdue rest and I returned to Buckfast on September 29th.
Gradually but surely, and step by step, information of value concerning the manifold races of the honeybee is being accumulated, and a more precise knowledge of the range of their distribution is emerging. The jigsaw puzzle of the races can thus slowly be pieced together. The mode of their evolution is being revealed stage by stage, so that the individual defects and qualities can be more readily traced to their primary sources. We are by degrees coming to a truer and more perfect understanding of the vast fund of potentialities which is at our command for the creation of the perfect bee. But much remains to be done, for in an undertaking of this nature, where unforeseen difficulties and delays are inevitable, time is an all-important factor.
I desire to express my deep gratitude to Dr. C.G. Butler for his unfailing support, and to Mr. A.W. Gale for his generosity. The work could not have been carried thus far had it not been for the timely assistance which they gave.
Translated from french article Bee World / Beekeeping in Belgium
I. General considerations, Methods and Goals
A bee improving by scientific breeding is the primary task of any beekeeper or grouping apiarian progressive. The fundamental basis of a successful bee is the bee itself. An intensive production of honey is an impossibility in the absence of a bee with maximum efficiency. Beehives, Bee instruments and all the technical devices available to the modern beekeeper, as do very few exceptions, a direct influence on performance in honey. Let us no misconceptions: all the technical improvements made in hives and they are not further, ultimately, to make easier the handling of people. There is a tendency to link the type of hive return. Actually, the form and execution of a hive have no influence on performance in honey. The size of the house (or, more accurately, the cubic capacity of the Board of livestock) is, against a determinant of the importance of the harvest. Regarding the honey, the beekeeper has no choice in most cases. It must adapt its methods to the honey available. However, it can improve its bee; this is the fundamental condition enabling it to claim the most satisfactory result in terms of honey production.
Some say that the bee is a wild animal which, over millennia, the form of life and the characters have become fixed, so any effort to make livestock, to improve it, is doomed to failure. Optimists, for against, promise to obtain breeding results bordering on unbelievable. Soyons net in the presence of these contradictions, all this confusion and declare that something is certain is that only one breeding conducted with stubborn perseverance and consistent, who knows what purpose it is likely to lead ultimately to success.
PERSON not say that differences in performance of a population to another, in the same apiary, with honey identical, are not the result of internal damage. There are marked differences not only in performance but also as in all other properties. Where existence of heritable differences occur where there is variability, there is the possibility of fundamental influence by livestock. Indeed, a long experience in the particular field of the Livestock apiarian me very informed on the possibilities and the limitations on the subject.
The science of breeding
The modern science of heredity and breeding related research identified the laws and relationships that form the basis of farming. Although the bee has a special place because of heredity by haploid males, there is not exception to the Mendelian laws of heredity. The split takes place and can make new combinations. The difficulties resulting from the inheritance of haploid drones are not insurmountable. Without doubt in the presence of multiple abâtardissement this is just extreme coincidence that will get their hands on the ideal case. But this does not change the fact that, without even speaking to achieve the ideal case, the achievement to be obtained by selecting combinations precious inheritance from an economic perspective, in operating on a small number of generations during a limited time. My experiences have shown that it was not out of reach to develop new characters in the honeybee.
There are many. It is the aim to determine which is right or better. The principal, taking into account the objective, are: breeding purebred or as breeding lines; breeding by crossing or by combination and in addition, livestock transfer. The latter, in fact, is hardly taken into account here to my knowledge, nor in the case of various useful plants and animals. There is also farmed by choice or selection, which means one thing. But that's the stick divination using whatever method of farming, the key to all success without selection, not raising any success. Where it is not sorting, selection, there is no breeding!
The Nature sorts, selects, made a choice. In fact, Nature is a tough rancher, ruthless. But it is not productive, let alone maximum productivity, or perfection in the shape or color, but only conservation and expansion of the species. In keeping with this goal, Nature is in its breeding, diversification (as opposed to racial purity). It mixes and crosses constantly extending the richness of hereditary factors to ensure the equipment and the variety in the assortment of which will emerge by natural selection, which is appropriate. All the way the bee spreads and spreads tends to guarantee a constant mixture of hereditary factors. important genetic differences in morphological properties as far as physiological , along with marked fluctuations in performance are made, therefore, rule among bees in nature.
The beekeeper knows the notes among the various populations of the same source, in the same apiary, in an identical when free play is left to the trends of breeding nature. The average yield per colony was very small. For against, there are still yields phenomenal individual and, at the same time, a number of people who totally disappointing. The dominant factor in populations that nature is their high yield minimal. On the contrary, the average yield achieved during a period of several years judge a profitable beekeeping.
The progressive beekeeper must aim for a high average yield, the highest possible. Fluctuations deep in fact yield should be eliminated. Heritable determinant properties and causing the maximum return must be met and set to keep a sustainable manner highest benefits. An isolated and momentary record does not serve the purpose, benefits passengers were not extreme significance for progress in breeding. The important goal of any breeding is to obtain permanent. If what has been achieved could not be maintained, breeding would be pointless qu'effort eternally useless. Stability in performance is achieved through the merger of leading characters yield.
It is indispensable, the only way that leads to permanent and success in breeding. The farmer working the combination, as far as that work on the transfer must go through the breeding purebred to conserve results.
It is no doubt that, though led, a pure-bred breeding can achieve great things. But it has its limits. Isolate the desired characters, raise it and set them is a painful and long labor. It is that step that we are able to intensify a particular property and can not be set through a continuous and conscious tenacity of purpose. The improved performance is at its limit, and exhausted, as soon as characteristics sought were set so homozygote, a short distance of purity. Moreover, once the purity of the breed by inbreeding infringement involving a risk of decline in vitality and performance. The possibility of "surélevage" can not be overlooked. Although breeding purebred is inevitable by the way in which progress is made permanent improvement of the bee, it is nevertheless important that it is carried on the widest basis if avoid failure.
To avoid the dangers of inbreeding, the Americans have developed their hybrid quadruple process. In fact, they are not bastards in the strict sense of the word, but only crosses between inbred lines of a single race (Italian ). It's a kind of pure-bred breeding conducted on a very broad base. I see a farm lineage, except that in this case, the crossing lines are not used for breeding later. This rearing method has the advantage essential to avoid the damage of inbreeding and come up with subjects endowed with this "hybrid vigor" of that vitality and energy in particular frequent bastards F1. This breeding process is extremely thorough and, moreover, is not sustainable recovery of good qualities, nor does the bee. There is quite the essential purpose of any breeding is to maintain a Sustainable what was acquired.
BA 18 (3) 1954 p46-51
Chez all living beings are manifested from time to time changes heritable, called mutations. In nature, these genetic changes redisparaissent soon, because it is rare that they are of benefit to the person who is assigned to contrary.
In the case of a bee, it can hardly be made to a livestock mutatis since the mutations observed so far generating almost morbid events: red or white eyes, lack hair or no hair color, defect in the development of eggs or infertility, inadequate treatment of nectar due to an organic or physiological abnormality. The only modification so far found that at a certain point of view, is likely to be considered disability benefits would be hereditarily determined, in a fertilized queen, to lay unfertilized eggs, thus a queen who, after fertilization, can only produce drones. It is a mutation that occurs very rarely. There would clearly be a failure organic, which can actually be transmitted by heredity from the queen. Presumably, the opportunity exists to raise a pure-bred this mutation, using males from a non-fertilized queen (assigned this mutation). The process would probably be complicated. This mutation has nevertheless a great scientific importance since the case in question demonstrates the possibility of a livestock changes taking an economic value.
The pure-bred breeding can highlight the existing properties in the fund inherited a race or a lineage. Thus it is that contains the fund which is the limit of what can drive any livestock. But we know that each race of bees has various properties that have economic value. To make a synthesis, we must resort to farming by combination.
The raising is by combining an area largely unexplored, for the bee. Its theoretical possibilities and its problems have already been widely discussed in the literature, but little is known about in this area, where it has been done tests on a broad basis. Perhaps my experiences continued for many years are they the only ones which have led to a practical outcome.
As against, I think we have exaggerated the theoretical difficulties. Without doubt, during the abâtardissements multiple dispersion not make it so never put your hand the ideal, at least by direct route. Qu'on manages a detour does not change the fact we have been able to produce new types of bees in new combinations with a particularly high economic value. A striking example is known to the indomitable tendency of a bee sting French and many other undesirable characteristics (at least from our point of view). Well! I managed to raise, in a few generations, a gold that was almost impossible to induce penetration, which had no tendency to spread and n'amassait not propolis. Its color was a gold darker and more beautiful than American farms. It was, at all points of view, a truly perfect bee, with the exception that it does not withstand acariose which made such havoc in that holding that it was abandoned for financial reasons.
Mes crossover trials have shown that new products, revolutionary, with real economic value could be obtained. The time will come when breeding combination will have a decisive influence on beekeeping. However, it does can be achieved only by beekeeping associations or scientific institutions.
But the livestock
I outlined the main features which are the basis of various methods of farming. The main point to consider then is the aim. If it is not well defined, livestock sail like a ship without a rudder in high seas: it will never port.
In some extent, the goal of breeding is influenced by climate, conditions melliferous and personal views of the farmer. But at the base are some basic features of less value, irrespective of the circumstances: the main properties related to performance are not affected by climatic variations and honey.
The ultimate goal of all our efforts is to create a bee whose average productivity and sustainable honey is maximized with minimum cost and time. The dominant factor determining the profitability of beekeeping is the average yield to over a series of years. We know that there are bees giving an outstanding performance when the year is good, and a complete failure when conditions are poor. This is the case of the Ligurian a reputation for making good when conditions are good but disappointing in the case. It will even, if necessary, the feed where a moderately prolific race will draw to itself without penalty. A race fits requires less time and expense. At this point of view, the ancient indigenous bee English behaved admirably. It could make it something in the bad years. As against its average over a series of years was seriously below that of the Ligurian. There are also races for high-efficiency is, of course, but the fact that aggressive treatment becomes difficult, requires a time incompatible with beekeeping economic, not to mention other annoyances.
The professional beekeeper, grappling with the realities, is forced to consider coldly and objectively pursue the goal of its holding, without being mislead by academic considerations doubtful. By necessity, its purpose is defined: the highest yield per colony, the least cost and time.
Thanks to which properties this principal goal will be pursued effectively? To understand my speech, it is important that we proceed to review each property that come into play.
Conceivable fertility is a precondition to our goal of breeding: maximum performance without a population with a corresponding force is an impossibility. Even if fertility is not the only decisive factor, while maximum yield depends on first line. A queen who, at the moment of development of the population does not cover the clutch 9 to 10 rays Dadant, does not meet our requirements.
I have full knowledge of the opposing views, often expressed on this issue. There are 30 to 40 years, the English authorities competent proclaimed: "We do not want to bees, but honey." That, certainly, a sophistry at its worst, the most absurd ever in beekeeping. Of course, we do not want colonies meat into brood every pound of honey, and there is no doubt. A fertility as the necessary must necessarily be combined with a range of other economic properties required.
Zeal and penchant for collecting
Among them, be tireless took the first place: it is the lever that turns into real values all properties economic. If the zeal of the bee is proverbial, it is that bees are real rascals. Zeal is certainly a property determined by hereditary factors, but many. Furthermore, developing the highest level based on the cooperation of all components of a chain of economic properties.
One of the most important in breeding is to develop strains resistant to the disease, ie, saving on all treatments. There is no treatment that does has the disadvantage that its action (if actually cut the disease) have only a transient period. In other words, once we use the drugs, their use requires an adherence to the so Permanent. A colony will be receptive réinfectée and quickly fall victim to the disease.
A shining example in this respect is provided by the resistance to acariose. However, it is important to distinguish between resistance and immunity.
In the set of properties is essential then rang the anecballie. It is essential, absolutely, in the eyes of the beekeeper. Swarming, not only in lost work time and uneconomical, but also destroys any possibility of return records in respect of honey. A race that possesses the qualities of any species but showed a tendency to spread indomitable would truly value in a modern.
An example and personal experience: some years ago, we had 30 queens in colonies of a well known alpine line for testing and comparison. They were also divided into ten apiaries. Hivernage and satisfactory development of the spring beyond all expectations. A spin beyond control led to a loss of yield for the 30 colonies, 870 pounds (115 000 Belgian francs). exceptional cases, we know a beekeeper by trade, one of the strongest of England, who do much better shot with the same alpine race and his loss was distributed in 200 colonies.
* * *
Fécondité, zealous, disease resistance and anecballie, in my opinion the main qualities are the foundation of our breeding. The following qualities, which I will review, without being indispensable, were still very important when it comes to our goal, as each contributes to increase the yield.
A. - Longevity
To put at the forefront as a condition for success in breeding. No one would deny that there are big differences in terms of hereditary longevity. See the variations in the duration of the existence of queens. The conditions of life from the egg and especially during the development period greatly influences the final period of the existence of the queen as the workers. When we talk about life, in fact, vital power or better yet powerful force it is. Duration of life in the bee, is determined by the energy . It will be shortened in proportion to the intensity with which the vital energy will be consumed.
Suivant my experience, there is correlation between fertility and longevity. Fécondité maximum mean brief existence, while the extreme longevity will meet more in the lines with fertility below average. A striking example was the English bee, whose longevity was a dominant trait. We know that fertility remained below normal. Without doubt this extraordinary longevity has contributed to its extermination by acariose.
B. - Power Flight
The power of flight, if it is clear, allows the bees to increase its area to an appreciable extent, it depends on it, in fact, if any, that this source of nectar can be reached or not. The French bee was extraordinarily powerful in flight. Until 1916, we harvested almost every year large quantities of heather honey, in our apiary of the abbey, where the heather was the closest distance of 3.6 km with a drop of about 400 m. Despite the considerable distance in 1915, the colonies as well as indigenous bastards, amassèrent an average of 50 kg each of heather honey. Since then, we have harvested heather honey apiary in the garden of the monastery as one or the other year when the weather was exceptionally good. The 50 kg per colony in 1915 was the swan song of our native bees. The following winter was his acariosis devastation.
C. - Flair
It is the flair necessary corroborating a higher power of flight. If it is not very developed, the bee does not push its investigations beyond a limit reduced. It has, however, its counterpart: it can deviate to the looting. One leads to another and I do not see how they would be separated. How well a bee gifted flair does not sell it to the temptation of chips? Practically, the best colonies, after my experience, are always the first whenever there is looting.
D. - Strong defense
Unwavering tendency to defend itself, the surest antidote against looting, is an essential attribute of the perfect bee. We are developed at the highest point in the eastern races, probably because of the need that we do unknown in the temperate zones, fighting fiercely against the numerous and formidable enemies.
E. - Force in relation to atmospheric conditions
This includes, for our ideal bee, a variety of qualities. It will not easily s'engourdir when, by a spring day sunny but cool, it will come looking for pollen or water. That they will withstand the cold far less important. During the winter, it will be able to hold out on supplies of poor quality, without output of hygiene. The faculty is itself conditioned by the behavior of the population in the presence of sudden jumps in temperature, malfunctions, etc..
Under our climate of south-west England, and mellifica carnica tend to take the air at any temperature rise. In the same conditions, our line keeps a rest. The colonies are like dead since early November until late February, flying to general cleanliness. Any flight activity in bad weather translates into unnecessary consumption of energy and life of bees.
F. - Consumption of provisions Winter
It is close liaison between winter rest and consumption of inventory. However, the degree of rest is not only to determine consumption. The strength of the population also comes into play. And the differences become apparent. It was found generally that the Ligurian is prodigal in the extreme, while the Carniolan is a model of savings. The problem lies in the small and deep rest. raisonné A breeding will lead to very tangible results in this area.
G. - Expansion Spring
It is unnecessary to mention that the way the colony grows in spring is determined by hereditary factors. For me, at least in the south-west England, the development of spring feeding should take place without stimulating and not before time either income or less favorable. This development, once begun, will continue without interruption.
The early increase wasting their energy in adverse weather flights. The great expenditure of force, over the companies heroic, does not benefit. The line from a good breeding happens all feeding stimulant, save your costs and do your work and you will not run unnecessary risks.
BA 18 (5) 1954, p105-107
H. - Hard to harvest pollen
The zeal to collect pollen is not necessarily more intense than that to forage nectar. The Ligurian is not eager to pollen. In a colony of Italy, it is rarely over-abundance of pollen, even when, as in we, the area offers in abundance. indigène The English was a remarkable picker. The French, as well, but it will bring it up through the grid and to deposit in the store honey. And this propensity is home, hereditarily conditioned. It would be worthwhile to develop this trend in countries and regions where the pollen is rare, and that wherever fertilization plays a particular role in the economy. We in the south-west of the England, a pronounced hard to harvest pollen is a marked disadvantage.
I. - Hard to build
This quality is important if we could have an indirect influence on performance in honey, to the extent that a population reluctant to build tends to spread easily. Hard to build, in contrast, grows to work and zeal . There are strong differences in the heat of various breeds and lines. Undoubtedly, the native English was the most passionate I've known. With surprising speed she built shelves clean and beautiful. We are able to maintain this quality in our line, in good part. It is a great advantage, since in our system, all rays must annually be renewed in the honey stores.
It is intimately hard to build, we have the tendency or need more or less imperative to build cells in males. This construction and breeding males, where a measure is passed, are extremely uneconomical. My opinion is that, by careful breeding, considerable progress is being made on this side.
J. - Storing honey
The colony builds constraint is not willing to have his honey near the brood. This may be a good thing depending on the region and honey. In our livestock, we strive to achieve what the honey is stored away from brood. By then, the bees are encouraged to build, to harvest, the prerequisites in order to avoid the spin are met. In addition, a nest to brood not tightened since mid-May until late July, is a basic need to succeed in areas with honeyed late. And when the heather is the instinct of conservation even determines the bees store stocks of winter in the nest to brood the beekeeper without having to interfere.
K. - Length of the language
A paramount importance is where they grow red clover. This is not the case in the south-west of England. In other regions, against, especially Norfolk, this is clover honey crop considerable. Beekeeping is practiced primarily in England with Italian lines, so we have little interest in the question of length of language. Apart from red clover, there is not, to my knowledge, flower nectar posing the problem.
The red clover honey is not of extraordinary quality, but it is perfect for winter. In conjunction with this, it is worth mentioning a feature in some breeds and bastards, to take into consideration, especially in country or the color of honey determines its value: there are breeds that tend to collect honey and poor in an Italian relate Cypriot honey of the highest quality.
* * *
In the first part of my presentation, it has been alluded to qualities of the bee, of paramount importance for the production of honey. We come now to those who have no influence on performance, but are nevertheless essential to achieving our second requirement: the reduction of operating costs and time to spend. We meet here the particular qualities that make easier the work of the beekeeper. Others, of purely economic and aesthetic, will also be reviewed.
1. - Douceur
Apiculture and farmers tend to give rise to opposing views on many points. Here, a pleasing unanimity manifested for softness. I only know one exception, a beekeeper Arabic, which is of another opinion. This man Page has a large apiary near the main road from Jerusalem to Jericho.'s colonies, Syrian-born pure, fully met its requirements in terms of ferocity: his hives were inviolable.
The irritability makes the hard work and time is wasted, not to mention the constant risk of problems with the neighborhood. Fortunately, the sweetness is a quality hereditary. First cross the bloody it is not difficult to achieve the sweetness, in a few generations. It is often argued that there is liaison between the evil and return: it ensures, that the gentle ferocity or are transmitted by the male. Both assumptions are false.
2. - Maintenance of the
The quality also facilitates and accelerates the work. The moving behavior of certain breeds and lines is a waste of time during handling and makes it difficult in the extreme, the search for the queen.
3. - Use of the resinous mastic: propolis
T his propensity highly developed in most races, and luck to all that is inside of the hive through resinous cement, is one of the most evil and unpleasant property of the bee. This unnecessary particularly upsets the work of the beekeeper.
O n fasciata knows that there is no appeal, the Carniolan, at least a few lines of this breed has a tendency to use wax instead of propolis. It seems that this propensity to be conditioned by a number of factors hereditary. It is extremely difficult to completely eliminate this trend.
4. - Spirit of cleanliness
The spirit of cleanliness at the bee, facilitates the work of the beekeeper and contributes significantly to disease prevention and brood. Essays, made in America in this direction, proved clearly that resistance to any foulbrood at least in its malignant form, is due to a spirit of cleanliness developed.
A bee accommodating ray half broken - and there - should be avoided. It is important to promote by every means available to the farmer. This same quality also determines certain resistance to the wax moth, especially primary subtropical beekeeping.
5. - Sense of direction
The economic importance of a sense of orientation, provided a foolproof identification, is obvious. It reached its peak in races where, over the centuries, natural selection has played nearby settlements closely. C is particularly the case with the Syrian and Cypriote; also among the carnica, but to a lesser degree. This quality is essential where the colonies are not scattered. Among them, the bees are less susceptible to drift. If we want to avoid the loss of queens during nuptial flight, it should consider the possibility of orientation.
A n example of the superiority of Cyprus: in 1920, late August, a period already unfavorable for fertilization, only one queen of Cyprus was lost on a series of 110, while the waste, our station in the Dart moor averaged 18% and 12% very favorable weather.
6. - Operculum convex
U operculum not perfect, without blemish or stain is especially valuable in countries where we do the section or department. The bee French there really surpassed all others, with its white lids, and accusing the rounded contours of each cell. The inclusion of this quality in the heredity thing is very unclear. We have made significant progress in this area, but without reaching yet to fix the lid perfectly.
7. - Masonries crazy
The Caucasian has a specialty, deplorable, to build bridges between the shelves, from one frame to another and the framework for boards of coverage. This is evident in all races, but to varying degrees. In the Cyprus, just a trace, while in the Caucasian type, after aging, each part of the nest to brood should be relieved of power to the tool, where hard work, pitting, killing many bees, even the queen.
C. bridges are probably justified in their primitive state, but are a serious problem in modern beekeeping. The chance is that this propensity can be easily eliminated by systematic breeding.
* * *
Voilà therefore the principal properties that we use for our selection by livestock. The external features are benchmarks in terms of determining the race, but they should never be regarded as infallible signs indicating performance. L extreme in terms of color or form does not yield corresponding. Like I said, performance is not tied to any particular property only, but to the harmonious cooperation of a whole series of qualities. That is when we have the perfect cross that the yield will be increased to the maximum.
BA 18 (6) 1954, P133-135
In my presentation, I do not race specific, any more than I do in preference to a particular lineage. I mention properties data of some of them as my theme to highlight and present the considerations dominate our breeding goals. To be complete, here are some notes on a problem discussed: "import or indigenous race?"
More than one occasion, above, I often brag about the qualities of the indigenous bee English. There is no doubt that it had a surprising number of qualities with a higher economic value. Also, no surprise there not that the tops of beekeeping 40 years ago have raised against any import. Their argument was: Our native race, dark, completely adapted over the centuries, the conditions of climate and honeyed very special conditions in our island, and is, therefore, the best of all the bees to Britain where nature has selected hard. Unfortunately, this argument is plausible, based on a wrong basis . The subsequent developments showed well. The nature would not yield with the aim, much less maximum performance, but the preservation and expansion of the species. On top of that, nature, nor the modern farmer is able to identify and develop a quality, if it is not already in a race.
In 1916, the English bee no longer existed, having fallen under attack from acariose. It was devoid of resistance. This resistance manifested itself, at least in part, in the imported breeds. During the time the alien races by far exceeded the returns of the late indigenous race. So the one who was the leader of the opponents of importation, had agreed, after years, that gave him the Ligurian honey yields higher than the bee he once championed so ardently.
Touch this crucial issue - race indigenous or imported race - never forget this: the indigenous bee is not necessarily the best, there are good and bad lines carnica, like ligustica and, universally, the lines are bad, without exception, the majority.
II. Characteristics of the breeding
It happens that in the literature of genetics, individual qualities are compared to a mosaic of stones, and the farmer to the artisan who, selecting and harmony with these stones, makes it a masterpiece. Moreover the wide assortment of rocks, here corresponding to desirable qualities, the result will be more colorful. I spoke of a series of properties that each link acquires full development only if they all contribute, always like a mosaic. The development of each quality, taken by itself, is conditioned by the presence in greater or lesser amount, other concomitant hereditary factors. However, current language of the doctrine of heredity, be given to each quality factor hereditary determined. This is an assumption which logically followed, would lead to the design of an inheritance a way that has nothing in common with reality. A body is not a juxtaposition like a mosaic. It is a brand that works as an indissoluble whole in which the parties are subject to all.
The development of any quality requires the involvement of hereditary factors, the most diverse. This factor, subject to specified quality, in short, does his influence that when a complex combination comes in. There is a kind of collaboration depends on a more or less hereditary factors which influence each partial data, these influences adds: heredity polymer. The qualities mentioned here are primarily quantitative in nature, length of language, size of wing, etc..
No other case refers to hereditary factors coupled multifaceted so-called, on the allele, where it is not only the dominant partner and recessive, but a series of twenty or more. Each of these state determines a different state, usually a different gradation of the same quality.
In breeding, genetics polymer as well as the allele we play a lot. The mutations cause loss and disappointment now, does that one should not completely ignore the possibility of changing gain. What heredity of the bee can we really offer is still very unclear. We judge the race by focusing on external signs, more or less accepted as indicating only one race is good or has value. By selective breeding against he seeks his salvation only in performance, without consideration for any external signs or racial purity.
The race requires a student with sufficient reason that there are signs relations between external economic and intrinsic qualities. I mentioned a while ago, the collaboration, the combination of the chain of hereditary factors. We know that external signs, especially color, are determined by a large amount of hereditary factors. It is more likely that each of these factors affects several qualities. Moreover, experience shows that there are more or less connection between the external characteristics of a breed and its qualities or defects. A bee in the dress of carnica with intrinsic characteristics of fasciata, is a monster. The dress of the carnica is to some extent, guarantees that there are below. Hence, there is not far to admit that the more external signs occur so concentrated and pure, the more likely it is guaranteed a maximum of internal economic qualities inherent in the race considered.
Practice has shown that this assumption is not true, that this relationship does not exist. The external signs, nevertheless, still provide benchmarks valuable and indispensable in livestock in general, as well as in the quest for racial purity and livestock combination in particular. If we did not have fixed points where external link our breeding attempts, we could not guarantee fixed. La constance inherit signs outside is an indication of the constancy of the intrinsic qualities.
In contrast, the selective breeding, or sorting performance, is not interested in racial purity. The performance is at once a guide and touchstone. Alas, the experiment demonstrates that this practice extreme orientation lead to setbacks. The maximum yield does not necessarily require a level of profitability, much less that of all desirable qualities.
An example of experimental practice: Dr. Miller of Marengo (Illinois, USA) was an essentially practical man. Apiculture professional, he had for many years, livestock solely on performance. The color left indifferent. His line became more and more mixed - what we call bastard. The bees, as, more piquant, and the handling became very difficult. Finally came an attack of devastating brood suri. Hybrids to Miller proved receptive to a higher degree. Force him to get rid of them.
Between the two extreme directions, outward signs of livestock and livestock solely on performance, there is a third drawing, partly on the external part on performance, but performance on the extreme on a limited return. For eyes of these farmers, the extreme performance is an illusion, a deceptive mirage. It is assumed that yield extraordinary general honey is not based on inherited properties, but the result of a mock accident. As a result, use the Queen of a colony such as mother would only breeding disappointments and disillusionment. It is an average performance here that attaches the greatest prices. And there is some truth in there: the production of extraordinary Honey may be due to coincidence or as a result of a cross race in pure transvestite. However, when it comes to creatures homozygote, the axiom "of the same product the same "shall apply the principle long known:" The apple does not fall far from the trunk. "
BA 18 (7) 1954, P169-171
The modern genetics has shown that among the products of sexual beings, so there is virtually no cases of homozygosis absolute purity in all grades of similarity complete. However, it must produce fluctuations , which refers to an average or high. In fact, it seems constantly eliminating those most productive prevents real progress. Remove that exceeds the average is close - and lock - the door to progress in breeding. The natural tendency is always to a regression, a decrease in performance, especially in bee breeding, because the provision of a bee is an elusive thing - we can only measure the results, explain numbers, but without identifying the latent energies that are causing performance. The beekeeper that student performance on average will be able to achieve progress in this or that quality visible, but the overall performance, especially if we stick to inbreeding, tend towards a level significantly below the average. In contrast, a skilful and careful breeding to determine a maximum output pulse in the direction of increased efficiency, because we collect, concentrate and intensify the productivity of genes. However, it can not be successful without giving bother. There is no step forward without effort. No farmer is safe from a mistake. No breeding has not as great difficulty as the bee.
The basic purpose of breeding is to preserve what has been achieved. Failure to do so, livestock would be a futile effort without end, as the continuation of the horizon. Consanguinity only leads to maintain and stabilize what is achieved. It is the key to any lasting success of some value, but that key can just as well open the door to failure.
Thanks to inbreeding, we can form a beam of desired profitability, strengthen, maintain them. Consanguinity requires purity of race, homozygosis; consequently, it leads to the permanence and constancy in the heredity.
While it is the most precious we can not at the same time underestimate the serious disadvantages. They are of two types: purity regarding hereditary bad characters; vitality and vigor decreased. there is, for purity of race, homozygosis, possible development as well as the bad good. The findings of the lessons full of Americans, von Mackensen and Roberts, on the fatal alleles determining sex, the 'sufficiently illustrate. Nobody will deny that there are factors in lethal hereditary conditioning of the bee. It is difficult to assess these findings the U.S. without a precise knowledge of all the details. I question that have a universal value. The loss of nearly 50% of brood artificially fertilized queens - even cross-breeds with total strangers - is a common fact. Despite intense inbreeding practiced over a period of 35 years, I never, In queens fertilized naturally, been a waste away approaching these proportions in the laying of a queen. We may assume that in this case of mutations.
It happens, however, there is lack of vitality of the brood as a result of intense inbreeding. This is a very complicated, since it is only during famine, when the pollen comes suddenly to fail, that it occurs brood mortality. As soon as pollen gives new mortality disappears. Whether it is hereditary defect is demonstrated by the fact that mortality is not universal and does a line-up, all the colonies line of the said accused. It seems that there is a manifestation of malnutrition, the effect of which is attached to fatal weakness inherited that inbreeding has developed.
Des such defects, hereditary and attributable to the formation of consanguinity undesirable characters, are no root very easily and cause many complications. Whether male sterility is conditioned and hereditary results from inbreeding is more than likely!
The second disadvantage due to inbreeding are not due to hereditary defects or a morbid. Loss of vitality, reduction in force - and reduced yields - are typical for consanguineous livestock - as well as the "hybrid vigor" (ie obtaining a vitality above normal) occurs in the case of intersection. The real cause of these events, and their differing effects, is an enigma whose secret n has not been pierced.
The decline in vitality is particularly in developing spring It may even fail completely if the weather is unfavorable. The lack of vital energy inevitably reducing the yield honey. It is, however, something on that it is difficult to assess with precision temperature and honey has a very strong influence on the development of people and performance. The beekeeper easily attributed to the weather duds performance. Any basis for comparison when there is missing single race or single line, it becomes impossible in this case, to make comparisons with some value. There is, however, that extended the comparisons that can spare us the disappointments of this kind, due to inbreeding.
When husbandry practices apiarian performance without control, without trials, without concrete reference points, we can not reach a positive outcome of economic value. And exactly evaluate the performance is a very complicated problem. This evaluation is always relative - relative to a particular race, such a line - relative to specific conditions of atmosphere and honey. From one year to another, from one region to another, often a few miles distance, large fluctuations occur. The beekeeper Speaking of returns and results - it is known - will always refer to a year and a given place. It is however also lies the main source of error because of performance appraisal of a farm: it made comparisons between colonies of a single lineage, and this only gives the relative value of each population compared with others from the same lineage, while only provide bases fair assessment of concrete, on comparisons of several strains of the same race, under conditions identical situation and honey. The more the comparative results in closer and repeated trials, the base will become more secure and successful infallible .
A Buckfast, things are pushed to the limit as possible to avoid any disappointments. Apiaries The 10 are divided into different regions with honey. In some cases, the soil is light and sandy, he is average, and elsewhere is of compact clay. Here, the dry years, we have the highest yields of pure honey coucou white (Trifolium repens). If it rains a lot, the harvest is zero. The rainy season is always difficult because of the high humidity. In sandy soil, the opposite is true. The development of spring includes the specific features of each of the apiaries. In the valleys where they are located, it seldom snows. By the winter against is harsh in the land of the Dart (Dartmoor) where the station is installed breeding colonies and miniatures are sorely tested. But it is there that the young queens suffer the preliminaries.
To avoid drift, can cause wrong conclusions, populations are grouped by four, each directed to one of the cardinal points. The groups are separated by a distance and distributed irregularly. Apiary Each includes 30 to 40 colonies. The young queens from each of the mothers are, as far as possible, divided in equal numbers in each of the apiaries.
From this way will be determined without the possibility of error in the best offspring, from a hereditary, the best performance. A concrete example: The average yield was at home, 72.5 kg in 1949. But 22 colonies, each with a queen from the same mother-breeder - one of six of the previous year - gave an average yield of 92.5 kg, 20 kg more than our total of 320 colonies . This was not a coincidence, because these twenty-two settlements were scattered throughout our ten hives. And this very fact proves, above the market, this line - in fact starring performance - was also at the highest point many other desirable quality. The same year, it turned out, moreover, a marked contrast but the other way at thirty colonies Alpine lineage - the honey and remaining the same - these 30 colonies gave an average yield of 11 kg, against the aforementioned average of 72.5 kg.
BA 18 (8) 1954 P210-213
We would like to talk about an extremely important factor in our breeding correlate with performance monitoring. This little apparent is the size of the nest to brood. An immediate example will illustrate its importance in point performance perspective. Last year, our harvest heather honey reached eight tonnes. It would certainly have eleven and more was that, unfortunately, during my absence, the colonies did not have the space manner. The beekeeper professional strongest in England had 960 colonies in the heather.'s harvest was 11 tons. Like all the people were equipped queens our line, the strong difference appeared to him first incomprehensible. L previous year, he had already noticed a difference, but it had never reached the proportion of the 1952 season. This had experienced beekeeper well face facts: the cause lay solely in the capacity of different nests to brood . The 13 included his senior English type 35 x 20 cm and ours Dadant 12 frames of 43 x 25 cm each, or about twice as capacity. Of course, despite the same vein, its people could never achieve the strength of our . So much so that we saw more and not yields but almost triple double of his own, evidence of this performance capacity of the largest populations that are known for a long time.
The brood nest restricting the ability of laying of the queen prevents the full development, and necessarily, the full yield capacity of the colony. Restrict own reduces the power of people to a level approximately equal, and therefore maximum yield mutually exclusive. On the other hand, how to judge the capacity of performance, since it, because the strength of the population is reduced to something means, can be estimated that sentence? There is great risk of drawing wrong conclusions is at the highest point.
In addition to the harvest of honey, brood nest of Dadant has spared us many valuable lessons about the value of the various processes of farming. In a bulky nest, any damage that the Queen has suffered during his development can be seen immediately, which is not the case in a narrow nest. In the latter, many misdeeds of the farmer still veiled in darkness and go undetected, the narrowness of the nest restricting in any way, and significantly, the fertility of the queen.
There are number of imponderables, are exempt from any account to which we are powerless, which play an important role in the production of honey. Where, above the market, an indication mistress, c. to d. the maximum development, is subject to limitation, to assess with certainty the performance becomes impossible. Over time, progress will be achieved with respect to such property as the apparent softness, the tendency to spread, resistance to illness. But these acquisitions are accompanied by a loss of efficiency. Where restriction of maximum development in any manner whatsoever, performance, crowning of the livestock, evading our efforts.
It made me realize, of course, an unlimited brood nest is not recommended in any area, particularly if an early nectar flow is the single harvest.
Selection of topics to raise
It has been said repeatedly, all our efforts in livestock - as in bee-keeping in general - tend to eliminate any chance, disappointments, to the extent practicable. Extra precautions necessary when it is something as important as deciding on the final choice of subjects for breeding.
Back to the top (Index)
Congress of Beekeeping Sept. 4, 1960 (Translated from French)
The topic suggested to me caused me some embarrassment. In my opinion, the choice of a mode of operation depends on the goal, in our case, taking into account the conditions of fact, it 'is to give each of our hives best opportunities to develop and produce maximum. Ultimately, the selection, which in my view, is the basis of the success I have achieved.
Multiple methods of conduct of hives have been proposed, but after experience, most of them were dropped. It was finally concluded that to achieve good results in beekeeping is, above all, respect the wonderful organization and immutable instinct of bees, by refraining from any action likely to frustrate and disrupt them. The type of hive and the method of conduct are controlled by the conditions climate of the region, opportunities to harvest as much as by the peculiarities of the variety of bees adopted. In addition, for the professional beekeeper, the calculation time and services required by hive will also intervene in the choice of method because these factors have a significant impact on the profitability of the operation. A material he needed simple, easy maintenance and easy handling.
When, in autumn 1919, I was entrusted with the operation of our apiary, I found in a lamentable state, it was ravaged by acariose which, according to official findings, 90% of hives in England were affected with this time. It was a new focus on our beekeeping, in the sense that using Italian bees, it was not possible to continue the mode of conduct which was always followed with our old indigenous race. Most former beekeepers could not adapt to the new method. I remember, there are over 40 years, we commonly say: "The foreign breeds such as foreign material and their method of operation are not suitable for the conditions in England. "These assertions are proved in practice, radically false. Even beekeepers warned loving progress was, at that time, and provide development opportunities that would become theirs in the future.
In 1920, we operated with hives with brood nest may contain 10 frames to the size of the Federation (British Standard Framework). We felt that this material did not surface radius sufficient for fertility and Italian queens their crossing and it limited the full development of the population. But the idea of adding a second chamber to brood faced many objections and many prejudices. Nevertheless, in the fall, I risked a trial making winter a colony on two superimposed bodies and 40 pounds of provisions. The following spring, the hive appeared by far the strongest, and its subsequent development occurred in a perfect way and without any intervention on my part, its population is found in the best condition for the beginning of flowering fruit trees.
During the whole summer, it requires no work, except to overlap, as, increases, in total, six were needed. Also, at the end of the season, this hive dominated all other as a beacon not only symbolic but also in reality. Indeed, she showed me the right direction and made me avoid the pitfalls, reefs and sandbanks interventions that often lead to the sinking of the holding.
In 1921, the average harvest was 50 pounds, it requires hard work and hives 1'une gave 75 pounds without requiring more time or penalty. At that time, such returns were an exceptional event. And later, we, in favorable years, and exceeded the rate achieved record harvests some over 150 pounds!
How also amazing results have been obtained? First, thanks to a large beehive, or rather to a brood chamber without limit, provided plenty of winter provisions. These two elements. Conjugates enabled the population, in spring, increase in a natural way, without interruption and without feeding of any kind whatsoever. Another source of our success was the increased space in the hive, made as the needs, without provoke any disorder or disturbance of the bees.
Finally, the most important factor for success was a queen from a quality breed of choice and the most productive strain. Without the completion of each of the three conditions above, the settlement with the best will do queens not a kilo of honey. But a population benefiting from these three elements, not only produce the best crops, but does the beekeeper that the minimum time and effort.
In short, my success depends, above all, a strict selection. While the hive model or more precisely the capacity of its brood chamber is also involved in the success, these basic factors are adapted to the conditions of our honey. We have no action on the contingencies of the temperature and the honey, but, for against, we have from other potential exploitation.
TYPE OF THE BEEHIVE
Turning to that part of his presentation, Brother Adam makes a series of general considerations on this subject and it continues as follows:
The Code of Conduct and apiary, in part, that the results obtained depend on the model hive that has been chosen. The perfection of a hive is not in a construction cost, but especially for the professional beekeeper, in its simplicity that it saves time and work.
1923, we operated only with equipment built to the standards of the English and, in recent years, with two hives to brood nests, each containing 10 frames.
When, shortly after the first world war, imports of Italian bees became widespread, it took place, beekeeping in English, a huge development at the same time no less than revolution in the method of operation. Indeed we soon found that our hives and our way of conduct should be modified and adapted to the needs of bees and most prolific producers. Moreover, the opinion prevailed that the profitability of the operation required before all, greater simplicity in the construction of the hive and its accessories. Fortunately, in England, beekeeping was released several issues that were discussed in the German speaking countries, such as the apiary issues covered outdoor , beehives opening at the back or top, hives warm or cold buildings.
* * *
Brother Adam then briefly described the equipment he had at the beginning: the bottom of hive and increases plank 13 mm floor. Coverings and frames made up from planks boxes of any kind, only cardboard roof tarred between the roof and cover framework paper newspapers. For the winter period, the hives were surrounded tarred cardboard. Despite this lack of protection, Brother Adam says he never noticed a difference in harvesting between the double-walled hives and those that were endorsed, in its infancy. It continues as follows:
At this time arose in England, two major problems one, that of the hive wall single or double, the other, the volume to give the nest to brood.
The majority of the beekeepers were warned supporters of the Langstroth hive or at least its dimensions. Only the U.S. model could be considered for beekeeping Pastoral heather, which was our case. But the brood chamber the Langstroth is too small for a fertile queen and I did not want, as it is in general use in America, working with two body brood. In fact, I could see no advantage in serious Langstroth compared to our standard hives English. To have a brood nest of sufficient capacity for the Queen's most productive, I finally decided for the lower hive Dadant 12 frames. I will then have a hive body length and width identical (50.5 x50, 5 cm) and a height of 30.5 cm, as dimensions, and increases of 10 frames measure exactly half in height, body bottom. I want to make a point: if I attach great importance to the extreme simplicity of the hive, I also need the strength and sustainability of each of its parts, and especially managers. Nothing causes more trouble and lost time executives who do not retain their exact form, as well for parts of hives that become prematurely unusable.
T he size of the hive, or more exactly the volume of the brood nest is the only factor that seriously affects the performance in honey. A brood chamber, which by its dimensions, limiting the nesting of the queen, prevents full development of the population and therefore removes the potential maximum yield. However, in this case, this is in fact, increase them as much as possible.
I started, those principles, of paramount importance, not only seemed so obvious when, later, I decided to take the dimensions of the modified Dadant and chamber brood frames with 12 instead of 10, I do after careful consideration on the technical conditions of exploitation of our apiary.
At that time, I was affirmed on all sides with a chamber as large brood, no harvest would be possible on the heather, the bees because it delivered the nectar collected. These statements from elders and experienced beekeepers, I could not reject as unfounded. My innovative result of the study of mature bees and comparison of various beekeeping techniques, they showed to me the primary benefit, but it remained to confronted with the harsh realities of experience.
I decided to go ahead during the summer of 1924. At that time, our hives were scattered in three places in groups of 40. In each of these, 20 colonies were installed in the new hardware Dadant. Although summer 1924 was not very favorable, this transfer could be achieved without too much difficulty. The year 1925 proved more successful for the harvest of honey as well as for the transfer of the hives. As for results, they were surprising in several respects of view.
Since then, it appeared obvious that these new beehives met the technical requirements of exploitation, but also by their development, resulting in exceeding expectations.
The change of all the beehives was completed in 1930. There is no doubt that this type of hive with a large brood chamber is not suitable for all regions, especially those who have a spring honey flow. Furthermore, the use of this material requires good strain queens and top quality.
INSTALLATION OF RUCHERS
Then Brother Adam deals with the question: bee hives or covered outdoors. It gives preference to the latter, partly because the hives are less close, the drift is small, and the dangers of spreading disease, lower . The provision of online hives, he says, has the same disadvantages. Since 1922, he placed his hives in groups of four, each with his board flight oriented differently. Brother Adam has never seen differences in crop yield, but, against less than wrangling before the hole and no flight queens packed following error theft. Each group of four hives is installed as follows, at a distance of one another: a common basis for two hives apart from each other by 20 centimeters, the two bases themselves positioned to provide a corridor of 70 cm between each group of two hives of the same base. The high level of hives about 60 cm of the soil facilitates the work to be performed in hives during the year. And it continues as follows:
At our inception, we will install up to 100 hives in one location, we currently do Groupon 40 maximum. Ruches The 320 reports are scattered in nine locations, taking into account the nature of soil and potential of honey. But for all of them, the main honey flow is provided by white clover and heather.
METHOD OF CONDUCT FOR HIVES
Addressing the conduct of hives, Brother Adam emits various considerations that we retain the following:
If it was possible to predict the weather with some certainty, bold intervention of the beekeeper would be appropriate and useful for the economic performance of the apiary. But our weather forecast is bad, random, the beekeeper, at least the professional, can not be based on such elements. In southern Devonshire harvesting opportunities are, in fact, reduced white clover is here that we recorded the highest rainfall.
The beekeeper must determine its mode of operation to ensure a continuous, without regard to the extent possible casual factors. Although our apiary is being farmed intensively, our method is based on the most simple and the most basic, while avoiding any work that is not strictly necessary. It is truly amazing to see how the beekeeper has little opportunity to intervene positively in the interest of the bees and therefore little influence on the outcome final. "
WORK OF THE SEASON
From the beginning of October to March first, we give up our bees to their fate, the winter season often happens that I take a look at the hives. In autumn, they were all well supplied, mainly honey. No worries to those whose roof was attached to the base with a wire, they can face the worst storms.
At the beginning of March, we start cleaning the floors of hives and take the opportunity to cast a furtive glance on the status of populations. As we have said, our apiaries include approximately forty colonies, so we a stock floor serious alternative.
Every morning, we go to any of our facilities and proceed to the replacement of soiled floors. They are brought to be cleaned with boiling water and dried overnight. The operation is usually completed in mid-March. At that time, the outside temperature is at home, warmed sufficiently to allow a quick visit to the hives and the reduction in the number of frames, leaving only those that are well covered with bees . It is noted the strength of each colony. Based on this information we calculate the average strength of each of the hives and know and those who are either too weak or too strong. Based on these data, we can proceed the equalization of populations, a few weeks later, in late March, concurrent with the renewal of queens.
In this last operation, most of the queens have been chosen in a timely manner so as to perform equalization and renewal at the same time. Of course, equalizing the number of frames is possible at that time that if there is several apiaries, bees and brood surplus are transferred to the hive to another hive, so no fear of bees returning to the strain on which they were collected and equalization is performed in the most effective. I consider this, at this time of year, as one of the most important, the benefits are numerous both in terms of the technique of hives to conduct its commercial exploitation.
During the subsequent period, we treat each one as a unit. When we find that one of them must have more space for growth, the same need exists in others. This greatly simplifies the service of each hive. Nothing does more work and time wasted in a large operation that people who, on the average, are either too high or too low during the stage of their development, before the main honey flow . ruchées The small, abandoned to themselves, do not reach the necessary strength for the time of harvest and grow often through the contributions of the latter. As against the developed ruchées too often spend their force by a spin unnecessary, long before the honey flow begins.
This equalization of populations is also advantageous for the pecuniary profit of the holding. The thinking, confirmed by practice, provides evidence that by this method of equalization, all the forces of the people must be at the time of the great honey, superior - and indeed it is - that they would have had without equalization. This fact becomes apparent in the final outcome of the harvest.
RENEWAL OF QUEENS
In this regard, Brother Adam has published the early 50's, a very interesting article where he outlines his views on the delicate introduction queens.
The general change queens is performed here in March for the reason that to date, it requires a minimum of work and produces no undesirable decrease of the strength of the population, which would not be the case if this operation took place in summer.
A queen reached full training and a greater productivity in the years following its birth. Presumably, the full potential of spawning is not acquired in the summer during which she was born. This rise may be doubts. But our operations with hives and honey spacious late autumn always brings us proof of its accuracy. The introduction, at this time of year, a queen who previously tested and, moreover, is found in the full force of his youth, requires above all the population development since the spring.
I would not leave the impression that we do not renew queens than in March. Although they are generally at this season. But for some hives, not the new queen will be given until this appears necessary. If necessary, when our reserves of queens of the previous summer is dead and we are forced to use the newly fertilized queens, despite the difficulties introduced. During my career as a beekeeper, j 'I have tried all known methods for introducing queens, none gave me any guarantee of security and it is precisely the newly fertilized queens which are generally made and sold, despite the large losses experienced.
New research has confirmed the correctness of the theory that I had originally advanced. Often cited breeds hatred as a cause of failures in the acceptance of a new queen, for my part, I do never had proof. But there is no doubt that young queens of some breeds are more nervous and more easily provoke a hostile bees so they are at risk at any time to be killed by them. In fact, this is a proof of the correctness of my opinion in this matter.
In summary, the acceptance of a new queen is not so much a smell, but its behavior. A queen completely formed, laying eggs for some time, is quieter and can be safely introduced in without the need to use every precaution prior hitherto deemed indispensable. The opening of the hive may, however, be life threatening. But few weeks are enough to radically alter its behavior, its process will be slower, more balanced, more worthy of a matron and her reactions will be calmer, more measured. After four weeks of spawning, it will reach full maturity, but its peak spawning, which will occur only 'during the following year, as I said earlier. The four weeks that I specify for its maturity, must be extended somewhat to the queens who are nervous of birth, because of their race and for some bastards queens, but in my experience, this delay does not exceed two months in extreme cases.
A method of introducing queens giving any guarantee of security is an absolute necessity for any bee farm.
The full renewal operation, two thirds of our hives are compared with a young queen. The best queens of two years are left temporarily to their people and in early May, several of them are delivered to institutions, societies or professional breeders for reproduction.
DEVELOPMENT OF PEOPLE
A nearly equal, our colonies cover, usually in late March, seven executives Dadant. The average rate of growth depends more or less the conditions of harvest on the heath during the preceding autumn. In years of deficit completely honey, we can predict the next collapse of population as it was in 1947, years during which our hives, after equalization, had just four frames of bees. Moreover, it is not desirable that people grow up at this time of year, because we do not have honey in the spring. ruchée A medium strength this season will have a better development to reach its maximum at the time of the great honey .
An experienced beekeeper knows that often a nucleus from the previous year grows better and gives a better harvest a hive population that is too early in the spring.
After the equalization of populations and the renewal of queen bees, we do not receive more hives until mid-April. If the weather is unfavorable, they are maintained on a limited number of frames. Otherwise, add a framework and ten days after a second. Enlargement is gradually until late May or early June, when each hive has a full complement of twelve great frames.
FRAMES BEDS OR WAX EMBOSSED
Every people must build each year a minimum of three frames, they are always placed on the outside, near the partition or the wall of the hive. We have no constraint on bees that are spontaneously begin building. Except in rare and exceptional passing, we will never put the wax embossed in the middle of the other managers, nor do we proceed to a limitation or a brood of translation as it once was practiced in England.
I said, sometimes, that we put the frames in the middle of the building other than in exceptional cases. Normally, they are hung alongside the brood frames trimmed, this investment can be made at any time without trouble in the population development and without inconvenience to wax built. Everyone knows what happens when, in the absence of honey, wax frameworks are introduced in the middle of the brood. Moreover, the operator of a large bee n has no opportunity to build the frames at the most favorable for each of his hives, so the place there on the sides immediately on leisure. Thus the bees to access and build at will and these executives will be better built. But it is not always the case with bees mongrel race. They spoil the frames placed on the periphery of the nest to brood by establishing cells of males in large numbers, for against, if these frames are suspended between the frames of brood, they will be very well built with cells of workers. As soon as they are completed, it will translate on the sides of the hive, which will require additional work. But with bees bastards, the only option.
'S what we said earlier, many of my listeners will have guessed that among us there is no question of feeding stimulant. Exactly. In time, feeding was considered necessary, we start very early to provide: Christmas, each population received a small box of candy, sugar paste a special confection. Additional one to two pounds one another until the end of February. At that time, were given each evening of hot sugar syrup in small doses. I also practiced the sport. Today, there is no question, except in cases of absolute necessity. I do not use elsewhere that I protest. The feeding administered in April or May cause excessive construction in cells of males and rearing drones.
It does that sometimes we must use them during the years of scarcity where the feeding is needed to keep people alive.
PLACEMENT OF INCREASES
Nos. ruches receive their first increase in mid-May, during the flowering apple trees, so before the brood nest to contain the full number of its cadres. If we expect when all of our hives have their twelve frames, a tendency to spin appears at the end of May against For, by putting up as soon as the bees cover nine frames, the development of the population continues without interruption.
We use grids at Queen manufacturing particularly strong. Previously, for many years, we did not use grids, but we found they had more advantages than disadvantages.
As we have said, each ruchée should build during the year, a minimum of three frames embossed wax. The first increase, if possible, topped with a few frames built, failing with embossed wax . We believe that many bees must build. The renewal of the wax frames the bottom of the hives is an absolute necessity for the prevention of bee diseases.
Our method requires a strict monitoring of hives during the reporting period of population growth and the time for spin. Since the end of March until the end of June, it does not go two weeks without my taking the pulse of the degree of development of the colony. This periodic inspection is essential to check the lay of each queen. If one of them does not meet our requirements, it is replaced without mercy.
During the period of swarming, the hive visit is made each week. Since the end of July, after the removal of two frames of wax built, no further inspection is carried out until the last moment before the setting hivernage. Except in time of spin, a visit to hive lasts no more than a few minutes: a look at the first two or three frames of brood is sufficient in most cases to give us the necessary information.
The main spin period only lasts from the 5th to the 20th of July. When we work with our indigenous bees and beehives to British standards, it was not uncommon to see swarms out in April and the month of May was the culminating moment of the spin. With the use of Italian bees and brood nests to double, the appearance of swarms has been delayed until July. Currently, in England, it ' there is no production or breeding swarms. It seeks only to prevent them from birth.
The spin is the big problem of the modern beekeeper, a stumbling block especially for large farms whose hives are scattered in groups to several miles apart from each other.
The English considers beekeeping as the dominant issue of the prevention of swarming. Means to be an obstacle, there are legions who have been recommended. In this area, little by little, over the years, it was a pause. The flow of ideas and systems have subsided, scattered on the pitfalls of implementation. There is only one sure way to prevent the emergence of swarms, c ' is to remove the Queen as soon you notice the warning signs of spin. I use this process already at time j'opérais apiaries with the English type and I still use today if necessary. It has many advantages for the performance of operations.
After removal of the queen, I stand by the hive to the status of an orphan for 10 days and, after destroying all the queen cells, I give the hive a young queen fertilized, I m'épargne many work and fatigue, and - most important - I get a crop far more abundant on white clover, which is not the case otherwise. Once the queen and brood in the presence of non-sealed, all the people rushing to work and trying to harvest with a fervor that can not be compared to that which leads a swarm. This method of preventing swarming has also other important benefits: interruption of brood production for almost two consecutive weeks, resulting in some disease prevention brood - the disastrous American foulbrood except - as well as diseases of adult bees And thanks to this ruling brood, it obtained a decrease in population since the end of the harvest, specifically when a surplus of bees is disadvantageous.
A hive treated following this method will address the winter with a majority of young bees, and the following spring, it is truly amazing to see how the colony is growing when compared to those who have not been treated in the same way. This method does not doubt that it succeeds or fails. If it is just the harvest of white clover on the economic advantages are extraordinary. But this method of preventing a spin in our case, a very big disadvantage. Indeed, for the departure to the heather in August, strong colonies we are absolutely necessary, yet by this method, we do not: 1) because at the moment, it operates a stay of two weeks in the expansion of the brood, 2) the fact that newly fertilized queens, do not correspond with the same zeal as those who were born the previous year.
It is easy to understand that we have no other option to prevent swarming by a means that we retain populations in full force for the heather in August Presumably, there is a method to remember method which, anyway, a lot of work and that certainly is not the ideal solution of the problem is that of the weekly monitoring of all the hives during the spin and destruction in each of they all cells of queens. This research work is not so painful that it seems at first sight: this inspection is as always, but this time, however, a smaller, a look at the first two pairs of frames in the brood nest is enough to know if everything is in order. In the case of premonitory signs of spin, all the queens of cells must be destroyed. If the queen still widely pond, it is likely that during the next inspection, we will see more alveoli. We repeat the destruction and we will continue until any tendency to spin or defeated.
It sometimes queens are lost during the season and need to replace these colonies are no longer useful for harvesting over the heather, their number is still small and poorly in any case can not be avoided.
I should have let you know that among us, a new queen is never made without the clipping of one of its wings. Of course, that does not spin, but can no longer swarm s' escape and it is always returned to the strain without the queen. It also allows us to capture the swarm without difficulties. I know from experience how taking the swarm can be difficult, because I live in a very wooded area. ever, since 40 years I have been a disadvantage or loss resulting from clipping a wing. For the large beekeeping operation is hardly possible without the operation so simple. For us, clipping is seen as something Basic self-evident.
PLACEMENT OF NEW FRAMEWORK FOR THE
Visits made during the time that spin coincides with that of the great honey, you write at home, the additional increases that are still lined with embossed wax. Then, in the flowering of white clover, a further increase is added to others. This increase in volume achieved by the high and causes no trouble in the hive, saving us a lot of work to the benefit only placed the wax embossed frames are built faster. In addition, this mode increases investment gives us the assurance that, if a sudden change of time, the nectar will not be dispersed over too many frames. Furthermore, we simply remove the cover frames for whether there is lack of space, which is important when conditions are favorable at harvest, in which case a further visit to that each week will be needed.
When the honey is coming to an end, a change is made in the position increases. It is conducted during recent visits per week: the top is laid up directly on the grid for the queen because she is not satisfied honey and the increase was in the bottom is placed at the top. This is to remove, on time and without trouble, increases intermediaries are fully lined and placing those who are not in favor to bees. Indeed, at the end of the honey, the bees are increasingly storing honey near the brood.
Typically we extract no honey before the end of harvest unless increases are required to empty the transfer on the heather. It so happens that one or the other year, after a good harvest, as the bee takes the appearance of a miniature city of skyscrapers, desired vision, vision dream for any beekeeper.
HARVEST ON THE BRUYERE
Brother Adam described the flora of the heights of the moor Dartmoor where he moved his hives (Caluna, Erica, Ceneria, Tétralex, etc.).. It explains the provisions that allow it to succeed in ten days, usually from 28 July the transportation of his 320 hives and their installation in groups of 30 to 40 in various locations from 25 to 50 kilometers away from their usual locations. And it continues as follows:
The treatment of bees on the heath care is limited to ensure adequate space in the hive to store the harvest time, and honey when are favorable. As the spring rises empty are placed as the needs and one over the other. At that time, no intervention or any measure can change the composition and strength of colonies, the numbers of bees are present or there is not. Here I must say emphatically that it is necessary to have a nest to brood large: the success of the crop depends on the heather. An example from my experience will illustrate my views thereon. In 1933, good year for honey, two beekeepers had set their hives close to ours, both use the English template hives. Shortly before the end of the honey, I had the opportunity to know what they had collected: an average of 28 pounds derived from their statements pickups early August, but, they said, five days after August 24 that were conducive to honey, they had no additional contributions. These are these five days that had been our hives, best of all those I can remember they gave us, with the outcomes of 20 pounds per day. We have harvested this year, more than 100 pounds per hive in increases and, in some hives, the body still contained 50 pounds.
What was the cause of this striking difference in yield, 28 and 100 pounds ...
Without a doubt, these two beekeepers had led heather on their bee hives populated older who are exhausted during the first harvest in August: the reduced brood of these colonies did not produce a new generation high enough for the harvest of the five days of the end of the month. This is a good thing since he was, later, the two beekeepers have complained of high mortality during the winter: the same observation was made also in most other operators using the English model with reduced brood chamber. One of my friends, a more sophisticated professional from England, also carried every year its best hives heather: he owned a total of 1700 people installed in hives like English, but with 14 executives in the body to brood. His results on heather never reached half of ours. Only the capacity of our brood chamber and the full development of our population can explain such yield spread.
In September 7, all increases, whether filled or empty, are placed on the shelf-hunting bees and removed after two days. The hives are ready for carriage return. This completed, each colonies on the same day received 6 liters of syrup; the feeding is administered to all the hives without taking into account the amount of honey they can still contain.
It is a good rainy season is not possible for bees which have only heather honey as provisions. The 6 liters of syrup supra, stored by bees in the center of the nest to brood, will be consumed in the first place during the winter. Thus the danger of dysentery will be largely excluded, although it is still a certain risk. Also, after the first feeding, all the hives are weighed and all those who do not reach a weight determined average, receive an extra syrup for their lack of weight. In bad years, when the heather did not harvest, which unfortunately happens quite often, we supply each hive the minimum amount of syrup to it will survive the winter. In those years of scarcity, a broad provision would be premature and totally consumed by the bees and the result of the disastrous result and the practice has proven.
The finished feeding, it remains to make a last specifically for the presence of the queen in each hive. The number of frames is reduced to ten.
Any other operation is no longer appropriate at this time of year. After 1 October, no hive will be more open.
Quoique us some winters are harsh, with temperatures from -20 ° C, no such special protection of the hives are taken. Experience has shown that even the cold weather did nothing to harm bees, but rather are advantageous because the consumption of provisions and lower population growth, lower in spring is all the better. We are not protecting our hives specially against the cold, but we strive to accommodate the wind
It is about 45 years, Dr. Philippe and Georges Demuth made themselves the protagonists of a system of protection against the cold to hive grouped by four.
Brother Adam is a detailed description of this system. Remember that it was out of walls constructed with branches and leaves.
Seduite by this novelty, I did build and place two boxes of the case and I waited the result with great interest. The eight hives subject to experience spent the winter in perfect condition, managers did not a trace of mold. But disillusionment came these colonies do not grow, we saw no joy or brood rearing or growing animation nor the bees at work, but only a languid survival. Rather, populations settled in my relief funds which, at that time, had a roof of tarred cardboard, reinforced by leaps and bounds. I decided to experience the following winter and the results were not best.
A few years later, a professional English was established 40 such funds for wintering Philips of all his 160 hives. For my part, at the same time, I decided to use my two old boxes for a new trial for two consecutive winters. My results as those of the owner of the 160 colonies that did not confirm the findings in previous years. Indeed, subsequently, this method of protection was abandoned both in Canada and the United States. J 've done the story of these experiences and draw the necessary conclusion, that the cold of winter are favorable for the development of the spring population and protection against cold exaggerated the opposite effect .
I think I have described the important points of our method of operation and I know as much as possible the reasons why I have adopted the rules in preference to others. It is not a refined way of conducting the hives, but caring for bees, which are easy care, reasonable and controlled by the goal. Any mode of operation is a means to an end, it is the results which are the criteria for the accuracy of the method was selected.
Translated from French Version - Belgium Beekeeping 25 1961 p.262-268 and 300-302
The Iberian Peninsula
When, in 1949, was first developed the plan for this company, the Iberian Peninsula will form an important link in the chain of countries requesting an investigation. It is, however, that in 1959 that appeared during exploring this area adjacent to the Mediterranean. The Iberian peninsula is of particular importance both to the view that scientific practice, in relation to the task I have undertaken.
Iberian origin of Bees
The RUTTNER Dr. Friedrich (1952) notes that during the glacial period which extends over a million years, climatic conditions were such that they excluded the existence of the honey bee to the most of Europe. The great Scandinavian ice cap extended from North to a line south from the Severn estuary to England in the east to Kiev in Russia and more far. The Pyrenees and the Alps were covered by glaciers and the region, extending further north to the fringe of the Scandinavian ice sheet, was a vast tundra. The fossil remains, so far updated in Europe, all date from the Tertiary period. During the glacial period, the European bees were reduced to three places of refuge on the Continent: the Iberian peninsulas, Apennines and the Balkans. The bee of the peninsula of Apennines, Italian, has probably always been confined to his home country because of what the Alps formed an insurmountable barrier to any migration to the North. For against, after the ice age, the bee Balkan Peninsula could extend north to the eastern barrier of the Alps, and north-east until the edge of the southern Russia where it seems that progress has been halted, not by mountain ranges, but vast steppes without trees. From this it follows that the repopulation of Europe after the Ice Age was the case of a bee in the Iberian Peninsula. The gap at each end of the Pyrenees, allowing migration without lock or barrier towards the north. The return of post-glacial bees in central Europe took place approximately 7,000 years.
Since the black bee of Europe from the Balkan Peninsula, Dr. R UTTNER held that it should receive the name of his country of origin, as well as two other European varieties bear the names of countries where they are now in their most typical. While there is no doubt that the European bee black or brown - and, indeed, all the bees that are found throughout the north of Russia - back to the Iberian strain, it is, in turn, equally certain that it, in a more distant past, is the descendant of a bee North African Tellien commonly called, is the Apis mellifera unicolor var. intermissa. In my report, published in 1954, I expressed the view that the Tellien was a primary race, and that many varieties of brown or black bees - at least those in Western Europe - had evolved over time from the Tellien. I reported that I had not had the opportunity to explore the Iberian peninsula but the variations - from the prototype - identified in the lines in the south of France and north-west Europe were a matter of degree. The closeness of the relationship is obvious. It was easy to follow the line of evolution towards north and north-east from the Pyrenees. The differences are merely shades of degree and intensity. outset it was clear that, although the Iberian Peninsula has been a relay station on the path of development , it is nonetheless a vital link between the so-called European black bee and the prototype. As far as we know, the glacial and interglacial periods extending over a period of more than a million years up to 5000 years BC Apis mellifera var. mellifera was confined to the territory south of the Pyrenees. It was virtually isolated from any contact with the African continent and, even more completely with the rest of the world. détroit Gibraltar, the narrowest, is 14.5 km wide and can be considered as certain that a swarm can cover this distance in flight. The strong wind is almost constant and localized to the strait and in the immediate vicinity makes crossing doubly impossible for a swarm.
These considerations aside, I was to get acquainted more closely with the bees and beekeeping in the peninsula, which had been filled with details about the trip. This information, I was a young monk Spanish had visited Buckfast from 1926 to 1928 to learn about beekeeping. He belonged to the abbey of Valvanera in the North. bees and beekeeping are being linked to the abbey in the heart of Spanish beekeepers in any particular that the Virgin of Valvanera is considered the protector of beekeepers all over Spain. This young monk, with eighteen members of this community, was unfortunately killed in autumn 1936 during the civil war.
The Third Voyage
I arrived in Spain in early September 1959. Entered by the end of the Mediterranean Pyrenees, I left two months later by the far Atlantic, via Irun. During my stay, I traveled up to 10 500 km by car. My investigation led me Gerona in the north-east to Lagos in the south-west, and from Tarifa, the southernmost point in Coruña in the northwest corner. I had to the generosity of both the Spanish and Portuguese beekeepers to buy queens of each sector of the peninsula, as well as samples of bees in many more, for biometric studies by the Department of Rothamsted bee.
S EÑOR V INUESA AG, which publishes Apicultura, and JM S Sr EPULVEDA, both veterinarians, m'accompagnèrent Spain. In Portugal, the Ministry of Agriculture appointed Sr V. C Orrell, his adviser in apiculture for me. It is often said that time does not take consequences for southern people, they have a penchant, forgivable to see all that is possible after . The fact was certainly not the way the three characters in question. In fact, I often had to make a big effort to take towards their energy and determination. By day, no time lost, and often the on traveling long hours at night.
Climate & Conditions
The Iberian Peninsula is a world unto itself in many ways. It is cut off from the rest of Europe by a powerful barrier mountainous and difficult to move except at its extremities. It is also a country of violent contrasts. The south - east and north-west are mountain ranges on the scale of the Alps, above the snow line. Among these mountains nestle rich and lovely valleys.
In contrast, the vast central plain or plateau, at an average altitude of 600 m, has a huge scope of a distressing uniformity with extreme temperatures - furnace in the summer and cooler in winter. The edge is along the Mediterranean climate is equally devoid of winter in the proper sense. Along the west coast, north of Lagos, Coruña, heavy winds from the Atlantic moisture penetrate deeply to the inland they confer extreme fertility. The southern Spain, especially Andalusia and Portugal, have warm winters and hot summers. The distribution of rainfall and their contrasts are also charged, that the country own. The north-west of the peninsula have average precipitation of 710 mm and above, with 1776 mm in St Jacques de Compostela - the equivalent to what we have to Buckfast - and 30.5 mm and less in the south East of Spain, but 901 mm in the region of Gibraltar. The rainfall in north-west, reminiscent in type and intensity what we have in England. The day we were in Vigo and a few weeks later in northern Portugal, we got rain every bit as persistent and torrential than what Devon has accustomed us. In the arid parts of Spain, the rains are reserved for the fall and winter but are very uncertain and spasmodic. Can occur short and violent rain, which often seem to fall from a clear sky. showers of this kind can not penetrate the hard crust of soil and have little effect as to take this there may be fertile surface layer. When the rain comes out, which happens only too often, poverty is at the door.
Resources in the Peninsula Honey
Due to the extraordinary variety in terms of climate, altitude, exposure and soil, the Iberian peninsula is rich in plant species than any other sector in Europe.
The trees more typical of arid regions are the two species of oaks, holm oaks persistent (Quercus ilex) and cork oak (Quercus suber) and, naturally, carob (Ceratonia siliqua). In the plateau, often large roads are lined with Robinia pseudoacacia, which is almost the only tree that you see. The predominant vegetation of the plateau and stony uncultivated areas, everywhere where there are huge areas, is made of stunted bushes of herbaceous persistent green foliage of the families of Labiatae and Cistacées. Of these, thyme, lavender, sage and rosemary are the main providers of nectar in the peninsula. The heather and broom, Spanish broom ( Spartium junceum) are extremely abundant in Galicia in the humid north-west, and many species of Erica. In fact, there are large tracts of wetlands in the mountainous region along a line towards the north-west Bragance of Bilbao. The Calluna vulgaris seems, however, much more widespread in the vicinity of the mountainous northern Spain and in wooded areas of this sector. I fell on the heather in bloom in size between Almazan and Soria, then the following day, were extended much broader way to Logrofio. There is also a widespread, especially in the south of Portugal, under the cover of the cork oak. Here, heather flowers significantly later than in northern Europe, and is not stunted, gnarled like us, the port is high and the flower spikes are elongated jet. An infinite number, it seems, heather Erica can be spotted throughout the extent of the peninsula. The most common way is to Spain heather (Erica australis), Portuguese (lusitania E.) and E. arborea alpina, a species of Spanish mountain, E. umbellata and E. scoparia.
The eucalyptus is very common in Andalusia and in part to Portugal. In the province of Huelva, I noted large plantations many years. Two of the most common are Eucalyptus globulus, which bloom in November-December, and E . rostrata blooming from mid-June to mid-July. This gives the nectar in the evening and early morning. The big orange groves confined to a relatively small area, south and north of Valencia and the west of Seville. The Spanish chestnut (Castanea sativa) is found in abundance in northern Portugal, in the area between Braga, Vila Real and Bragança. The white clover (Trifolium repens), although common in the north west of Spain, is not considered as a source of nectar. In Andalusia, vast tracts of cotton (Gossypium herbageum) are grown, but the poison sprays often cause heavy losses in bees.
It is clear that the Iberian Peninsula has an abundance of trees and shrubs and plants, giving nectar, the most important are undoubtedly the orange, rosemary, lavender, thyme, heather and various Erica, Eucalyptus, and perhaps, carob.
All these details may seem superfluous, next to the main objective of my research. However, let me emphasize the fact that a fundamental purpose of a trip like this is to obtain an intimate knowledge of the history and origin of a race of bees, as well as to side and influences that have played in the formation and development of a race and a particular lineage . Remember that the habitat that has, over the years, formed and shaped body is in close relationship with the characters which he is assigned. In fact, the characteristics of an organism often reflect the specific influences of his habitat, and there may be no body in which it is provided as well as in bee. In nature, bees are essential to thank you for the community, and it shall either adapt or perish.
BA 25 (11), 1961, p300-302
Hive modern primitives
In entering Spain, j'ambitionnais explore possible as well as the northeast corner of the peninsula before pushing to Madrid. The province of Catalonia, the varied flora and the relatively wet climate, is a good region for beekeeping. The hive, French original is very commonly used. This hive does not increase. The vast brood chamber, taking fourteen frames 35x30 cm provides the ability to brood and provisions. It is a cabinet-shaped, flat-roof hinges that connect the body: the two ends thereof are fitted with metal handles. The great advantage is the ease of transport - of prime importance where the Pastoral beekeeping is the rule. This applies to much of the country near the Mediterranean. After rosemary and orange trees have finished blooming, the hives are transported in the highest regions of the central plateau, where in June and July, abundant thyme and lavender, and here and there, the sainfoin. The rosemary gives a small second honey at the end of September along the coast. While I was in the south of Narbonne few days earlier by the famous district Corbières, I notai rosemary that would precisely recover to bloom. In Catalonia, the average production of honey surplus is around 25 kg per hive.
According to the best sources, there are approximately one million two hundred thousand beehives in Spain, one third of primitive build. But the actual number may far exceed that number. Portugal, whose size is only 15 % of the Iberian peninsula, has a total of 473 642 colonies, including 111 924 in modern hives. The relative density per km 2 is, therefore, approximately 5.36 per km 2 for Portugal is 2.53 for Spain. The significance of these figures reveals better the closer to the 1.5 average for England and Wales where there are currently 219 545 colonies.
In the two countries, the Langstroth hive is one of the most popular. Indeed, the catalog of the largest house equipment that Spain does Colmena Perfection (Langstroth) and "to Layens." It ' is not used to managers increases low, but only full body Langstroth as increases. Two companies have specialized in the manufacture of embossed wax.
The primitive beekeeping remains entrenched, and rightly so, both in Spain and Portugal. Orense A Leon and I came across hives in tree trunk, and Castille, on some of wattle, with the usual collection of clay. Nonetheless, the cork is the usual material in which are built hives in this primitive part of the world. The vast forests of cork oak trees provide an ideal material for this purpose, particularly as it is an excellent insulation. The cork, in addition, it costs nothing to say and the construction or sentence does not address special. A piece of cork, detached from the tree and which is allowed to resume its natural shape, and a few spines of wood cistus of fitting keys to vertical and the body is assembled. A piece of cork laid flat cap the cylinder, forming the roof, and the hive is ready for use. This is much less complicated than a hive of basket ware or braided straw. Columella tells us that in Roman times it was recreation slaves making beehives cork.
The diameter cork hives varies somewhat. It is usually about 25 cm. The height is approximately 45 cm. These hives are invariably used in an upright position - never horizontally or stacked according to the usual Sicilian or in the Middle East - and usually in large numbers. It is not uncommon to find a hundred or more, or aligned one behind the other in one place. Indeed, these beekeepers in the old-style have a saying: "De uno y cien cien de una" meaning "Out of one hundred, one and out of a hundred", which is an allusion to the transitory nature of the settlements in the bad years and their multiplication the year when magic is good and favorable circumstances.
The state of beekeeping
It may surprise, perhaps, to learn that Spain and Portugal beekeeping is practiced on a wide scale than elsewhere in Europe. In fact, with an average density of approximately 2.9 colonies per 2 km, bee-keeping has to play an important role in the national economy. There is no intensive beekeeping as we know it. Here, we let go as it goes: no effort is made to improve the breed. Italian queens are imported from here and there. There is virtually no breeding queens. The commercial beekeepers rely on pastoral system to make recipe. However large commercial beekeepers are often found to unexpected places. I met one, between Zamora and Salamanca, which had 800 colonies. Near Seville, there is an old family business in 2000 colonies, with a packaging facility as there was no better in Northern Europe. The firm determines its honey jars very pretty, ornate, size and different designs.
Throughout Spain, beekeeping is the responsibility of the Veterinary Service. It is generally represented in the provincial agricultural stations. He also teaches in the major agricultural institutes. I have visited a number . All in the south, near Cape Trafalgar, no less than 27 km 2 and it teaches all branches of agriculture, including beekeeping. Another Institute near Zamora in the north West, seemed to have a similar development. This is private, non-state actors. I have always retained the impression that the Spanish authorities do little to encourage beekeeping. A movement has been developed to constitute a National Institute of Beekeeping Research, but it remains to see if something out of this project. Of course, it is lamentable that the bee does not receive support desirable because a great step forward could certainly be done in all areas.
The conditions in Portugal are, at this point of view, somewhat different. The accuracy of statistics on the number of colonies in this country suggest that the bee is the subject of more concern. ORREIA C Sr Vasco P AIXAO is adviser for beekeeping in the Ministry of Agriculture. He also served as central Posto de Fomento apicola. I noticed many practical demonstrations of zeal with which the Ministry supports beekeeping. L University of Oporto published a study on the pollen analysis of honeys Portuguese (LTE A. Martins, 1951).
The Iberians Bees
It seems quite surprising that so far has not attempted to review or study on the bees of the Iberian Peninsula. I have already explained that, very likely, is that this strain come dark races of Apis mellifera, and this in turn descends from the bee Tellien. The hypothesis that was originally aimed at both south and north, is unsustainable because of what is the bee Tellien which has highly concentrated in it, the characters demonstrate the many sub-varieties.
This bee cares very little political or national borders, it seems hardly correct to speak of a bee Spanish or Portuguese. Nor does it matter to diversify several races, since there is not mountain barriers that can isolate an area of the Peninsula and the other lead to the development of distinct races. As against, there are various distinct lineages, most likely due to geographical conditions and climate differ significantly in Peninsula. But it is necessary to emphasize that these differences are never more than in the degree of intensity in the basic characters. So it would be wrong to expect something that is not present in the prototype, so it would be to assume that geographical factors do climacteric or not a selective effect on the basic characters, especially for someone as sensitive to the influences that the bee.
Luis M P ORRES ENDEZ in his treatise beekeeping, published by him in Alcala de Henares in 1586, speaks of the great diversity in size, color and temperament of the bees of his time. This is certainly still true now. But the diversity is not limited to the size, appearance and temperament. It extends to all qualities which is based on performance. On the whole, the Iberian bee is black as jet and Black is often exacerbated by the limited development of tomenteux and fleece. Nowhere I could find that bees can say yellow, except for recent imports. However, I have observed it to this trademark yellow, restricted to the area where the first three spinal segments join the ventral plates, as noted occasionally in the Tellien North Africa. The queens are black in color and very uniform. They are quick in their movements and rather nervous. They are prolific, but their fertility is largely controlled by the presence of "to" or its absence. In other words, lay not excessive in times of scarcity, which happens easily in Italian. For against, appropriate fertility and full when the conditions are there. Flexibility of this kind is essential in the presence of climacteric ambient conditions. The colonies can develop huge populations when conditions are good and the economic value of such settlements is saved by moderation in fact spin. The extreme tendency to spread the Tellien is his conviction, from a practitioner of the beekeeper. Iberian The bee has in common with the Tellien and in full measure, its extraordinary strength. It is active - not for nothing - at temperatures where other bees can not put his nose out. It also fully shared susceptibility to diseases of the brood. The generous use propolis is one of the most reactions to the bee Iberian. However, there are no lines showing no such propensity. As for the mood, the bees of Spain's north-east and the foothills of the Pyrenees seem more irritable than in the rest of the country. But I met seriously nasty colonies in widely dispersed locations, for example south of Malaga and both north of Lisbon. Overall, the Iberian bees are certainly not as Good composition as Italian, but nothing comparable to the aggressiveness of many bees in France.
These observations are based on what I saw during my stay in Spain and Portugal and on my experience at Buckfast merely the 1960 season. This summer has been a complete failure, from June until the end of the season, it was not possible to gather comparative results about the ability of the harvest bee Spanish pure or mixed the first crossing. It would have taken it to operate on a series of seasons to obtain strong results. I would not surprised that the Spanish bee is hoisted at the French Bee, which was demonstrated by the experience it is the most notable producer of honey of all the European races.
I have already mentioned the sensitivity of brood disease, defect common to almost all the varieties of the common black bee in Europe. All of these varieties also typically share a sensitivity to acariose which is among the Tellien, the common ancestor, which they descended. acariose The very rampant throughout the Peninsula and in particular along the Mediterranean and Andalusia. In fact, I was told that the losses were so severe they have caused a decrease the number of colonies in Spain. The authorities have come to the conclusion that the treatments have little value, and that the only long term solution would be to develop resistant bees. Experiments in this direction are underway in Malaga .
Setting off for Spain, I had the firm hope to have the opportunity to visit this unique cave near Bicorp, some 80 km south-west of Valencia where the famous paintings. These rock paintings in the Cueva de la Arana, are a man, a rock, collecting honey from a cavity. It is the oldest monument of its kind, relating to beekeeping: on believes it dates back to between 8 000 and 10 000 years of opinions. It was painted in all likelihood at a time when much of Europe north of the Pyrenees and the Alps was still the last to embrace dwelt the glacial period.
We left Valencia in the morning, but other occupations prevented us to reach Bicorp before four o'clock in the afternoon, to hear us say that the cave was an hour away and could not be go on foot. We do not have the time needed to be in the evening in Alicante, which was still a famous ride. To our great disappointment, we did not leave without seeing the paintings.
During the first part of our journey, we had ourselves to extreme heat. I'll never forget the day in Murcia, where even my companions, however, accustomed to high temperatures, found the heat almost untenable. On the end, there were heavy rains that made the advance difficult in northern Portugal. The cold does not spared either: we had just finished inspecting the latest apiary on a projection of a mountain near vertical Colvilha dominant that we had to take the legs neck to place ourselves in a hailstorm. The next morning on the way back since Guardia was significantly winter. Thanks to the determination showed my assistants We finish very appropriate.
Extract from Belgium Beekeeping 28 & 29. 1964-65
When I began this work in December 1948, my hope was to have finished in a few years. However, without the design having been extended in any way - each of the countries included in the program set at the origin -- work was carried out at the end of 1962: that the task requires that each step in a program organized into detail, organized and coordinated.
The first relationship, published in the Bee World "in 1951, contained an overview of the purpose and scope of the company, and details on what I found in France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Sicily and Germany.
The second relationship, which appeared in the Bee World "in 1954, contained what I found in North Africa, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Cyprus, Greece, Yugoslavia - or, more precisely in Carinthia - and in the Alps of Liguria.
The third relationship, which appeared in the Bee World "in 1961, covered only the Iberian Peninsula. In autumn 1954, I made a short visit to Turkey and the islands Egées.
A report on "The bees of Asia Minor" was sent to the International Congress of Apiculture in Rome (but so far a detailed report of the voyage in question had not been published). A report on the islands Egées appeared in 1961, in German, in the "Bienenpflege." In July 1956, I have seen in Bosnia, Herzegovina, Montenegro and Pest plateau in Serbia. Details this trip are included in this relationship at the same time as those relating to my visit to the north-eastern part of Serbia, Banat.
The addition of travel, made in 1962, covering Morocco, Turkey, northern Greece, north-east of Yugoslavia and Egypt. I left England to Morocco on 26 March and, after have led to Turkey and Yugoslavia, I returned Buckfast on 28 June, in time to help with the main season. On 2 October, I fly from London to Cairo to return in January 1963.
After crossing from Harwich to Hoek van Holland on the night of March 26 to 27, I check the "Autobahn" from La Hague to Germany to South, then, by Lyon, Narbonne, Barcelona and the Mediterranean coast win Gibraltar where I waited Dr HR B ARNES, my traveling companion volunteer in Morocco. Shortly after midnight, I heard his plane to arrive and we found ourselves the next morning at breakfast. A few hours later we were on our way to Tangier.
In 1962, I had every intention to visit Morocco, but various difficulties prevented me from pushing to the west, in the neighboring country. In retrospect, I realize that this offer had fallen to very , because I never have done my work to my satisfaction in the circumstances prevailing at that time. I do not wear little interest in indigenous bee black Morocco, me realizing that it could differ materially of indigenous bee Algeria, A. mellifera intermissa. The purpose of my visit to Morocco was primarily to obtain a more precise knowledge of the bee Saharan habitat. In this regard, Paul H accours of Sidi Yahia of Gharb, whom I had met the Congress of Rome and Madrid, I was extremely useful. accours Mr. H (see his article on the bee saharienne: http://fundp.ac . be / ~ jvandyck/homage/artcl/haccour61.html), which has about 2,000 colonies, is of the finest merchants in beekeeping that I had the pleasure of meeting. In addition, he speaks Arabic and has a lifetime of experience in dealing with the indigenous population.
Our first visit to his house, a house at some distance from Sidi Yahia, shaded by eucalyptus, mimosa, lemon and many other species of subtropical species. The air was embalmed for the strong smell of orange blossom, especially early in the morning before the sun had dissipated the high humidity. At midday, the thermometer marked 32 ° C. We arrive at the season when the countryside is full of the flora richer. And unusually abundant rains in previous months had made the flora of an unusual luxuriance. After two days in this wonderful landscape, you can visit some beekeepers in the neighborhood, we left for the desert in the company of Mr. and Mrs H accours.
Our road led us across the Atlas septentrional, via the Col du Zad. Here, some 2000 meters, joining us for winter conditions and snow everywhere around us: we are told that a week earlier, we could not move the neck in a car. We passed the night in Midelt, a small village in the eastern hills of the Atlas.
We approached the edge of the Sahara, the nature of vegetation change and date palms were appearing in here and there. Instead of the bare rock and the stones, were emerging from the dunes sand. Long before noon, we touchions the Tafilalet a group of oases that Mr. H accours considered the cradle of the A. sahariensis mellifera.
BA 28 (12) 1964 P316-317
The Bee Saharienne
I think that Ph.D. BALDENSPERGER who first drew attention to this race in 1921. He discovered this bee in Figuig the oasis to the east of Morocco. Insofar as stated in our current knowledge, Figuig is also the the further east where the race could be encountered. We do find at least not in the best-known oasis in Algeria, Laghouat such, Bou Saada, Biskra and Ghardaia. To the west, extends its presence at least as far as Ouarzazate, as we could we make ourselves. It is necessary to realize that this race is successful in its expansion by two natural barriers: the majestic chain of the Atlas Mountains north-west, and the endless sands to the east and south. In addition, each of the various oasis is virtually isolated from the others by miles of barren desert. As far as I could get report, there is little or no crossover as possible from one place to another, most of the time.
The question arises. How is this race she arose and what the bee saharienne is a separate race, distinct in its external and physiological characters, can be no doubt. We know that through all of Africa North of Tripoli to the southernmost confines of Morocco bordering the Atlantic, the jet black bee A. mellifera intermissa a key position without competition. But here, caught between the Atlas and the desert We are in a relatively narrow, limited to the edge of the desert, pockets of a miniature breed yellow bees. I can not believe for one moment that this "Sahara" could over time result of a change in the intermission. There is no similarity between the two races. accours Mr. H is of the opinion that Jewish immigrants could make this kind since the Middle East for more than two thousand years and that 'Meanwhile, local conditions would have caused changes in what we now call sahariensis. Yet all races of the Near East are well known to me and I can discern little or no resemblance. Externally, the sahariensis looks l 'Apis indica more than any other, but the resemblance goes no further.
The sahariensis is not pure yellow, the color could best be called fauve clear. But there is a range of variations very extensive, and the color ranges from a diverse segments backbones. Because of the dark and strong differences in marking, Saharienne attracts much less than the breeds most vivid colors. For the size, this bee is placed midway between the ligustica and syriaca. The queen also differ from one to the another by the color from light yellow to dark brown, though not black. The drones are remarkably consistent and have two segments clearly colored tanned.
I found pure queens moderately prolific. Bees are relatively soft, although rather nervous, especially in times of drought. When you open a hive, they run here and there, just like the wasps that disturbed on the nest. They also air in large numbers but without evidence of aggression. And on examination, they become as easily radius. I do not bee too bad taking part. At this point view, the Italian bee is at the other extreme: it should be force to make it drop. Another feature of the sahariensis is its rapid flight from the entrance to the settlement. There is not any any loitering and Baldensperger, I believe, had already noted. There is a tendency to propoliser, but not excessively. sahariensis The pure suffered heavy losses at Buckfast during the harsh winter of 1962-63, but colonies survived in good condition in a way surprising, and staying strong. Those queens mixed with first-degree hivernèrent beautifully in every way.
A first-degree hybrid queens sahariennes with our drones proved highly prolific - indeed hybridization most prolific ever so far to our apiaries. In addition, the brood is beautifully compact and - particularly remarkable in a first hybridization - more or less breeding males. This was manifested in all the colonies provided a first queen of hybridization of this kind. I regard this as a desirable quality to the highest point, as most mestizos tend to breed males to excess, and some damage invariably crosses a set of shelves or waxes embossed in such a way that their subsequent use becomes uneconomical. sahariensis Although the pure has the reputation be inclined to spin, I did not find that the same for first half. It is premature to give an opinion on the ability to yield nectar collected on the foraging and generally these hybrids, since the summer of 1962 was a complete fiasco in the south-west Devon. Indeed it was the worst season of my forty-nine years of beekeeping. I will say this however: the bee Saharan cross properly, a great potential. For sheer against sahariensis is unlikely to be of some value to the beekeeper.
On this race boasts many qualities, such as language that is exceptionally long, its flight is higher and also his capacity as booty. Language on the side will be fixed as soon as it is in possession of accurate biometric data . The sahariensis is undoubtedly a bee unusually active, but I can not say if the flight area is as large as what has been assumed. Evidence may be provided later in support, based on which we could rely. Given the environment in its native habitat, the assumptions which have had opportunities to prove correct.
The environment and flora
Among the first things that struck me when I arrive in Erfoud, Tafilalet main city, the state was wrinkled and faded palms. Appearance withered and lifeless, they had anything green that generally associated with foliage of the palm, and I had seen in the Algerian oases and other regions of the world. There was an indication of the climate and environment where the bee saharienne spent his life. Here borders of the Grand Atlas and the Sahara, the temperature varies, ranging from very near zero in winter to about 50 ° C during periods of hot summer. In the desert regions, the gap temperature between day and night is very pronounced, but here it seems, more than anywhere else.
A few flowers of the desert, the main sources of nectar are the Date palm, eucalyptus, citrus, alfalfa and vegetables. These are grown in small plots of land among the palms. Visits to colonies which I was able to proceed, it is clear that the struggle for existence is most fierce. Where could have been a colony in activity, as many times have we found an empty hive with remaining radius! The number of colonies in the various oases visited, can be said, at best, be reduced. As a result, it is not surprising that local beekeepers did not decline volontiers a queen and even less of a entire colony.
A map (1950) provides most of the areas we traveled as "zones of insecurity", and modern beekeeping has not had time to penetrate these remote locations, (we are fallen on a hive modern, in the gardens of the governor of Guelmim). Following the custom, it keeps the bees in crevices of houses or garden walls. And these holes are not large: 50 cm wide, 20 high and 25 deep cm and is accessed by removing a cover of wood in one or more parts, set by using clay.
When the hole in the wall of a house, it has access from inside the house or room. And this is the most common way to practice beekeeping in these areas. Nevertheless, to Guelmim in the gardens of the Governor, I noted a number of special designs in clay, size and shape. The entries were equipped with a device against the marauders - a square board of about twenty cm apart, with holes drilled to allow the passage of a single bee. It seems that this is a necessary precaution, though as I was on the spot, I have not found the presence of the many enemies of bees existing in other parts of North Africa, except the false-ringworm.
In the Algerian desert, I had not seen a comparable shortage of bees. Laghouat A, for example, an oasis not more extensive than those visited in Morocco, there were at least 50 colonies Tellien black, of course. A Indeed, there is no 'proper beekeeping in the oases of Morocco: it houses the bees and then left to themselves. Now that I have some experience of Saharienne in England, I can not assign the scarcity of bees in its original habitat to a combination of exceptionally adverse circumstances, to the point we may wonder, in fact, how this race has been established under such conditions and survive to the present days.
We pûmes not included in our tour the oasis to the east of Tafilalet but poussâmes to the west from Ksar es Souk to Ouarzazate. We can say that the habitat of the sahariensis extends to Figuig ouarzazate, but its actual limits to the east and west of these points remain undetermined.
The black bee Moroccan.
D'Ouarzazate, we crossed the Atlas of the Southern Pass Tichka (about 2 500 m) along the left on our Dj. Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa (about 4 500 m). Any along our path of a succession of snow-capped peaks. Then we were ourselves in the snow, but not for long: some 130 km further and we reach Marrakech, where we were off again on our feet again going north.
The main purpose of my visit to Morocco was to gain first hand knowledge of the bee saharienne and its habitat, but I have also benefited to deepen what I knew of one black African bee located in areas to the west of the Atlas. It soon became clear that the colonizers had their french time queens imported from Italy and even America. Even in the south of Marrakech, could be observed for signs of these imports. In general, the native black bee does not differ materially from the Tellien as found in Algeria, so close that their mood is already very bad in Algeria, is transformed here into a savage ferocity. In I met an exception to Petitjean, an apiary in the gap of about 300 colonies belonging to a Berber family. The bees looked more external aspect to the Carinthian and could deal with relative impunity. If these colonies were in hives belonging to modern Europeans, or a short distance from a village or a city, I would have concluded that this was the result of an import. But the bee was away from residential areas and the owners lived in tents, the Bedouin, the hives were made up of woven material and were abandoned in the weeds and thickets. And to complete this picture primitive, it had suspended the head of any animal to ward off bad luck.
Our journey from Marrakech to the north took us through almost the entire length of Morocco. As a result of exceptional rainfall the previous winter, the country was an orgy of color. Shortly after leaving Marrakech palm groves and the last, we enfonçâmes us in an ocean of yellow extending to the eye, apparently common mustard (Brassica campestris). A little later, there were large patches of coriander (Coriander sativum), grown for its fruit. Bees worked full on the latter. Then vast areas of concern for Africa showed. Most of the northern half of Western Morocco to the west of the Atlas was a vast parterre of flowers, with a temperature of greenhouse and a corresponding moisture. What I can say is that this region must present great opportunities for enterprising beekeeper.
Dr L e B ARNES and myself had to take off the day after our return to Sidi Yahia. Our hosts were kind enough to accompany us to Larache where I collect the latest samples of Moroccan black bee farm to a neighbor . prîmes We will leave Mr. and Mrs. H accours. Without their help, I would never have been able to make this part of my research and I realize now I missed the opportunity to obtain a mass extremely valuable information as well as livestock equipment may be, in due course, of paramount economic importance. I would like to express my hosts all my gratitude for the assistance they have lent.
De Gibraltar, Dr B ARNES joined England while earning Barcelona by road to take a boat to Istanbul on 7 April.
BA 29 (1-2) 1965 p5-10
At the dawn of April 23, the "Karadeniz" crossed the Dardanelles, my thoughts referring to the first great war. The heights on the left, for which we fought so furiously, were covered with flowers in spring the warm caress of the rising sun. The continent to my right, I knew it, is considered one of the most favored regions of Asia Minor for beekeeping.
As stated above, I first visited Turkey in 1954. So, I arrived by road, across Yugoslavia and northern Greece. 8 years ago, the road was only Ankara Istanbul stony , most of the time, in large part very sketchy. To my great satisfaction, I found this time all the way excellent road car.
My first visit I traveled to Ankara quite unsure of what I find. I knew that Southern Taunus, I would encounter the influence of Syrian bee and the Caucasian far the Est. But I had no idea what would expect in the rest of Turkey. Two years ago, being in Israel, I had heard of a book: "Study on bees and beekeeping in Turkey "by the late Prof.. FS B Odenheim, who had resided some time in Ankara. The book was published in 1942 but I managed not only in August 1958 to obtain a copy on loan, then a little later, Professor B Odenheim me was holding a copy. But it is certainly very happy that I have not had this book before 1954, otherwise I could very well delete the Asia Minor of my research program and to consider it of no practical importance . There is in this book many interesting details relating to primitive hives and beekeeping methods. The chapter on race contains biometric data and attempts at generalization. The points of importance in my view, the physiological characters and the quality of economic, are not discussed. Some are touched indirectly, such as counting populations of settlements made in the vicinity of Ankara, but unfortunately it appears the impression that the bee would be Central Anatolia less prolific than any known race, and in any event, without economic value.
The first journey in Asia Minor covered the area between Ankara, Sivas, Erzincan, Bayburt, Trabzon, Samsun, Sinop, Kastamonu, and towards the west to the south, and Bursa Eskesehir: in short, the northern half of Turkey. The journey of 1962 took place in the southern half, including the most important visit in 1954, but not including the Eastern Military Region. This is very unfortunate to more than one point of view, may have been an opportunity to consider it after the fact: the roads in Turkey, especially in remote areas, are unimaginable evil, and what I am able to go would have been due to the endurance of any driver. In east and northeast of Anakra, it became almost impossible in 1962: the ground had not yet dried in May and likely to remain stuck and without assistance was constantly present. The rivers were overflowing and it still had to go to ford without knowing if the depth permitted. The memory of those trances and these experiences still haunt me long. But major improvements are underway, including construction of roads axial.
The "Encyclopedia Britannica", Asia Minor includes Turkey itself, Armenia, Cyprus and the whole of the Arabian peninsula. But this time, my research limitèrent to what is commonly considered such as Asia Minor, the area bounded by the border of modern Turkey, east of the Bosporus and the Dardanelles: nearly 500 miles km 2, 14 500 km from east to west and 3 800 km north to the south. This is not a huge area, but a number of different races have their habitat. This may be surprising as long as we ignore the differences in topography and climate of the country.
Topography and Climate
The Anatolia is surrounded by mountain ranges to the north, east and south. Channel A smaller short spurs from the west of the chain until Ponticus Lycian Taurus, closing the circle. The chain west, although 'in reaching some peaks approaching 2 500 m, descends toward the Aegean and the Marmara Sea. At the end, the opposite occurs, the highest being at altitude more than 4 000 m, Mount Ararat - where according to tradition, Noah landed his ark. Surrounded by these mountains, we have Central Anatolia, a steppe to a thousand meters of altitude.
Along the coasts of the Dardanelles Alexandrette, the climate is Mediterranean: rainy winters and dry summers. The coast north of the Bosphorus to Batum, receives heavy rainfall throughout the year, stronger as we approach Caucasus. Near the border Soviet average rainfall reached 250 mm. I remember very well that night I arrived in Trabzon in 1954, at the end of August, it also rained heavily in our South Devon English. In Eastern Turkey, formerly Armenia, it rains much less, but the winters are hard and prolonged. In August 1954, at Erzincan me, I could see the snow the previous winter, remained on the surrounding heights.
The Central Anatolia has hot, dry summers and harsh winters, with up to 43 degrees below zero in Ankara. The rain is scarce, averaging 330 mm annually, or more. Rains throughout the year, as on the Black Sea coast, it does not in Central Anatolia where the little that falls mainly in winter and spring. During most of the summer, this part of Asia Minor offers the spectacle a desert similar to distant Arabia hundreds of kilometers to the southeast. The immense salt lake of Tuz-Golo, in the heart of the plateau, only highlight the arid Central Anatolia .
Vegetation and Flora
In the semi-tropical plains and sheltered valleys of Cilicia and Antalya, eucalyptus, orange, lemon, the date palms and cotton are the main sources of nectar. There are different varieties of clover in the rich pastures on the southern slopes of Taurus. In the highest areas, oak and fir honeydew give, and the alpine flora of nectar. Along the Black Sea coast, the vegetation offers much more variety and richness along the Mediterranean, due to abundant rainfall and fair, though, from the promontory of Sinope by going east, it is deteriorating, the rains have become more rare as we approach the Bosphorus . Almost everything against the Sinope easterly between Gerz and Alcami, lies a vast expanse of jungle, a rich vegetable that I have encountered anywhere else during my travels. The best tobacco in the world come from the region between Samsun and Bafra. To the east of Samsun, they are everywhere qu'Olivier and lemon, and east of Trébisonde tea is widely cultivated. The hills behind the coastal plains are covered by forests pine and fir, cedar, oak and beech. On slopes facing north, commonly grown variety Ericaceae, including Erica arborea and heather. It is also here on Rhododendron ponticum and R. luteum, from which poisoned honey.
Vegetation of western Anatolia further recalls that of Southern Europe. The area south-west of Izmit is one of the finest orchards in the world. Although known mainly for its figs and grapes, many other fruits of many species thrive to perfection. It is also the land of Asia Minor that is most favorable to beekeeping. The Central Anatolia, for its part, is at the other extreme: the spring breaks of suddenly, with a profusion of ephemeral vegetation, but in mid-summer everything has died and the country becomes dry, brown and burned. There are almost no trees in this part of Turkey, except around dwellings . The villages and cities in the high steppe suggest summer to oasis, but in place of palm trees, the poplars are powerful climbing skyward. As expected, the honey in these regions is brief but abundant, followed by 3 or 4 months of heat, drought and sterility until the return of winter. When the flowering spring, nature seems many flowers unknown to me. Nevertheless , judging by honey harvested and vegetation, I conclude that the main sources of nectar are different species of thistles.
To the east of the Central Plateau, towards the hills of Armenia, the constantly rising, the abundance of rain increasing in parallel, as well as the harsh climate. The vegetation is changing accordingly, gradually: Sivas past, pastures are green even in late summer. The honey here is similar to that in England from white clover, except that its density is greater. Baiburt A, at 1500 meters, the vegetation is poor and thin, but that does not mean that I get on with two hives modern Langstroth increases whipped honey. Kars, close to the Soviet border, has the reputation of being one of the villages with the best production honey, but here, as in many regions with large forests, it is mainly honeydew.
Not known long-Asia Minor for its poisoned honey from Rhododendron ponticum in the flower violet and yellow azaleas, more correctly R. luteum. These shrubs grow in the wild, mass, only the along the Turkish coast of the Black Sea, their original habitat. The symptoms of poisoning are nausea, dizziness, headache, visual disturbances, including temporary blindness severity depends on individual susceptibility and the amount of ingested poison. Recently it was reported losses of bees in parts of Scotland provided plenty of rhododendrons, but during my visits to the Turkish coast of the Black Sea, I never heard any mention of losses of bees, as a result.
At the Institute of Beekeeping in Ankara, I was shown a list of flora nectariferous Turkey. It includes sources of honey known as linden, acacia and hazelnut (Turkey is the global source supply of hazelnuts!). I have to find here and there, but never in sufficient numbers to constitute a major source. My two guides were not familiar with beekeeping and this the added handicap of language difficulties. However, information gathered, it was apparent to me that the diversity of flora offers great opportunities for the beekeeper in Asia Minor.
Modern Apiculture and Beekeeping Primitive
Turkey withdrew most of its income from agriculture. It is the occupation of the majority of its inhabitants. Since the end of the Ottoman Empire a great step was taken in order to cover all branches of the agriculture. vilayet Each director has his farm there are many who have a high school where girls and boys are taught free. It is in practice roughly constant as these colleges have a large apiary modern beekeeping is because part of the program. One of them was even equipped to emboss wax. Across the country there are also experimental centers and livestock equipment where a choice is made available to the enterprising farmer, producer of fruit or poultry. Beekeeping is represented in most of these centers, but the main one being the Institute of Apiculture already mentioned, the Aracilik Türkiye Enstitüsü, Ankara Müdürlügü Uman. A breeding station of queens has been established since my visit in 1954 and, as far as I know, it's the only place in Turkey, raising queens is following the modern concepts.
Period the Ministry of Agriculture publishes statistics including the number of colonies in hives and hive modern primitives in each vilayet, but the figures can not be too accurate. It generates sharp fluctuations in the number of settlements, frequently as a result of drought in Central Anatolia or other unusually adverse conditions in the eastern parts of the country. It is generally accepted that the average number of colonies exceeds one million, mostly in primitive hives now.
In any country visited I have not encountered such a variety of primitive hives. In the northern half of Turkey, or wherever the rich wood, oblong wooden hives (100 × 25 × 20 cm) are generally used. They have at the back a removable lid, or more often, a removable top to gather honey in the end of the season. There are also hive made of a trunk, if necessary divided into long and dug chisel , which raises the upper half to make honey. In the southern part of Asia Minor, hives cylindrical braided material are more common but I also sometimes met in the North. All these hives, a few exceptions closely, are used in a horizontal position. I fell on the shelter opened in hives stacked on each other but more often to keep them isolated. Almost Isparta, I've seen woven beehives, just near the size and shape of bells, but pointed and covered with clay. Occasionally meet quantity models bizarre. The use of pipes in the ground, widespread in Syria and other Arab countries, is not widespread in Asia Minor.
Modern hives, the Langstroth, for the model and dimensions, is used almost exclusively, although I met Aydin an apiary of hives consisting of a rare model contained twelve rays of about 25 × 25 cm, parallel to entry. ruches These cleverly constructed and well kept beekeepers indicated that it would. Near Trabzon, to my surprise, I fell on a recent whim: a hive whose executives pointed ends such that an inventor called the french, there are about fifteen years. I was also surprised by the presence in several high schools agronomiques, hives a model English gable roof, entrance, board flight to individuals and foot model I ask myself, without having found the explanation, how it reached Asia Minor.
The modern hive failed to Turkey as fast as many parts of the world, despite the strenuous efforts for its widespread adoption. It seems that the authorities initially did not realize that hive modern is worthless in the absence of wax embossed and extractor. During my first visit, I saw a lot of modern equipment to abandonment. Where this equipment was used, I was often in the presence of a tangle of dismal ray built in all directions by the bees. A beekeeper, conscious of the need to wax foundation, topping its senior leaves probably wax obtained by pouring the wax on a slab of stone. It is not surprising in these conditions it has produced a return to primitive methods. Old beekeepers knew how to drive primitive hives and honey draw. However, during my last visit, I am pleased that all modern beehives were lined with embossed wax. Everywhere, great progress had existed during these eight years.
The Bees of Asia Minor
The Anatolian peninsula, we have seen, presents all kinds of variations in topography. The climate of subtropical high moves to the arid steppe and almost arctic conditions, all in a relatively small area. A widely different conditions as one would expect that corresponds equal diversity of native bees, and this is the case, indeed. Pending the outcome of biometric studies, based on the copies that we were able to collect during our travels and that is possible before a final, I can indicate in general terms the races and found some of their qualities and physiological characters.
Jusqu'ici, there has not been in Asia Minor firing imports accordingly. At the Institut agronomique Bursa was told that his time had imported a number of queens in Italy but that the queen gave foreign aggressive offspring after fertilization by drones indigenous, because what we stopped the imports. Moreover, given that modern beekeeping is still not commonly practiced, we can consider that bees collected were not affected by crossbreeding and reflect the influence exerted by the environment and the changes ordered by Nature since time immemorial. Beekeeping pastoral, which could play a role in this area is little used, except in areas affecting the western Aegean Sea, where there are also the largest concentration of settlements.
At the most southern Turkey, Antakya - in ancient Antioch - Bee is no different from the A mellifera syriaca. It is also true in Gaziantep. However, in Mersin, although bees are always very aggressive, they seem larger and more prolific and far from identical in their external appearance to pure syriaca. These differences were confirmed by crosses made our apiaries. Further north-east, in Malatya, the differences (except for color) are even more pronounced. The color is dark orange to Erzincan, but I was unable to establish how far it continues to the east. It can not find it in the north of Taurus . Gümüsane A, some 80 km due north of Erzincan, we have a pure black bee that seems distinct from the Caucasian we already know. It may seem surprising that short distance Erzincan there is a race bee so different in appearance as far as behavior. It is that these two locations are separated by high mountain barrier that bees are unable to penetrate. Beyburt A, 80 km east of Gümüsane, 1500 m along the Armenian plateau, I fell upon what seemed to be mestizos. Along the Black Sea, the bee goes dark to Samsun. The allocation to the east of Trabzon remains to be determined. We currently have some of our apiaries first hybrid race this Ponticus black and are prolific, difficult to harvest but all too likely to spread. This combination is different in many parts of what we have experienced so far in terms of first Caucasian hybrids.
In this time we have to review and test of pure queens and the first half from places ranging from Mersin in the south, at Sinope, in the north, and all places in the east of the Asia Minor up to the Far West, including the European Turkey. But so far, these comments have focused on the season and, unfortunately, on a season that was disastrous and resulted from the the most rigorous winter in our region since 1740. Also did he not been possible, apart from nature, of fertility, the tendency to swarm, drift, good winter and a few other features, to form an opinion on their relative capacity to harvest. As against, could not imagine better to test the ability of winter survival of these breeds and crosses. With few exceptions, bees Asia Minor have been supremely well the test, both the pure cross.
Although it has not yet been possible to determine the economic value of our imports in 1962, the evidence gathered relate to the view that we will not find a bee than that of Central Anatolia. As our first imports date back to 1955, I was able to do this over a fairly étançonnée opinion.
The bee Central Anatolian
Since it began to exist, the bee had to adapt to its immediate surroundings or perish. The indigenous bee of any region it is, is marked by reflection on his character qualities necessary for its survival in the region. From this it is perhaps no more classic example than the indigenous bee of Central Anatolia, the A. mellifera anatolica.
I have already given an idea of the exceptional climate of the high steppe of Central Anatolia. This, in turn, making his mark bee flora which depends for its existence. On the hills of Armenia, winters are less harsh recognized and longer, but the conditions are less harsh than in Central Anatolia, in fact the worst in all of Asia Minor.
The Central Anatolian bee does not pay mine. Petite, resembling in size to the Cypriots, it has neither the brightness nor the color uniformity of it. Its color can best be described orange blurred turning to brown on both dorsal posterior segments that belly. The scutellum is dark orange. The queens have a dark edge crescent-shaped dorsal to each segment - a feature common to all Oriental races. But here they are dark brown and in yellow or bright orange we have among them a dark orange. But in this dark outside, are hidden qualities economic value unmatched.
The bee is doing Anatolian extremes, both in its qualities and in its defects. Fortunately its unfortunate few, the most serious being its tendency to build houses at all crazy about and irrelevant. This does not tire consequence in beekeeping primitive frames fixed, but too much makes it null and void the advantages of the mobile. In addition, the Anatolian worse using propolis in abundance. However both these defects are greatly reduced if not eliminated when the queens are crossed with a line of Italian, even Carniolan. Ultimately, it is only appropriate when miscegenation - the first and second degree - that most beekeepers can consider to ensure the best economic returns of the bee Anatolian.
Quant qualities, I think I can say in all sincerity that Anatolian is incomparable in any case capable of foraging in frugality and for winter. Crossing makes extremely prolific. In mid-June, the Board to brood a Dadant-Blatt will generally twelve frames at full frame of brood and honey. Yet this bee not exaggerating his breeding out of season, as both breeds tend to do so. It starts slowly in the spring it does not unduly strive to develop the nest before laying the return of sunny days, but they came, it beat any other race.
Miss E Do not waste precious supplies in hopes premature and unnecessary by the time variable and a negative early spring. After the great honey and during food shortages, it arranged so adept at managing its reserves and provisions energy. I consider the frugality of Anatolia, especially in our uncertain climate and honey, as one of his most valuable economic, quality which is so sadly lacking in so many of our lines aujourd Today, raising recklessly in times of scarcity. Experience has shown that the Anatolian take care of themselves in times of scarcity, failure, while others die of starvation.
I noted the great fertility and breeding capacity of this race. But I would like to note that where it might be desirable, it could be by selection, develop a line that fit the dimensions of a nest brood in single size standard English. While so prolific after crossing the Anatolian does not engage in spin, as we have demonstrated experimentally. It also has very good character, supporting the manipulation calm while reacting strongly by cold weather and late at night. Moreover, due to mood, it seems that, following the lines, strong differences occur, as well as I could see myself in Turkey . But in this respect the Anatolian was no exception to my knowledge there is no race that does mark a difference in a line to another. An inappropriate cross fertilization or left at random meetings drones will cause the irascibility in almost any race or lineage.
As previously reported, the Anatolian is endowed with a boundless capacity for work, a faculty which enables him to translate his other qualities values. In fact, this bee personifies the maximum development of every race that I studied may have industriousness and ability to harvest. In addition, we have a bee, not only wonder if the season is good, but will have a performance if it is mediocre or bad. This draws more consequence and is almost more important that a brilliant performance at a really good season. The ability to draw, even the worst summer, was clearly demonstrated during the disastrous season of 1963. On the other hand, during the exceptionally good season in 1959, while our average is found to reach 67.8 kg per colony, the cross Anatolian significantly exceeded this figure and comblèrent our expectations at every point.
The Anatolian has a number of qualities and characteristics that dismay is not aware of the peculiarities of this race. For example, the queens will Anatolian usually over a week to come into spawning after fertilization. This peculiarity n ' a, seemingly, nothing to do with the time the act occurs even when the weather is ideal for fertilization. On the other hand, I found that a quarter of the queens will be a full four years without loss in their power nor in their fertility, even in a colony of normal production. It can be assumed that this exceptional longevity - quite remarkable given the high fertility of queens - will pass in some measure to their offspring of workers. The extraordinary strength of these colonies, corresponding to the effective fertility of queens, can hardly be explained otherwise.
I would like to once again highlight this: we can not rely on pure Anatolian to obtain maximum performance. It is only proper that the cross-race fully its economic potential. In addition, as far here no selection was made in the country of origin can not be obtained immediately queens of the best lines. But no doubt, because of the great progress being achieved in Turkey, could increase opportunities for livestock equipment selected.
While I had the good fortune to discover in Central Anatolia race bee a great economic value, my two trips to Asia were accompanied by vicissitudes and difficulties without a name. I was also forced to shorten my of 1962 as a result of an accident. While I was riding around the lake Egridir a tire broke out - although I had mounted tires specially strengthened to such an eventuality. The car was taken at the bottom of a high embankment and overturned on a pile of quails. Fortunately the damage was only superficial. relief arrived, the car was back on the road and we could continue to the next village. For a more complete repair, I had to wait having reached Salonika few weeks later.
Northern Greece and Islands Egées
After completing my task in Asia Minor, to the best of my ability, I pursued through Edirne and Kavalla to Salonika. I take this opportunity to resume exploration of the Greek part of Macedonia.
It was in 1952 that I had shipped the first batch of queens Greek in England. Thanks to the American Farm Institute, I could I get a new assortment from the peninsula of Halkidiki. The first batch imported in 1952 we had extremely good results, and over the years, my appreciation of the value related start of the race has remained strong. In fact, I consider as one of the most precious breeds we have. I was therefore delighted to have the opportunity to refournir in breeding material.
In 1952, during my research in Greece and the Peloponnese, I had included a visit to Crete. Even then, I realized that my investigation was not complete if I n'explorais not some of the islands Egées. Aegean Sea comprises 483 islands and it was clear from the outset that I could visit only a few.
My first target was the island of Ios, roughly in the center of a group known as the Cyclades. It seemed highly likely that the bees from the other islands has not a substantial difference.
The island of Ios, about 120 km 2 with about 7000 inhabitants. During my visit, the people, bees, representing approximately 3000 colonies, including 550 in modern hives. Ios is very mountainous, and all the hives were heather, on high ground. As there are no roads, we had to ride mules or bourricots only means of transport, a slow and painful to move. But it is conveyed and the hives are both modern primitives. mulet A primitive transmitted four hives, the beekeeper walking behind, on foot, with a beehive on the shoulder and another tied to the back. These poor people of the islands do not look at the effort, and n 'imagine a mode of transportation more difficult.
Our group consisted of nine people, and almost all the way, we had to go in single file on our horses on the track treacherous. At dawn, I notai first a very diverse sub-tropical vegetation, then high, it was more heather. Although the Erica verticillata was widespread, I was able to observe other varieties that I did not know until then. Gradually repérions of us here and there a group of hives , housed in a hollow or crevice in a rock obscured the wind, but there never had more than 10 or 20 together.
The bees are here, belong to the same race as that of Greece. Fort curiously, I could observe the same phenomenon found in Crete, that is, on occasion, a colony with a propensity to bite at the equal to those of certain races of the East. The majority of colonies had good character at any point of view, provided that the continent, among whom I had never met an example of this extreme irritability. These isolated worst character hardly be explained, since no signs permitted to assign it to an import from the Near East.
I stopped only briefly in Athens, until the Department of Agriculture has made arrangements for my visit to Samos. This island is famous for several reasons, may be mainly for its muscat. Very fertile, it covers some 460 km 2 and has 67 500 inhabitants, it has 4855 colonies of bees, whose hives in 3480 primitives. The island next in order of magnitude, Ikaria, well that half smaller settlements in 8240 has, according to figures that gives me the Director of Agriculture during my visit. qu'Ikaria Samos Both are under the jurisdiction of the Director of Vathy Samos.
On the basis of these data, the density of colonies Ikaria is more than 35 colonies per km 2, probably the strongest that exists in the world. Thasos in the north of the Aegean, the largest one-third has 10 000 colonies and is often called the island bees. In one and the other island, honey, honey mainly comes from a pine, Pinus halepensis. However at Ikaria, Erica verticillata occurs roughly in the same extent. As far as I am able to provide, Ikaria and Thasos, with the Halkidiki peninsula in the north coast of the Aegean, are the most important centers of beekeeping in Greece, and the regions where the production of honey is the only livelihood for many beekeepers.
The bees Samos and Ikaria appear to be western Anatolian race. Just 1.5 km from the point closest to Samos coast of Asia Minor, and less than 20 km separating Samos Ikaria.
When so I left the highway, my thoughts were turned towards the past. But before coming to Philippi, my attention was caught by a huge pile of woven beehives, a superposition of layers aligned. I counted 400, but there were more. Their regular provision reflected the expertise of a beekeeper proud of his condition. Beehives were all the same model and a huge capacity. This was the apiary of a beekeeper particularly competent with bees prolific beyond normal.
CAPACITY aside, these hives had another peculiarity: the vertical elements woven baskets, exceeded 5 cm in the right bottom, allowing the bees to enter and exit ad libitum in any direction in providing further breakdown beyond what is generally considered necessary. The thing was all the more striking than usual beekeepers in Greece take the entrance to their hives more closely than we usually do here in England.
I learned that the hives were from the island of Thasos. They were brought here at this season of the year when there was nothing to be found in the island, when there were enough to find their livelihood on the Continent. The large number of hives in one location, excellent condition, and exceptional ability were suggestive of the nature of bees and beekeeping - in this island: I was now informed that.
The details how to enjoy beekeeping in the islands of the Aegean, is an economic factor of prime importance. Although in some islands, the bees, in short, have no particular value to livestock, their economic value and production is no doubt. No one could find his livelihood with bees of inferior quality, above all here in which the primitive beekeeping is the rule rather than the exception.
BA 29 1965 (10) P241-243
It is generally recognized that the most typical forms of A. mellifera carnica are located in Upper Carinthia and joining the two provinces of Carinthia and Styria. In the English-speaking country, this race is commonly known Carniolan that first imports until 1940, came from the Upper Carniola. However, the geographic distribution of race beyond the three provinces mentioned and, as we now know, extends throughout Yugoslavia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and most of Austria. But there is a lack of details. The Greek bee, A. mellifera cecropia, is undoubtedly a variety of sub carnica. appearance, the two races do not differ but there are marked differences in their physiological characters. As far as I am able to ensure the bees of northern Greece, especially those of the Chalkidiki peninsula and the narrow band between the Aegean and the chain Rhodope Thrace including both Greek and Turkish, owe their superiority to influence dependent on the bee Anatolian. Anatolian influence far in Bulgaria is in the plains of the Maritza, we do not know. There are inevitably most important changes we are away from the main centers of habitat carnica. In fact, even within the limits of Yugoslavia considerable variation can be noted, though externally bees differ only more or less the carnica in 'general acceptance.
Uring the course of a long tour in Bosnia, Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia in the south-west, I found the bees in these areas more and less prolific swarms that true carnica. As against the trend towards more propoliser marked and, it seems, the one suffering from Nosema. And even the latter trait is so charged that we could not do anything of these lines, here in England.
It is reported here and there in beekeeping literature, with a variety of carnica found in the Banat - a region where the borders converge Yugoslav, Hungarian and Romanian. This bee has attracted the attention it are already more than a century. However, I refer to what I was able to detect, it is only confined to statements regarding the existence of the so-called race, any details on its features and at its economic value so far escaped. What this bee Banat has attracted attention for over a hundred years seemed to justify further investigation!
Banat, located southeast of the Hungarian border, now, is between the Danube to the south, the Moros in the North, the Theiss in the West and the Transylvanian Alps to the east. He ceased to be a single entity: one third is now Yugoslavia and the rest belongs to Romania.
Soften, I heard about the vast forests of acacias in this region and while I was on Northwest from Skopje, my gaze met that no Locust in bloom. So, having arrived in Belgrade I was not surprised discover that the hives were moved eastward to the borders of Romania. The road to these forests had any motorist who despair and, more than once, it seemed that our efforts to reach our goal would be futile. We sometimes spend mounds of earth that once marked the boundary between Christian and Muslim empires. These large acacia forests are located where poor soil, sandy, not used for anything otherwise. Marie - Teresa had made to the plantation, and was one of the few species that could thrive. Beekeepers now benefit from the windfall they owe to the empress.
From our arrival, I was able to examine at leisure hives. As they were full of honey, it was not easy, though, that the remarkable docility of bees allowed to work without veil. The farming was severely restricted by the abundance of cash and I could not note any signs of spin. Immediately something struck me: the bee Banat is much more colorful on the first three dorsal segments than I had previously been observed in any line carnica. Color is not yellow in Italian, but a weathered yellow or brown rust that has been accustomed to associate with the primary race. But in the real carnica, brown rust does occasionally and never as marked as in the Banat. There's still a lot of diversity in the Banat and sometimes the color yellow could say. The scutellum of workers varies from yellow to brown, the coat is light brown and gray tomenteux with a touch of yellow.
We do not know the origin of this variety. As already mentioned, they said the race banat separate, well before that takes place on a large scale exchange of queens very distant regions of each other . In fact, the modern hive had just been invented so far and any exchange of queens was nearly impossible. Immigrants Marie-Thérèse came from parts of Europe where only the black bee was known. This seems to have bee been in any way looking at things, a quirk of nature, a fluke that was a combination involving the constituent factors shaping the genetic carnica. These are they which are manifested by spasms in the rust-brown color that gives so much concern to breeders of our time in pursuit of the perfect uniformity. The fact that the bee was able to assert and maintain its distinctive individuality at the heart of the habitat of the other race is related to it, is certainly a remarkable phenomenon.
Color aside, we have no specific information regarding the characters so far how this variety differs from Banat but time has failed to draw conclusions about the merits of this subspecies and the variety carnica we know, one over the other.
Q Uitti Belgrade for England, I arrived in late June, in time for me to participate in the main work of the season. Leave me time to complete the final preparations for the trip to Egypt scheduled for the fall.
Extract from Belgium Beekeeping 30(3) 1966 p.46-48, (translated from French)
In September, Brother ADAM, during one of his appearances in Germany where it originates, has been in Biberach an account of the method it applies to the conduct of its bees Dartmoor. This is certainly not a privileged region: it rains abominably. As sources of nectar, heather and white cuckoo (Trifolium repens). Yet yields surprising, except in years where there was only defeated by declaring the elements.
Before we come to summarize the statement of Brother ADAM we find under the pen of E. Herold in the January issue of "Imkerfreund" Bavaria, we would like to recall that the relations between brother ADAM and German beekeepers have not missed some salt in the past. One day in Hanover, Brother ADAM, enfant terrible, did he said about not he wondered how, in Germany, with all hardware, all the ingredients and all the instruments and tools the market it was still possible to keep bees.
In contrast, in Germany, after queens Brother offered by a dam had been introduced in colonies infected in the last degree, he had denied it, as he said, developed resistant bees diseases. This was not the same thing.
This time, everything goes in a more serene atmosphere, except that, according to Herold, the method of Brother ADAM and its equipment would not be adequate where a honeyed spring early plays the role.
Initially, before 1923, Brother ADAM used hives small size frames English fairly similar to what the Germans call size "normal" (37 x 22.3 cm). Gradually, he moved to the frame Dadant Blatt amended, it no longer widespread abandonment of 1930.
Apiaries have groups of four colonies, each opening in a different direction, minimizing this excitement, looting, drift and diseases. As for the hives themselves, they have been reduced from 100 to a maximum of 40 colonies in the same place: the 320 colonies nine sites are different.
The basic principle of conduct throughout the season reads: as simple as possible and not more work to people that absolutely necessary. In fact, outside of care and reasonable, the beekeeper can hardly influence the prosperity and the performance of his bees. The beekeeper is poor at the victim of doctrines and teachings that advocated worthless or wrong. The amateur can play in all sorts of risky things that sometimes succeed they succeed more often if we could only predict the weather! "But the professional can not afford any fancy, while leaving nothing out of this that can promote its business. His practice of bees over the years, he has taught them many things which escape the scientist as well as most beekeepers.
From the beginning of October to March first, peace bees. At this time the foundations of the hives are replaced by other, clean, with a rotation through 40 soubassements reserve. Executives not occupied are removed.
Beginning in late March, there shall be an equalization of populations that Brother ADAM considers of primary importance because it will automate all subsequent operations. It also considers that the equalization increases the overall yield to the great honey. Rays taken brood with bees enhance their colonies of other locations. Their bees do not return to their original hive.
In fact the introduction of queens, we can trust the 35 years of experience of Brother ADAM. So listen on the newly fertilized young queens are always in danger. They lack maturity, are nervous and afraid to take quickly. They must have been at least four weeks in laying. For bastards nerve of birth, two months would be better. The smell of the queen does not play a role, but his behavior alone. Use the next spring is preferable because then also the productivity is only fully achieved. This is the best time for any introduction.
Each year, about two thirds of the queens are replaced. Fertilization takes place in nuclei with four half-Dadant, which overwinter as they are. Queens were introduced in cages, each with four workers and released after several hours. The old queen is in the nucleus where it remained until May, when we have the following circumstances. Brother ADAM does not hesitate to go and see what happens in a hive during the introductory period. It considers the introduction of queens tested in their second year of age, as the key to its success.
Held at the close - 7 frames or less - are brought gradually from mid-March to 12 executives, including 3 from embossed wax at either end, the intention is not to force them to build. As some people are bastards too large erect cells, alone among the waxes have crept in the center and then the ends once built. Everywhere, new managers come in the middle to end of June next. No feeding stimulant ... which stimulates spawning males and fever spin. If hunger force feeding and as long as necessary, will be given sugar syrup to 2 parts water to sugar and 3 massivement: 5 to 6 liters. The investment increases is mid-May to the flowering of the apple, then there are 9 frames in the hive body. Later, it would cause swarms in late May. Some of the frameworks are built up only. A grid is used since 1940, when Brother ADAM realized that it had more advantages than disadvantages.
At the end of June begins the spin period, which continues until July 20. Its beginning coincides with the white clover honey. If at that time, remove the queen, after nine days removes all cells and then introduces royales a young queen is fertilized, it removes a maximum return of that honey for the colony, from the recurrence of the brood, is working with the ardor of a swarm. In addition, this manipulation removes diseases except malignant foulbrood. It will avoid the proliferation of useless mouths and the colony will be provided plenty of young bees to enter in winter.
Brother ADAM had to come to a compromise solution where he expected a late harvest on the heather, in August, faute de mieux, suppression of cell royales every eight days until the fever falls! Often (para1t he remark of the translator), just a deletion. In case of repetition, the colony weakens and sometimes becomes an orphan.
It recommends a second increase, Brother ADAM over the place. At the end of the honey, or the full increases are contrary to the style that is not what is the natural tendency to store supplies as close to the nest at the end of brood to brood at the end of honeyed .
From September 5, about the heather is still flowering, but it no longer nectar, Also, the Drifting bees are put in place and 48 hours after the increases, full or not, are removed. And he returned to the apiary.
Each colony, some rich or poor provisions in kind, receiving 6 liters of syrup. In this way, there is almost no dysentery. Wintering colonies in 10 frames after a final check of the queen, and after 1 October, no hive is open. Exposed by the fact that can be considered the first practitioner of the world, could not fail to interest.
British Bee journal May 2, 1970 (Translated from French Version)
It was a time, he says, where it was common to hear the views make "honey is what we want, not the bees!" It is perhaps an idea somewhat that share similar propaganda is being done in favor of a return to less prolific lines, such that they can accommodate the hive at 10 frames brood British Standard. The movement is based on certain truths. However, on the other hand, the indisputable fact remains that the greater the population of bees appropriate type, the greater the amount of accumulated reserves. In addition, it is universally acknowledged that a colony twice as strong - do we, as the number of foraging - not just twice but three times more generally it is surplus store.
It is known lines engaged in excess livestock, in season and out of season, and the bees of this type generally have a short life at the same time they lack energy. At the other extreme, we find lines focusing on the production of honey, to the exclusion of livestock. Rarely, if ever, they reach their maximum development, unless a chance suscite conditions. In addition, colonies of this species, as experience confirms generally, tend to approach the winter in poor condition, lack of young bees raised in the fall.
On the one side, from a purely practical, there are major disadvantages and, as always in such circumstances, only the balance is able to provide the best economic results, at least in For the beekeeper to the page that pursuing maximum returns with minimal effort and expense.
No shadow of fans seem to live under the impression that all they have to do to get the best results is to provide each colony of a queen of the highest quality and the rest will follow automatically. This is an illusion and is valid for any branch of agriculture. To ensure the best yields of milk or eggs ¸, to take two cases that can be compared to ours, we must, in addition to livestock, a diet carefully composed and determined. In the case of the beekeeper, the success depends mainly on a few factors, in truth few: a high production line, a hive format, ample provisions at any time and use that is good.
Lignée or the Race
There are probably as many opinions is what beekeepers and I have already noted that there is no ideal or bee bee respond, anywhere, what awaits the practitioner. In fact, in choosing a line, we are forced inevitably to balance quality against another, this applies equally well for defects. I will be the essential, which, in my mind, the success in any form of intensive beekeeping, and I can not enumerate here all the provisions and hereditary factors present.
The good character is, for me, important, although no effect on productivity. It is not possible, with aggressive bees to perform the required manipulations prestement, even disregarding the inconvenience of injections every day, of unnecessary and cause trouble with neighbors.
I will never tolerate a colony nasty, with bad character, if it is good to gather honey.
After I place fertility. Experience has taught me that we have queens that will, at the summit of the season, keep covered brood 9 to 10 rays of Dadant format changed. Seems more in most cases, give bees and short-lived, one inside the other, a reduced force. It is necessary for longevity and durability go hand in hand with the desired level of fertility and frugality.
No bee swarms would be ideal. But if, well, there is no similar line, the spin has ceased to be the specter that he was once, where it is prepared for what creates a fan of my acquaintance with eight columns, has not been a single swarm for over 17 years.
Essentially it is also a highly developed resistance to disease. There is an innate natural resistance, fluctuating in wide limits, this resistance does not come unless the circumstances relating to the environment. Thus, due to unfavorable conditions or because of some negligence, innate resistance may collapse. This is a phenomenon affecting all life, animal as well as vegetable.
Lastly place the ability to harvest, for the simple reason that it depends to a large extent, the qualities already mentioned, with the exception of mood. The maximum industrialized is obviously possible in conjunction with a fertility ratio, a propensity to spread and not the absence of disease. A sense of smell and taste is also, in part.
This combination of features has some drawbacks, unfortunately inevitable! The bees that will have to be more prone to looting in times of famine. This is a fact that some beekeepers do not find to their liking.
The model and design of a beehive influence more or less on the quantity of honey produced. It is the ability of the nest to brood which determines to a large extent, the yield honey, - apart from lineage, method of operation and factors relating to the environment.
The brood nest, or egg-laying room must have a volume allowing the colony to reach its full development, as determined by the fecundity of the race and lineage of the queen in place.
The nest brood from the hive English standard at 10 frames was more than adequate for the queens of our previous native variety. It is not wide enough for most lines now. As stated above, at the height of the season, a good modern take line 9 to 10 gauge spokes Dadant amended or equivalent, brood.
A Buckfast, we use the brood chamber at 12 frames Dadant, but even at 10 frames, would also 1'affaire, most often. Before that we used for the brood, two frames 10 to the body of standard English. This gave us a good harvest of honey, but never what we have achieved as averages, with larger hives exclusively adopted since 1930.
The conduct of two bodies colonies on standard English was much more time. And this is just that, ever, does the idea come from a return to the hive. There is no doubt that the capacity of the brood nest, on the quantity of honey produced, far more weight than it does the figure generally.
The difference in yield is not so manifest during the first annual honey, it is nonetheless substantial in our experiments. For five years, we have equipped three of our apiaries outside by half in modified Dadant frames and half frames in standard English on two nests to brood. We had precisely this confrontation before we decide to go or not to Dadant.
It may well be only one brood nest, British standard 10 frames, we have a good chance of having increased faster than honey there comes with a beehive where the capacity the brood nest is not limited. It may even happen that the harvest, in certain seasons, or higher, but the overall average on a number of years, will be substantially less than what will be a hive that allowed the colony to grow to its maximum power.
Apart from this, for what interests us, we, in our experience of farming, it is positively impossible to get an idea of the true value of a queen as soon as restrictions are made to its fertility.
With a well-established it requires no hugs or bichonnage. A minimum of care is sufficient provided it is ensured to the basics: First, a lot of room to grow, a suitable amount of provisions at any time , among others. The stock of food during periods of scarcity seems to be, in many cases, the crucial problem. More exactly, the administration of a dietary supplement, when psychological and the amount necessary to ensure unimpeded development of the colony and the retention of its strength, is essential sine qua non in any form of intensive beekeeping. Many beekeepers have difficulty accepting that.
But our climate, cut long periods of time without ill nectar available, does not allow a colony to its holding in the limit of its capacity without help from the beekeeper. Absence thereof, there will be a decision causing a loss of strength of the colony, which ultimately translates into a reduction in the harvest. With brief and intermittent periods of good weather as we know, only, children who are constantly in the best possible conditions, are capable of average performance the highest.
When it is necessary to feed, whether by massive doses: two or three gallons of syrup, following the strength of the colony, rather than a pint or two every day. (1 gallon = 4.55 lt; 1 pint = 0.568 lt). With modern technology, there is no need to stimulate that was once considered essential.
Extracted from Belgium Beekeeping 35(6) 1971 p 139-141 (Translated from French)
On 29 December 1970 stood at Soltau, for the 5th consecutive year, this meeting of the German Professional Beekeepers present each time a particular interest. Assistance, some 600 people this year, is composed of business people and not compare, in Europe, that this association of beekeepers "commercial" English where we have access only if it justifies operate at least 40 colonies. Therefore, Soltau - I reported on his time here - a participant launched the slogan: "Regardless of race, is the mass that counts!"
This year, hosted Soltau Brother Adam, whose lengthy presentation was probably the wrong call too "The Buckfast bee, which was inevitable. Indeed, Brother Adam is in the cycle since 1910, even if it was not until 1919 that he took over the management of the apiary which was to make famous, and his work, his research, his successes allow him to assert its position.
Brother Adam knew he faced an audience, dare I say, carniolisé jet continuous and non thrall to this development of beekeeping in Germany under the guidance of Professor Ruttner, are fanciful figure or quasi-anarchist . On the other hand, could not have forgotten the unfortunate fate of his queens, he had the imprudence to argue that race was resistant to disease, and that the Germans were infected in a short time after having introduced in an environment so contaminated ... that their demonstration had no meaning.
The intersection is the basis of the entire system of Brother Adam livestock, each party knows that it is a crossing of the bee ligustica Italian brown leather with the indigenous bee french (mellifera) dark (1917 ). For him, the bee purebred is only a tool for combinations where the voucher is retained and the bad eliminated. The now undisputed qu'incontestable because that isolation rearing stations were ineffective, said Brother Adam, Germany spared the damage of livestock in consanguinity.
The arguments of Brother Adam is that everything in nature, helps promote crossings. See action in many drones during fertilization, and the fact that it takes place in the open air. In terms of performance, whether it be surprising that the records were obtained by combinations from lines free of any manipulation of livestock. Brother Adam and declare that same apiary at fertilization, many results can be achieved, provided they do not operate on too small scale. To avoid any misunderstanding, let it not be seen as an encouragement to the practice of beekeeping that we call: passive (all include).
While the contrary, Brother Adam, at this part of his presentation, commitment, in the field of hybrid F1 and F2 or F3 and F4. We do not try to follow in detail, some confusion has left us with the impression that this part was something of a fireworks and sparkling without doubt, but dazzled.
The maternal inheritance in the crosses, a more pronounced influence than the other sex. In F1, taking something for their colds, the addition of enormous vitality is frequently an irresistible tendency to spin. It resolves over generations while enabling maximum yields. The F2 and F3 give results exceeding those of races which they come. Sometimes the crossing between breeds or lines of fresh produce demons: we can be remedied by crossing back on the race of origin (sometimes). Finally, the first crossing is rarely a success in economic terms: if necessary, it may disappoint greatly.
A transition, Brother Adam was kind enough to recognize the existence of something called adaptation (middle). But as he brings it to anything out of this in Israel (where the bee is marketed for a long time) the "Buckfast" gives higher yields of 25 pounds of bees in those naturalized, it does not describe more precisely and it does not tell us, for example, if the bees have been improved by the selection as its own.
The Buckfast bees, artificial race is of course suitable everywhere without the need to adapt to local conditions, although regretfully, we can not believe it. And the Germans, since they promote Carnica, readily acknowledge that they have at home, now under that name, a bee about to diverge - adaptation - more and more of the type as was originally. We remain vis-à-vis each other as always of the opinion that the improvement of the bee is the most logical because it requires no seasoning. It is not certain that it never reaches to eliminate where one intends to substitute a foreign bee contrive it, indefinitely, to pollute the purity.
This concept of purity sways a little elsewhere, it seems, in recent times. Brother Adam, who does not hesitate to attribute the essential qualities of Sklenar the influence of mellifica, prefers to refer to the criteria of color, quite general, rather than the signs so meticulously defined Carniola by the school. It must be said that Böttcher did not wait to declare that the said signs - and he insists particularly on the ulnar index - sometimes mistaken in considering the results of crosses.
F rere Adam had, of course, riding his dada, livestock combined (between different races) to which it attaches particular importance to beekeeping in the near future. Raising the Carniolan is pure breed, he said, an excellent starting point to try various combinations of tests. Nature, he says, will always come to the aid of those who carry out this type of farming. However, one should not expect that all work well. Hence the need for extensive amount of testing and a choice among the F2 hybrid queens, covering a huge amount of subjects - it refers to 2 000 as a minimum! - 80% will be eliminated immediately, and then another 10% in the second control. The creation of an artificial race following this method is a matter that takes seven years, an extraordinarily short time, according to Brother Adam, with this selection on a large number of individuals. For all other animal species should be much longer.
However, only the typical coloration that Brother Adam used to select. And he said although it may happen that the qualities, defects also certainly affect the product, then they were either on one side or the other initially.
Conclusion: "The livestock includes a combination of options, but he will be decisive for the future of beekeeping."
We have quite distinct impression that the audience has been seriously shaken, but remained a little hungry: Brother Adam has said too, and not enough at the same time. Also, already at the end of the report in the March 1971 1 "Allgemeine Deutsche Imkerzeitung" we are warned that the statement of Brother Adam promptly lead position ... it will be interesting to follow, as appropriate.
Discourse at Dornstadt Oct. 26 1979 - Meeting of German Professtional Beekeepers (Translated from French)
When the beekeeper said environmental influences, he believed inevitably to the constraints exerted on the environment and lows of his bees.
Against it completely forgets that the environment in which it is also an influence on himself and his actions. What we are aware or not, our environment puts us constantly dealing with new requirements to be find answers and thus, they lead us towards a path that we would never have taken otherwise.
Only much later we became aware of this reality. Especially when it seeks to make a retrospective, as I do today. The relations and the integration of the various events taking then a crisp.
On observations how a pulse triggered a response which, in turn, triggers another, and a further response and so on.
Disasters and setbacks often pose problems to be solved straightforward. Thus, it is subject to realities that had never been confronted, in the absence of urgent necessity.
One of these disasters forced me literally 60 years ago, when I was young beekeeper, to look after an intensive major problems Apiculture because England was devastated by acariose. This began its ravages in 1914 in the county of Devon.
It was in the Isle of Wight that the epidemic had shown the first time. Six years ago, it had already occurred in many parts of England.
In autumn 1915, the specialist bee Devon told us that we would no longer have a colony living in the spring of 1916. A little more, his predictions failed to be correct. On 46 hives being winter we stayed in which 16 all had a mixture of blood Carnic (Carniolan) or ligustica (Italian).
They had also suffered, but they became productive again. In mid-May, a favorable spring allowed us to train a large number of nuclei at the point of reach during the summer the same number of colonies the previous year. They were all equipped with imported Italian queens and their development was great. With the remaining colonies, they provided us a good harvest of honey. It was fortunate circumstance that the white clover honey took place, this year, until mid-July.
The fact that in the general carnage, some of our bee colonies were not prey to acariose, forcing me, as a young beekeeper, to reflect on the importance of heredity of the different breeds bees. I found myself in the middle of the frame issues and problems that beset the rancher. acariosis Not only was defeated, but at the same time, diseases of the brood, and troublesome race inherent in Aboriginal English and this through the provision of what was left of our own colonies and a new race in the form of Italian queens. Thus, the old tradition committed to the indigenous bee was wiped out. All straw hives disappeared and the 'primitive beekeeping, bees and even exploited by farmers. The gardens of many villages and cities viderent bees, which met there ever so many before. The beekeeper who could not adapt to this new position was eliminated. The old English breed of bees is a branch of the race in Western Europe and is a Apis mellifica, is a close relative of the French bee. It was perfectly suited to conditions of the community which it had taken from the continent after the Ice Age, when the Channel was not yet submerged. She had valuable qualities, but also of extreme defects.
English beekeepers with a presence nevertheless were almost convinced that, despite its negative qualities, there was no better bee possible adapted to their environment. These people are seriously mistaken. Acariosis has not only destroyed their bees, but also ruthlessly swept false interpretations. The change of environment was fatal to the bee did not respond to this change.
As already noted, only the colonies that they had blood Carnica (Carniolan) or ligustica (Italian) survived the epidemic in our apiary. These colonies had queens imported or imported queens down crossed with indigenous males.
Despite the elimination of 90% of the colonies by the epidemic, according to official figures (and despite the unknown that remained until the end of 1919 on the causes of this epidemic and the reasons for his catastrophic event), we realized that even when the imported breeds and their crossbreeds were, in part, resistance against this disease. Reconstruction of beekeeping English with the Italian bee has been made with the support of the . The apiary of the monastery of Buckfast has also strongly contributed to this recovery.
In the years 1918 and 1919, hundreds of nuclei from our colonies went to all parts of England. Since 1917, we undertook the consequent tightening of our apiary, to other beekeepers out of their extreme distress.
As already mentioned, all the hives had not succumbed to acariose apiaries in the monastery and this thanks to the foreign breeds were imported and introduced. This fact influenced our beekeeping efforts decisively. the blows of fate that beekeeping English and ourselves had to redeem showed clearly that selection and breeding it is best not to be locked in too small circles, but to consciously or unconsciously, on the benefits of other races.
In England, a new era began for beekeeping in choosing the Italian bee. Everything began to move the hives, the frameworks, methods of conduct, the treatment of hives. We talked of the deep use of one or two bodies for the brood nest. He had to find a solution.
But I must limit myself to the livestock sector. Apiarian Other topics will be touched as they help to explain the farm. Knowledge and technical progress had such an influence on our farming as we mention in due course.
Our honey and our climate is not favorable in that it says improperly. We are literally in paradise apiarian said a beekeeper wurtembourgeois well known ... For this reason, he thought it would be impossible to obtain similar results by applying them without precautions, the conditions of Southern Germany.
These people are seriously mistaken, given the results achieved at Buckfast and Germany, and compared again. In a series of local, geographical and climate, we are, from a bee in south-west Devon, in an extremely unfavorable. The climate is very volatile, changing. Periods of bad weather are common, evidenced by significant rainfall whose average is 1,650 mm per year, while in the south of England they are, by year, as 585 mm. In a valley at 9 km southwest of Buckfast, annual precipitation reaches 2600 mm. The effect is not as bad if these were rainfall in a short time. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Rather, for weeks, the sun can remain hidden and the bees can not fly.
For years without a single good day honey are not exceptional. Often, we must feed during half of the beekeeping season. But the problem can be reversed. Some years, we have from mid-July meadows also dry and arid as the Sahara. In 1975, he was. Generally, the winters are not as cold at home than on the mainland. They are, against extremely humid and rainy. It is well known that high humidity is the worst enemy of bees. Diseases of all kinds, especially acariose and nosémose, there are favorable conditions, and believe me, we talk about experience.
We have two periods of honey: the white clover flowers from mid-June to late July. Then, from mid-August to 5 September, when the heather on which we transhumons. A honeyed early is not with us. honeyed The summer can be reduced to a few days because of bad weather. Only an intensive beekeeping, with a bee, can lead to success in these conditions. Colonies at their maximum strength, healthy and productive, able to use full-honey a few days, are the essential prerequisite to achieve a valid result.
On the other hand, this climate is extremely hostile to the bee is in favor of a strict selection in breeding. Emerging diseases without exception, which is not always the case in a favorable climate. Hives with good heredity give good results.
The weather and honey are in all parts of Germany, at least as good as ours, in many regions, they are even incomparably better. [NT - Press apiarian German has often sought to explain the spectacular results by Brother ADAM miellées exceptional conditions, hence the reference to Germany.]
Technical Conditions of Operations Prerequisites
Comparisons are essential to secure access to results. In addition, you must know how a colony was obtained. Otherwise, a positive can be achieved by breeding. The beekeeper can easily be misled, as a result achieved is dependent on many factors. Taken one by one, they are difficult to be seized, but their action determines the success. How, for example, a beekeeper can see that the honey harvested from a hive comes indeed if the colony has its hives in rows, one beside another, and even one on another, as is customary in the German speaking countries?
It is certain that human beings are prone to bias (color), and willing to deceive themselves (yield, for example). The smallest error is that we can be a barrier on the path of progress.
Large brood nest which, by laying without limitation, ability to test the maximum performance is even greater. A colony can not fully develop not only provides the highest return. Banal This truth, which should appear to everyone as obvious, needed little in practice.
Hive with brood nest too small to maintain the colonies at the same level. Instead of presenting above-average returns, the settlements are a poor outcome, simply because they were constrained in their development. For this Similarly, any performance becomes impossible.
The defects that occur during the breeding queens are very common, but they never appear with a small brood nest. In a small nest, the retraction of the qualities of a good queen is also clear that the defects a bad thing. How does a farmer can have a trial without any flaw in these conditions?
A low propensity to spin, which affects particularly the yield of a hive, is less clear in a small hive, in a large one. Laziness to spin highly developed is not absolute, but depends on many factors that act either as a brake or an accelerator. It is well known that the lack of space hinders the normal development of a colony and is the main cause of tendency to spin. Often it might seem that the bee fails, but in reality the failure comes from the beekeeper because it has neglected or failed to recognize the prerequisites. I recognize that without penalty I had to pay my apprenticeship. But I have not only sought what could be the defects of bees, I have always complied with the preconditions, as far as the beekeeper can do. It seemed to me obvious that I should not be blocked in this first stage of the breeding if I wanted to progress. I certainly know all the arguments against large brood nest and against the single provision of the hives, but their supporters are all wrong. ( Let us not forget that Brother ADAM talks to a German audience for which the evidence was very contested).
Since 1921, we used two sets of hives British Standard [NT - body is called WBC in Belgium] for the nests to brood. From 1924 to 1930, half the colony was housed in Dadant hives with a nest to 12 frames of brood, and the other half in English with two hives body for nests to brood. We wanted to know which would give the best result. The comparison clearly showed that a large brood nest is a production of over two nests to brood smaller surface with the same radius. Colonies with brood nest and smaller frames are more easily and quickly visited, and with less loss of time that the colony with two nests to brood.
The farmer wants to oversee a glance all the brood nest will therefore favor the large brood nest. The result of this test was that from 1930 we have worked with the Dadant hive. For this reason, I classify the Langstroth on the same plane as the hive English.
The progressive development of our Kennel
It was 60 years ago, we knew very little about the possibilities of beekeeping. Only experience could show us which way one should aim for success. That is the experience we have gained and fix our basic principles. We have given the best preconditions, provisions on the ground and brood nest to exploit our performance objectively.
The correct interpretation and exploitation of the results obtained were decisive. I can not forget the random factor, which I owe valuable guidance. Chance and professional skills, good working conditions and endurance are essential for progress livestock. Failures and missed opportunities should not discourage a farmer.
The September 1st,1919, I was entrusted the apiary of the monastery. The main problem for beekeepers English was, of course, acariose. It was the obstacle to jump, which depended on the success of beekeeping future. It is surprising that nobody else has thought that with the help of the breeding and selection, we were able to find a solution to this dilemma.
The path that we came out of the deadlock, as shown by the following results. Even before 1920, a cross had particularly attracted my attention. It was a crossing accident occurred between a queen ligustica ( Italian) and males of the old English race. The external signs and behavior left no doubt about it. This combination materialized largely the qualities we need in our conditions. From this combination came the Buckfast bee, which had a subsequent global dissemination.
With the help of inbreeding, I set in 1920, good skills this queen. Among a large number of inbred queens, two showed outstanding performance. They also had other good qualities that we were particularly valuable.
In summer 1921 was extremely favorable for bees. It was the best year of beekeeping that I have to live. Good colonies could really show what was in them. In the following years, we have of course, made from farming these two colonies. Half queens were fertilized by males ligustica (Italian), the other half by males of our own breeding. At that time we had not yet Station fertilization, which obliged us to work with field colonies of hives that had male uniform. Heredity bees we were still almost unknown, and we move through trial and error and we trust our luck. Yet, surprise did not take to wait. In early July, we all exchanged the queens an apiary outside by newly fertilized young queens. By coincidence, 36 colonies were queens of the mother, and four settlements girls mother B. At the same time, we expected the spin control by replacing the queen. We orphaned colonies and, after 9 days, we remove the cells and the royal we introduced queens. But what happens? At the end of the year, many of the 36 colonies with queens of the mother had died. They had all the classic symptoms of acariose. Of the survivors, very few have been able to live until spring and it took them to change the queen.
Against the daughters of the queen selection B behaved very differently. These, and all other sisters, proved with the same external conditions, such as highly resistant to acariose, although mothers were sisters, there had been in their progeny of marked differences in terms of susceptibility to the disease. We had to fall on two extremes: a high sensitivity to acariose and the other d a highly developed resistance. At the same time, we brought this case demonstrate that males (in the case of acariose) have not, to the first generation to influence the sensitivity or resistance to disease. We must not forget that we used for the fertilization of males of different origins. Certainly, in the offspring following the influence of males would appear. This fact was also confirmed in the following years in an independent manner of our work. But this is the exception: in 1973, I received from Beestock-Center in Baton Rouge (USA) a consignment of semen from males for artificial insemination of queens. The seeds came from a male strain of Livestock in New Zealand where she gave large yields. Some of our race queens had been successfully inseminated instrumentally.
The offspring of these queens had a strain of colors clearer. This made me immediately suspect a sensitivity to acariose. My suspicions are confirmed. Already, the F1 were susceptible to acariose, males were found in this case, as dominant. A highly interesting case. I assume that the herd of New Zealand is the highest degree sensitive to acariose.
From a susceptibility to a disease is based on heredity, the descendants of generations shown at the first crossing, the spectrum of all levels of sensitivity. Only a few types are extremes. But when the breeding of pure strain, the extreme types rarely or never appeared in the company of transitional forms.
During the summer of 1924, I got by chance 2 breeding colonies of North America for testing. Queen mothers were from a line typical of high ligustica selection, developed in the USA by a well-known. This high early selection proved very satisfactory in our local conditions. Unfortunately, they soon proved extremely sensitive to acariose. In the middle of the summer, the colony collapsed as we had never seen before. Thirty-two years later, in summer 1958, I decided to proceed with another import queens this high selection. I wanted to know if, after this long period of time, this extreme sensitivity to acariose which was once Part of this strain, would be yet.
On the economic front, this strain was still valid 32 years later. The development was normal. The rainy season came over 4 Dadant frames. Each hive covered in mid-June, 9 shelves. Everything seemed normal. I had intended to use the best queens for test crosses. But I have never managed. On 22 July, susceptibility to the disease showed as strong as thirty years earlier. To remove any doubt, I sending samples to the laboratory. The results corresponded exactly to my expectations: all the bees were acariosées. No sign of nosémose or amoebiasis. Where in the hives of the high American selection, the bees began to crawl mass sign acariosis doubt, it was in the 48 other bee colonies. They did not presented any evidence of infection acariosis. They were completely free.
1959 was a good year for honey. We have collected an average of 172 pounds per hive. Despite this, we enregistrâmes invasion acariosis above. Good honeyed conditions have apparently no influence braking on the progress of the epidemic acariosis. Here's another fact may be accepted in our climate, not sensitive to bee acariose happens to hold, whatever the race or the crossing of which it is derived .
T he examples show unanimously that the sensitivity to this disease is hereditary. As a result, breeding selection is the only way to get rid of it. Through the whole plant and animal world, we encounter examples of sensitivity disease linked to heredity. There are also hereditary resistance and in some cases, a natural immunity. It is possible to admit that about the bee is not an exception. With these examples, I was able to prove that we can at least partially, to combat the diseases of bees. The fight against them is one of the most important goals of our breeding. The successes in this area exerted an influence determining the profitability of our operations apiarian. It has been possible, over the years, through selective breeding, to remove any evidence of sensitivity to acariose in our apiary. The last was in sensitivity 1947 in a breeding line and is no longer seen since.
As we know from animal and plant a negative quality may recur even after many generations. That is why we are constantly on our guard to intervene by ordering and improving.
At the end of this chapter, I would like to stress that there is no immunity in the case of acariose.
I followed the guidance of Dr. Ulrich KRAMER, creator of the breeding and selection of the Swiss race, in my early breeder. Already at the beginning of the century, Mr. Kramer laid the foundations of the livestock which were heavily influenced everything related to the selection and breeding in the German speaking countries.
Mr. Kramer has made an extraordinary. As it is too idealistic, vision and opinions were not confirmed in practice. According to his way of seeing idealistic, Dr. KRAMER trying to couple girls its best queens with males of equal value. He chose the best breeding queen for reproduction and believed that farmers could realize what bee breeding is the best, and therefore retain it. He thought that visible qualities that distinguish one colony of the other is always transmitted hereditarily. It was a big mistake and it has resulted in many disappointments.
The expected progress is not achieved. It was a chance for the Swiss beekeepers their station fertilization was not waterproof, so the bees could help themselves. Otherwise, the case would have resulted in a disaster. This is also valid for other countries where it is not big enough. The first results of breeding showed me that I could not continue. I had to choose a much wider. A prerequisite and most important is to have a good station fertilization to achieve controlled couplings. As I said before, I was limited to my apiaries outside. All colonies were provided with waitresses' one queen selected. couplings were at least as safe as those stations fertilization German plain. But I'm not entirely inappropriate because, without absolute control of the males, it is not possible to improve the bee's point of view of breeding and selection.
The 1st June 1925, I found the heart of the Land of Dart (Dartmoor) a site that seemed valid to me. That's when I built my station of fertilization, which has remained until today one of the safest. insemination station must be well equipped, we need to ruchette nuclei, tools and other facilities.
Es M requirements are as follows:
1. boxes must be small enough to prevent the colony starts to brood of males;
2. must be able to use the minimum possible of bees;
3. the ruchette should require little work;
4. during a normal summer, the small colonies they must provide their own food;
5. the nuclei must be sufficiently strong to pass the most rigorous winter.
From these requirements, it follows that our nuclei are kept permanently in our Station fertilization. They have, therefore, no need to be constantly replenished. The tests made with different hives constructions have resulted in mixed success.
Station fertilization in Dartmoor
After some guesswork, there is a hive that contains 4 nuclei on 4 half-Dadant. We use this hive since 1937. In these small settlements in the summer to cater for their needs, the young queen is subject to a pre-scrutiny. Winters of Lande are extremely severe and requires a special dose apiarian dexterity to bring these small colonies without difficulty until spring. Our station has 520 nuclei fertilization when it runs at full speed. This figure is large enough to give us a sufficient margin to select, assess, eliminate it. This is a very important prerequisite for our work farms.
Since always, we have never used less than 4 hives to provide so-called paternal males. These settlements have always queens are sisters. They were chosen from a large offspring of sisters, daughters of a queen of value and must be the best according to our criteria requirement. We have a high density of males and a large hereditary. As we have learned to our cost, a queen or a hive father does not always all hereditarily qualities expected of a breeding line. It is for this reason that we operate on a broad basis.
The Importance of Livestock Crossings
In the German-speaking countries, the economic importance of livestock by crossing has always been underestimated. As against the pure line breeding has been widely overestimated. It is, without doubt, Dr. Kramer, who has given impetus to the unilateral estimate values of the pure line breeding. Beekeepers de la Suisse Romande said: "We have honey, the Swiss-German bees have uniform and pure." This sentence contains many truths, even if many do not hear them. A professional beekeeper, who has worked in a larger group of Mexican Bee, told me that the average yields declined by 2 / 3 when we tried to apply the principles of German intensive rearing of pure lineage . I n the German-speaking countries, the economic importance of livestock by crossing has always been underestimated. As against the pure line breeding has been largely overstated. It is, without doubt, Dr. KRAMER which gave impetus to the unilateral estimate values of the pure line breeding. Beekeepers de la Suisse Romande said: "We have honey, the Swiss-German bees have uniform and pure." This sentence contains many truths, even if many do not hear them. A professional beekeeper, who has long worked in one of the largest Mexican beekeeping groups, said the average yields declined by 2 / 3 when wanted to apply the principles of German intensive rearing of pure lineage.
In England, too, nobody is interested in breeding pure line for itself. After my speech, 29 December 1970, Soltau, a scientist apiarian criticized me in a Swiss newspaper bee, I vouais livestock into hell and that I recommended hybridization wild. Even today, I wonder how I can be misunderstood. So I mentioned at every opportunity and as I do today, how breeding line pure 1'axe must turn around which all the work of farming. But its real value is underlined if it serves as a basis or support the breeding of crosses or combinations of well-defined goal. A Buckfast, the Crusaders have always been on the agenda. Our high average return would have been achieved in our region so hostile to bees.
The bee had disappeared by 1920 a silent death. We have never had any prejudice against the breeding of pure lineage. Its economic value and its limitations we were known for years.
Our success is based on an estimate of pure breeding, crossing and combination. Our tests cover all cross breeds of bees are known to us. The crosses are not all economic value.
A corresponding preconditions. Take a classic example: saharienne bee (Apis m. sahariensis) crossed with males Buckfast gives a phenomenal cross-fertility and colony so populous that most beekeepers do not dominate. A crossing of this kind, if properly treated and if the honey is good, is able to report record harvests. In a bad year, against, we must keep the colony alive with lots of sugar. Combinations a little less fruitful cross, for against, far more bad years. Saharienne fertilized by the males Buckfast can be seen as soft. As against, if it is fertilized by males of the breeds of western Europe (Am mellifera), it stings like a devil. In general, we have bee sweet if we use males of a race soft, but in any case we can not afford to move discretely.
The choice of queen rearing is crucial. Here, it is to attack the work with corresponding caution. Another example: in our experience, a cross between a queen and male Anatolian Buckfast produced offspring sweet, very productive and very economical. A reciprocal cross: ie Buckfast queens impregnated by males Anatolia, is also very productive and efficient, but the descent is much more aggressive.
If one has a good strain of bees Greek, you can cross, irrespective of maternal or paternal side, with the race of Buckfast, whenever we get an F1 fresh and productive. These examples are only general, exceptions will always exist. Courses of action are unknown to us rigid.
If the beekeeper is only interested in performance, breeding system are preferable, but they are not absolutely necessary. Queens for so-called use, fertilization achieved apiary is more than sufficient.
The advantages and disadvantages of breeding by crossing depends on two factors: namely heterosis and the meeting of hereditary traits and qualities of different intensities. The passenger and heterosis is mainly appears in the first cross (F1). The quality of new combinations have a certain consistency in coming generations. Of course, in these cases there are disjunctions. A positive selection preserves the productivity of erosion and may even increase it.
The heterosis can bring home the bee, not only great economic benefits but also drawbacks. This, I have noted and I will do it again. We can be exposed to trends in increased spin and greater aggression.
These events seem to be specific to the bee. In domestic animals, these phenomena are less known. The tendency to spin does not appear in all cross-breeds and can also be easily avoided. If, for example, the Buckfast bee is crossed with an Carnica (Carnolienne) or Cecropia (Greek bee), it does not appear to increase the well-known tendency to spin in F1. Aggressive, for against, depends a lot of males who our queens mate. Combinations with males of the race of the Western Europe often produce bees more aggressive than males Carnic, for example.
I already mentioned the crosses with which many U.S. beekeepers want to follow the example of maize breeders. During a trip to North America, introduced me to the process and results.
I had also the opportunity to test multiple crossings in our climate. The results do not satisfy me. What is good for corn is not necessarily to bees. It seems to me that we had taken a wrong direction. A bee has extreme inbreeding, which remains painfully alive, is probably not the appropriate basis for a heterosis effect optimum.
Until now, this reality has not been underscored in America because it is rare that selective mating really geared to realize the safe, especially on farms where ultimately the reproduction takes place. The process is also complicated and expensive. But it has a certain charm about beekeeping circles. Based on my experience and my knowledge, this company does not have a great future. From an economic standpoint, the beekeeper can simply go, economically speaking, much further with simple cross-breeds, which are also much cheaper and easier to achieve. Farm crossing properly conducted can provide the beekeeper some benefits even if couplings are in his apiary. Of line crossings in a single race to avoid many disadvantages of close inbreeding, but they do not meet the economic performance of a cross-oriented breed.
The selection of the mother of livestock is a factor in the success of a breeding crosses. That selection is crucial.
We believe in Combinations
A Buckfast, cross breeds were first made to obtain better harvests. We took advantage of the economic benefits that resulted, for which purpose fertilization in our apiary enough.
In 1915, the high mortality of the bees left it clear that cross-breeds were also advantages quite different, eg the resistance against the acariose.
While course, this prompted us to carry out breeding. Thus, as already mentioned, we were forced to use the station fertilization, with cross-oriented, we could eliminate all the other diseases of the brood of our apiary. We always had to fight against these diseases of the time when we were with the old beekeeping bee french. Throughout my career farmer and beekeeper, I have fully exploited the advantages of both economic and crosses the other. In fact, they have always been a core element of our beekeeping.
The different crosses were never considered as an end in G, but the starting point for a move towards rearing by crossing combinations. In other words, this is a new breed. With the help of the pure line breeding, we have established the hereditary qualities and so we got that important hereditary qualities of this breed can be transmitted in its purest form. Note again that the production capacity increased F1 (heterosis) is ephemeral. The new qualities appear in the race crosses are. But these qualities can be maintained if there is a corresponding selection and if it starts, when the time comes, a service oriented consanguinity of this case. Like everywhere there is many generations, even among the bees, there are disjuncture in generations, but at the same time, there is also accumulation of many qualities in some types. These must be recognized and developed. These solitary provide material for the establishment of new strains with particularly valuable qualities.
It takes about 7 years for the development of a combination. Each combination represents a new level crossing towards alliances and more efficient. Plus the potential for animal performance base with which we practice crosses, is intensified, the potential results of crosses is high. It is the breeding by crossing the platform indispensable to the rearing combinations by creating new routes and hereditarily faithful.
We only provide constant progress. The pure line breeding or cross-line within a geographical race can never achieve this goal. The good results of our operations we demonstrate that the path we followed was correct.
The Voyages of Explorations
The nature is not all-powerful, it has some limitations. Thus, a particular race can never grow and be maintained in a region. As we have just seen, nature as it may exclude consanguinity. But it can not bring together different geographical races. This duty has been reserved for the bees to farmers, to those who have realized the economic value and opportunities for cross-breeding races oriented. Due to the fact that Nature was limited to livestock breeds pure geographic line, the farmer has to have a basis for breeding of inestimable value.
A Buckfast, 1900 to 1915, there were only crosses the English bee, the ligustica and Carnica. and, from 1920, imports from Cyprus, southern France, Switzerland and North America. At that time, I also dealt with the bee in North Africa called intermission. The money required had been transferred, but the queens are not we ever received.
We have fertilization station since 1925 and we have done with this initial stock, breeding system. By 1940, it appeared that queens acquired in this way does not correspond to my needs. But it happened 10 years before I will consider travel. The details of these voyages of exploration appear in the book "In search of the best races of bees, which will be published shortly.
Since 1880, the Canadian AP JONES and the U.S. in 1882, Franck DANTON, undertook similar journeys in the East, because both were hoping to find a breed of bee that correspond to their ideal. Today we know that this bee is not perfect and never will.
I had an entirely different purpose: I wanted to know in a fundamental way and on a broad basis of this raw material with which I worked.
Who fits with whom, in order to establish a breeding program to result. There are few more years, we knew almost nothing about the breeds and their qualities that interested me. There is a lack of accurate estimates based on comparisons safer.
Knowledge about the races are a prerequisite if we want to farm for success. My travels have been, without doubt, pioneering companies, even impossible in 1880, if only because the car was lacking. Even today, these journeys lead to fatigue, privations and dangers of all kinds, not to mention the many disappointments and continuing.
The French Ministry of Agriculture has always encouraged such travel widely. Through the embassies of the countries concerned, it has been in contact with leaders of beekeeping countries concerned, and above all I was introduced to practitioners particularly experienced. Without this help, my journey of exploration would not have been possible at this scale. For against all costs were borne by the monastery alone, ie covered by our apiary. Our beekeeping has never been an industry funded and we wanted to make it very clear here.
In his "Bienenzüchtungskunde" Professor ARMBRUSTER speaks three goals bred sports (amateur), scientific (research) and economic (production).
To us, the only economic but could come into play. If we have often used the way science and director of scientific testing and accurate comparisons, we only made in order to progress economically in a more safe.
Our goal was to collect more honey per hive per year. This surplus crop was, moreover, be achieved with lower costs, labor and waste of time. We therefore tend towards greater efficiency and we strive to make driving hive and care for the colonies as simple as possible.
Among the many benefits that I can not list them all here, the bee must meet four main requirements:
It must be fruitful. Peak performance always depends on the ability to spawn, or the settlements lack of strength. Fertility too powerful, as we find in Italian-American strains, may be a drawback in our climate. Bees of this kind have a long life too short. We need a completely covers bee brood from 9 to 10 frames Dadant at the end of June.
It must be active. The activity is the lever that transforms all the qualities in economic values. The activity is undoubtedly a quality rooted hereditary, but it is still dependent on many other qualities.
Bees must be resistant to disease. Only the bees are healthy performance. In this area, there would be, in terms of livestock, much more to do if we attacked the problems correctly. Unfortunately, they are not given enough attention. I could cite many examples in this regard.
bee should not be swarming. A bee swarm is not suitable for modern beekeeping.
It may still show in the area of quality, softness. It has nothing to do with performance. In our densely populated areas, beekeeping is only possible with a gentle bee. The softness facilitates, inter alia, handling bees and makes it more bearable. Fortunately, through breeding, it is very easy to select a bee fresh.
Until now, it has not even been mentioned external characteristics. In fact, the only color that interests us as a distinctive sign. The selection of the types of extreme color, for example, black or yellow, always leads to an impasse. Our tests have always highlighted. We breed, if possible, a bee dark-colored leather and uniform.
The Distribution of Buckfast Bees
J e do not want publicity but the topic must be addressed.
We do not have a bee miracle. Whoever treats evil can expect it to earn returns records. You should know her address. The apiary English the largest, with about 2000 colonies, has been working for 40 years with our bee.
Miss E has increased in America and in Israel where she met a growing success. Curiously, Canadians are very satisfied, but especially in Sweden as it has spread in recent years. The Germans also come to live with more and more, as I noted in the many reports I receive. Beekeepers professionals and small fans eager for progress and willing to fulfill the prerequisites, I signed increasing returns achieved with less loss of time. Bee in the newspapers, reports positive multiply. Until 1937, it was possible to satisfy all requests for queens. From this time, we had to restrict exports in order to have more time and bees for our livestock.
From 1937 to 1962, we sold only breeding queens went primarily to professional beekeepers, but the demand was growing steadily. From 1962 he was seeking other ways to satisfy all concerned. We agreed with the Ministry of Agriculture of Israel so that our race can be multiplied there in the right conditions.
We provide queens ethnic and Israelis queens of use. A few years later, a large American company has undertaken the multiplication of our bees. Since these two breeding centers, Israel and the USA, our queens are shipped all over the world.
All 60 years has been from the beginning linked to the livestock by crosses.
It is clear from my explanation. For this reason, I am not an opponent of the breeding line pure. From my long experience, the full value of the pure line breeding can only appear if it is not overstated, and if it is done in conjunction with livestock by crosses. Maturing by combinations, the necessary result of the pure strain breeding and crossing to help fix and maintain what has been achieved. The Buckfast bee of which is the result of crosses intensive breeding pure lineage, of crosses and combinations of crosses, is the best example. The higher yields are possible with the help of crosses by livestock. What is not in a race may be introduced by selective breeding. An important product of my breeding work over many years has been increased resistance to diseases, an area where there is still much to achieve.
The color and distinctive landmarks are external recognition, but nothing more.
For raising serious preconditions the most important are:
• A number of colonies sufficient;
• A group of hives, not lines;
• Spacious hive can accommodate any laying of the queen;
• A safe fertilization allowing controlled and selective matings;
• Queens flawless breeding.
Research is necessary in the interest of beekeeping. It must be pursued. Nature is life. Life means to develop continuously. It is also true for beekeeping.
Brother Adam to Grenoble Feb. 14, 1987
This is a great honor to have been invited to this event. I agreed to come without any hesitation, because I have a strong interest in beekeeping in your country. Your professionals are among the most successful of Europe. I have seen repeatedly that they are obtaining the best results with minimum means. french beekeepers are indeed clever technicians who have kept their freedom as much as the capacity to innovate. But above all I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Yvon Achard and all responsible agencies Bee here, who kindly invited me.
I also appreciated the invitation, because it will allow me to highlight the particularities of practice apiarian essential to obtain maximum yields with bees in general and in particular Buckfast bee.
In both qu'éleveur of Buckfast, it may be possible to say quite objectively what its actual production capacity, but also its limitations. And also to show what qualities it is distinguished from other breeds.
In daily contact with the bees for nearly 70 years, and this in a large intensive, it definitely takes the views and knowledge, which are closed to most beekeepers and scientists.
I would not speak here of the daily problems of beekeeping or apiculture methods specific to particular conditions of exploitation and honey. I would rather concentrate on the basics, when trying to achieve superior returns. A Buckfast the goals were still strictly economic, associated with minimal loss of work and time. We also consider the investment for the construction of hives and equipment.
The volume of the brood chamber is of the utmost importance to obtain the highest yields per hive. It is neither form, nor the construction of a beehive, which determines the yield, but the strength of the population . Only an unlimited brood chamber can give higher yields under conditions of miellées determined. It only allows a total development potential of laying of the queen. In addition, a minimum of work and time. In a profitable business it is also important that the actual results of harvests.
It was in Hanover in 1953 that I first noted the importance of the brood chamber unlimited for both the economy and livestock. In Germany it has been felt at the time as revolutionary because general fashion was in the opposite direction, with the idea that we would get more than honey. The opposite is true. It is understood that one can produce honey in any hive, but with very different results.
When you use two bodies for the brood nest, having a surface radiation identical to that of the Dadant hive, it will not get the same return as the hive Dadant, contrary to a widely held view . This does anyone use this method successfully, but in our experience, very high real yields can be achieved. The results of harvests for the two ways of doing so may even show significant differences What in our case, manifests itself with the more evident at harvest on the heather. At the time we used the framework capable of English (a slightly larger than a half-frame Dadant framework called England "British Standard" and Belgium "WBC"), we harvested in identical conditions of honey, on half of what we reported Dadant hives (12 frames). During a period of 15 years, these results are confirmed clearly compared with 2000 hives a beekeeper who used our professional bee, but with the English hive above.
This is yet another reflection: an authentic selection of livestock, and therefore, a comparison of actual performance is not something where the maximum fertility of a queen is hindered. The same is true where the hives are arranged in lines or if they are placed in hives flags (and sometimes piled into several stages, as it shows in Germany and Austria). But a flawless selection is the basis for progress in a modern. We are forced to accept this reality, whether you agree or not. Without a queen of the best lines and greater vitality, Dadant hive like ours, combined with our method of work, would be unnecessary. While there are strains with rearing extreme fertility, such as Italians from the USA, with their bright color, can develop hives overpowering, but who fail in our climatic conditions because of lack of vitality and strength, force. Except for a close consanguinity are the conditions of livestock, which determines the vitality and quality of a queen. In our experience, positive or negative influences on the development of a queen already originated under conditions in which the mother of the queen.
In animal husbandry in general, it is rare for anyone to undertake livestock from an individual who is obviously in a bad state, to be sick or giving signs of senility. Among beekeepers, by against, it is believed that the queens from the supercédure would be the best. There is an obvious error, clearly identified by the Dadant hive. Indeed, we never could find this way a queen of strain fully valid. As a result, for years we replace these queens at the annual replacement of queens in the spring. They recognized their wings not clipped.
For the purposes of testing our farms, we use from time to time of larvae for the picking, from production hives. These queens are distinguished not by quality. As against, it is not difficult to understand that the eggs of a queen rearing, which lay less than 300 eggs per day, have more vitality than those of a queen laying 3000 eggs per day. Our tests clearly demonstrate the comparison. For this because the queen rearing provided for this purpose are routinely made during the breeding season in nuclei. For we do not also against excessive display of technical and during the breeding period. We also avoid and, as far as possible, keep a queen of value in a cage too long.
All these important knowledge we need to Dadant brood chamber. In nests to brood smaller defects of this kind can not occur. A Queen 2 nd or 3 rd category is often still capable of complete a nest brood size small. But it can never access the yield at which we want to succeed. However, I must confess that the conversion to the hive Dadant home to Buckfast has not done for reasons of technique ' operation. At the beginning we had no idea of knowledge and results that would result. Even the real differences in performance we have partly surprised.
I can not avoid the question about the "Best Bee." Indeed, we would have to call the bees "more productive and more profitable." In the goals we want to achieve in our selection, we do not lose sight of the uniform external characteristics, but we accept also, within certain limits, changes in color.
The Buckfast bee is kind of brown colored leather. From time to time some people think our goals for breeding are kept secret. The reality is that in my book "The Cross and Apiculture of Tomorrow" on page 120, all essential features are mentioned. The list includes 16 features, including 11 directly relate to performance. In addition to these features are indicated by numbers and signs (+ and -) which correspond to results obtained during a long period. It seems that , throughout the beekeeping literature, is nowhere mentioned data (positive) comparable to the orientation determined from a farm. Moreover these values are based on concrete comparisons conducted on foundation wide as possible. These comparisons at the same time establish the standard for eleven breeds and crosses of the bee.
As already mentioned, we do not value the uniformity of the external characteristics. It is easy to obtain by selective inbreeding, but only at the expense of performance and general vitality. As against a hereditary uniformity sure of profitability, is the sign par excellence, and the purpose of a breeding effort realistic. The positive results in the case of the Buckfast bee, highlighted in different climates and parts of the world, demonstrate that livestock has been consistent. A pure breeding of this kind is essential in our modern beekeeping. It is the basis of economic success. However, I think, from time to time, the direct economic importance of the pure breeding is overstated. It can only, in crosses F 1 or F 2 in relation to heterosis, report maximum performance and that in crosses of chance suitable. breeding are ideal. But in all cases, the actual value of the queen breeding is crucial. All beekeepers do not have a reliable fertilization, or opportunities for the development of a high selection. But this is really not necessary. The value of a queen breeding on the genetic level often determines the economic value of the crossings. With a safe queen rearing, each beekeeper may, for a relatively modest sum, and by simple means, enjoy the fruits specialists. farming is a cross section itself, which can not be treated here in detail. The book "The Crossings of Beekeeping and Tomorrow" contains a summary of my experiences in this field.
I must nevertheless make it clear that each geographical race, bred by nature itself, has the qualities and defects. Generally seen, they have inherited provisions. Arrangements which will require the farmer who wants to progress in the creation of an artificial race called that corresponds to the requirements of a modern beekeeping.
On the one certain way, I should be here to offer you some geographical races for your use. But then I would make you do any service. My explanation refer constantly to a certain race artificial. It was obtained by a more difficult work 70 years through breeding combination. Honestly, every time a beekeeper is for me to intend to move to the Buckfast bee, he invariably gets the same answer: please , try this first bee. If you succeed, then only a general conversion is justified. Here in Grenoble, I would say the same thing. I even mentioned that I had already made a similar statement, there is years in the newspaper of Central Europe.
On the other hand, I have no right to hide the experiences throughout the world. Thus, several years ago at the University of Minnesota (USA), it was tested for comparison six farms the most common. Apart from the honey yield, it also controlled the most important economic qualities. Among them, there was also the longevity of the queen. The Buckfast was superior not only for performance, but also to virtually all other qualities.
In the Scandinavian countries, particularly Sweden, Buckfast enjoys great popularity. As we have just recently say to me, there are currently more than a few hives that have not undergone the influence of Buckfast . Clearly, according to the information received, it has been proven excellent there, even beyond the Arctic Circle. A clear proof that the hypothesis of acclimation is based on illusions.
Another beekeeper who, for against, is already suffering the effects of continental climate, annually gives me precise indications for each of his 30 hives. His Fall strengthening as described in the specification of Raymond Zimmer, "L 'Buckfast bee in Question (s). "The information concerning the origin of each queen, actual results of extraction of each hive during honey spring, summer and off season, and the more velléités spin. When removal of the rise, it is provided by the number of the corresponding hive then it is weighed before and after extraction (the same frames are presented in the rise of origin for this weighing ). In 1985, rapeseed honey and forest were excellent. The average of the 30 hives is 182 kg per hive. The best hive has a total 253 kg to the extraction.
It is certainly not a world record, but it has certainly not been surpassed in Europe. As I have myself seen in mid-August all of these hives also included additional 30 kg in the nest to brood the Dadant 12 frames! While the beekeeper in question is clearly in good conditions for honey, but it must transhumance. 1985 was its best year. His overall average of 7 years (since 1980) is 106 kg per hive.
The average yields obtained on a series of years, the condition for a profitable beekeeping. I constantly yields peak as a provocation to further exploit the possibilities of breeding. But as a proof that we do we are not lost in an impasse. Or in the ideals of rearing or breeding purebred. It does not include records, yet they act as a stimulant and encourage those who give a lot of pain even without the results they expected.
I may awake the impression that the crop would be the only criterion in modern beekeeping. Seen from a strictly objective, this is not the case. As already noted, the work and actual time spent per hive, play an essential role. As our research shows, there are strains and crosses that are very capable performance, but which are unprofitable or because they are extremely aggressive and essaimeurs. We not only need a bee for maximum performance, but very few swarms, gentle, quiet and extremely vitality. The distribution of Buckfast on all continents, and this very discreetly, it seems that this corresponds to bee requirements of modern beekeeping. It does not tolerate being dorlotée, but it does not admit either that it neglects the care specific to its circumstances.
In my remarks today, I am confined to the factors on which any modern bee-keeping must be based, where average yields are linked up to a minimum of lost time and expense. I do, well course, ignores local conditions.
The raising of queens of value, but also the use of the progeny of a breeding strain tested and confirmed, are the foundation for success in all countries on all continents.
American Bee Journal 131(8) 1991 p508-510
… This is not to dismiss the word in the sense that it is "merely academic", as if it were of no practical importance. On the contrary, students of Brother Adam's work will find no dichotomy between what is "academic" and what is of the most important "practical" considerations. For his contributions, two universities, one in Sweden and one in England, have awarded him the degree of Doctor of Science.
It is therefore a matter of concern that in relation to the susceptibility of honey bees to acarine disease, which Brother Adam established so early on in this century, his findings appear to have gone either unheeded or ignored. The results secured in Europe, based on wide experience in the field and confirmed by instrumental insemination leave no doubt or room for uncertainty. For the beekeeper interested in practical results right now, his paper is worthy of close attention.
Jim Holland, Lisburn, North Ireland, August 1991
Tracheal Mite Losses
In a recent issue of Bee World, the official organ of the International Bee Research Association, appeared a leading article by an American scientist expressing a fear that in the course of the winter of 1989-90 more than 1 million colonies perished, primarily due to the ravages of the tracheal mite (Acarapis woodi). He likewise stressed: "Losses from Varroa jacobsoni were predicted, but losses from Acarapis woodi were not widely expected." A few weeks later a letter reached me from a commercial beekeeper from Vermont, who reported that he lost half the number of his colonies in the spring of 1990, due to the tracheal mite, notwithstanding the use of menthol. He stated: "We have a bee capable of meeting our honey production requirements, but none able to withstand the diseases to which the honey bee is subject." In actual fact the loss of colonies recently suffered throughout North America could have been largely prevented if the necessary precautionary measures had been taken in time.
In retrospect these reports remind me of the Isle of Wight epidemic, which according to official estimates, in the matter of about 12 years, caused a loss of more than 90 % of the colonies in the British Isles. The first outbreak of this disease was recorded in 1904 in the Isle of Wight. On reaching the mainland it spread like wildfire to every part of the British Isles. It reached Devon in 1913 and our own apiaries the following year. In the winter of 1915-16 we lost close to two-thirds of our colonies. The colonies lost belonged to the indigenous dark native variety, which had existed in this part of Europe since the termination of the last Ice age. Those that survived were mainly of Ligurian origin - the Alps of northern Italy bearing that name. The bees of this region are leather colored not bright yellow or golden. We had here a classic instance of a hopelessly susceptible race and in the Ligurian one manifesting, in identical environmental conditions, a high resistance to the tracheal mite. Moreover, before the demise of the native race every kind of disease of the honey bee could be found in our apiaries. With the eradication of the native variety, all the diseases, apart from acarine, vanished simultaneously. Needless to say, these findings proved a far-reaching turning point in our beekeeping and still more so in our efforts at improving the honey bee. Before very long we also found that the bright yellow or golden strains, irrespective of their origin, including a combination we developed ourselves, have proved invariably exceptionally susceptible to the tracheal mite. Also, we found that this extreme susceptibility will be transmitted by these bright golden drones and dominate when crossed with queens of highly resistant strains. Why this should be so, we do not know.
The Varroa jacobsoni Menace
A short while ago an even greater menace than the tracheal mite began to threaten beekeeping in North America. However, Varroa jacobsoni has not as yet had time to manifest its ruthless killing ability here in this part of the world (United Kingdom). However, according to our findings, the tracheal mite can destroy a colony in less than nine months. But it may also take up to three years, before mass crawling sets in, depending on the degree and ability of the innate resistance at issue. On the other hand, an initial infestation of the Varroa mite may seem harmless and will usually take about four years to manifest its full virulence, but will then prove fatal to every colony without fail, unless periodically safeguarded by some remedial measure or other. Moreover, these remedial measures have to be applied at the appropriate time without fail, to prove fully effective. Indeed, we have to accept the fact that the Varroa mite will spell the doom of any form of let-alone beekeeping, as widely carried out up to now in all the main honey-producing countries throughout the world.
The Varroa menace can be held in check, but only by regular application of acaricides. These, in turn, pose the unacceptable risk of traces finding their way into the honey destined for human consumption. Therefore, as Prof. Engels of Tubingen University (Germany) stressed some years ago, beekeepers are at present compelled to use these toxic substances to keep their colonies alive, but their use can in no case prove a permanent solution. Only a fully resistant genetically endowed race or strain, resistant to the Varroa mite in any given circumstances, can prove the ultimate answer to this menace. Apart from Apis cerana, which does not cross with Apis mellifera, and a few races native to parts of Africa, south of the Sahara, no known races of the honey bee are able effectively to resist Varroa jacobsoni. Minor variations in resistance have been observed amongst the European races. But such minor variations may not be genetically based, but due to accidental circumstances.
The Long-term Objective
On the basis of the findings and experience gained in breeding the honey bee since 1916; also the knowledge acquired to the genetic possibilities at hand, I feel confident that in the course of time a honey bee fully and effectively resistant to the Varroa mite can be developed. It will do away with a host of uncertainties, as well as the endless extra labor and expense, including the incidental brood diseases for which this parasite is seemingly responsible. This is indeed a challenge that modern progressive beekeeping cannot circumvent. However, both the tracheal mite and Varroa jacobsoni will in all probability never be totally eliminated. However, if we can reduce their incidence to a point when their presence has no bearing on the honey-gathering potentiality of a colony, our practical objective will have been attained.
The Limiting Factors
In the case of the tracheal mite the hereditary characteristics on which susceptibility or resistance is based have up to now eluded discovery. In breeding for resistance the essential selections were, therefore, at all times restricted to the absence of any visible symptoms of this disease - this is in conjunction with a total avoidance of any remedial measures.
The consequent inevitable losses were the price such an endeavor demanded. By contrast, we are confronted by a somewhat different proposition in the case of the Varroa mite. The parasite is visible to the naked eye, apart from a number of known genetic traits, which impede the full reproduction potential of this mite, restricting an infection below a level affecting the honey-gathering ability of a colony. Nevertheless, considered from the strictly practical aspect, the selection for resistance will in all likelihood have had to be based on the actual degree of an infection - in this instance on the number of dead mites following the periodic control measures.
Considered from the wider aspect, in breeding the honey bee we are confronted by a series of problems not met with in the breeding of live-stock and plants We have constantly to bear in mind the influence of parthenogenesis, multiple mating and the extreme susceptibility of the honey bee to inbreeding. Indeed, inbreeding is the primary limiting factor whenever an intensification of a resistance to any particular disease is at issue. The best of strains can be quickly ruined by close inbreeding, particularly by instrumental insemination.
As experience has revealed, a resistance to a particular disease may vary individually in degree genetically from one extreme to the other. Moreover, resistance may break down in exceptional adverse circumstances. However, this is a universal phenomenon that is not restricted to the honey bee.
It is widely assumed that by close inbreeding of pure stock a particular genetic trait can most advantageously and successfully be intensified. Where close inbreeding is judiciously applied reasonably satisfactory results can thus be secured, but only at a snail's pace. More usually, before any worthwhile intensification has been achieved, a loss of stamina will have annulled any worthwhile advantage. Pure stock, however, forms the anchorage of any success secured by way of breeding.
This form of breeding has since the beginning of time - in regard to all sections of animate creation - been Nature's way of developing more vigorous genetically endowed races and strains, to supplant those that failed to match a particular exigency, according to her maxim of "the survival of the fittest", within the limits of the genetic potentialities at her disposal. Her endeavors were of necessity restricted to her more immediate facilities, whereas the modem bee-breeder has a worldwide choice at his command. It was likewise Nature's sole facility of combating every kind of disease. The honey bee proved in no case an exception.
However, cross-breeding as here envisioned, as the exclusive means of securing a fully efficient genetically based resistance to Varroa jacobsoni calls for a whole series of exceptional measures, without which any attempt at a task of this kind can be regarded as futile from the very outset. Indeed, I believe very few beekeeping establishments have at their disposal the essential facilities for a task of this magnitude. This is not based on an assumption, but on a lifetime of practical experience.
On the other hand, as we have found, a properly conducted scheme of crossbreeding can reveal genetic possibilities of which we had no inkling before at any time. A practical instance will make this clear. From a cross between a queen of our strain mated to French black drones we secured in the F-3 a new color break we had never seen before. Moreover, though the French black strain was extremely aggressive, we nevertheless secured a new combination which proved by far the most good-tempered bees known to us. Also, this combination proved to be practically immune to the tracheal mite, notwithstanding the fact that the French breeder was extremely susceptible to this disease. In fact, of 12 colonies headed by French sister queens, only two survived. The 10 that died perished in the middle of the summer. However, to secure these results we had to raise no less than 1,200 queen cells of which only 200 queens, on emerging, were retained. These were mated to handpicked drones. Following a full year's test in a normal honey-producing colony, two breeders were chosen of the original 1,200 virgin queens. Apart from the case cited, we also found that crossbreeding, based on Mendelian findings, presents as yet a virtually unexplored section of modern beekeeping. The reasons are obvious.
Results obtained in the laboratory, secured in the absence of the specific colony influences, are unfortunately all too often given a universally applicable significance. The actual results secured are in no case questioned; their general validity merely assumed. Obviously, the actual reactions within a normal free-flying colony must determine the issue in every case. When in doubt, A. I. Root used to say: "Let the bees tell you." I have here in mind the massive loss of colonies, occurring at the present in North America. These could have been largely avoided if the wide long-term results, based on practical experience, had been heeded in time.
The acarine epidemic eliminated in a brief few years no less than 90% of the colonies within the British Isles. The losses suffered at present in North America confirm that the epidemic, which raged at one time in a small section of Europe, was no myth but a stark reality - one which I witnessed personally. However, there is no doubt, Nature has in the intervening years eradicated in Europe most of the highly susceptible stock. However, Acarapis woodi is still found everywhere. Varroa jacobsoni has not as yet invaded the British Isles (1991). However, where this parasite is found, beekeepers have no option, but must treat every colony without fail, regularly and at the appropriate time - irrespective of the numerous uncertainties and drawbacks.
We have also, of course, given our attention to the possibility of combating the various other diseases of the honey bee by way of breeding. The results secured have proved most valuable. There seems no doubt that a properly conducted scheme of crossbreeding represents the most successful form of " genetic engineering".