A brand new UF/IFAS research recognized genetic traits related to the manufacturing and behavioral attributes of those two key bee subspecies. For instance, researchers discovered Cape bees to be considerably darker than Africanized bees. This darkish coloring might be genetically correlated to their undesired habits.
Each subspecies are undesired in the USA. The primary, the “killer bee” or “Africanized honey bee,” recognized scientifically as A.m. scutellata, is a light-colored bee recognized for its territorial and defensive nature. This subspecies was taken from its native habitat in South Africa to Brazil within the 1950’s. There, it hybridized with the European bee subspecies saved by Brazilian beekeepers, after which moved into the U.S. A.m. scutellata are thought-about invasive bees and may take over colonies of managed honey bees, which may decrease earnings for beekeepers. In addition they are recognized for his or her heightened defensive habits.
The second subspecies studied, the “cape honey bee,” recognized scientifically as A.m. capensis, presents a slew of issues to beekeepers. These bees are extra docile however are extra probably than African honey bees to take over hives. Cape bees are thought-about social parasites. Not like different honey bee subspecies, cape employee bees can clone themselves, producing feminine eggs with out first mating. These clones can take over a hive. These employees can’t reproduce on the similar fee as a standard queen and the colony will finally dwindle and collapse, a phenomenon coined “capensis calamity.”
“Extra superb than the cape bee employee’s capability to clone itself is the speed at which it may take over different colonies,” stated Jamie Ellis, UF/IFAS professor. “We’re working to make sure these bees don’t make their option to the USA as a result of usually, when these bees take over a colony, the colony is doomed.”
Genetic research can be utilized to grasp “why the best way issues are” for an organism. On this case, researchers sought to grasp what genetic traits contribute to the looks of those bees and their habits. Utilizing information collected from South African bees from a earlier USDA Animal and Plant Well being Inspection Service funded research in 2013 and 2014, scientists sought to grasp what genes are accountable for the bodily traits of those subspecies.
“We discovered actually fascinating variations within the genes of those bees that may assist clarify why they appear and behave in a different way,” stated Laura Patterson Rosa, UF/IFAS graduate scholar and co-lead writer of the research. “There are quite a lot of implications to what we discovered. Now we have not but been in a position to confirm these new discoveries in further populations, but when our findings stand the check of time, it may partially clarify why we see behavioral modifications, why they don’t acknowledge the existence of queens of different subspecies and why they’ll clone themselves when different bees can’t.”
“Coloration phenotype is a vital side to beekeeping administration,” stated Ellis. “It may well assist beekeepers know what kind of honey bee they’ve.”
Cape bees are considerably darker than the Africanized bees. This darkish coloring might be genetically correlated to their cloning and colony takeover habits.
“There are doubtlessly over 30 subspecies of honey bees. We investigated solely two within the revealed research,” stated Ellis. “Does this discovering maintain true for the opposite darkish coloured honey bee subspecies? It could be fascinating to search for these mutations throughout all western honey bee subspecies to find out if so.”
Curiosity about traits, traits and coloration and the way they affect habits persists as researchers hope to make use of these findings for future analysis.
Particular due to supporters of this analysis together with USDA APHIS and the Florida Division of Agriculture and Shopper Providers by way of the steering of the Honey Bee Technical Council.