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Old 29th May 2010, 04:06 PM   #141
Richard Bache
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Confident assertion considering the climatic changes and expanding and contracting range of apis mellifera over the past 50 million years.

Finland is a country of huge forests and heathlands and bees have certainly thrived there before and since the arrival of man.
Early Finish poems and folklore are littered with mention of bees, honey and mead which seems strange for a country only introduced to bees since the advent of modern appiculture ( according to Richard Bache !)

Case dissmissed
Confident assertion...
Do you have any evidence of how early the Finnish poems and folklore that mention bees are?

It is not my thoughts that the Honeybee is not native to Finland, but those of people who should know more than me about the subject:

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The first record show that the earliest bee in Finland were black bees (Apis mellifera mellifera). It is called here the Scandinavian bee. They were imported from Esthonia and Sweden in the 18th Century. The Italian bee was introduced in 1866 and the following year the first frame hive
Koivulehto, K. Beekeeping in Finland. in Beekeeping in Cold Climate Zones. Apimmondia Publishing House, 1974 pp70-72

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Beekeeping Started in Finland in the XVIIIth century, when the balck bee (Apis mellifera mellifera) was imported from Estonia and Sweden
Vidano C. The Italian Bee in Finland. in Beekeeping in Cold Climate Zones. Apimmondia Publishing House, 1974 pp 45-8.

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Some people suggested that only bee races which had adapted themselves to the conditions in this country - during hundreds of years - should be kept for sucessful beekeeping. They considered it useless to adapt southern bees to the far northern regions. This also meant that only northern bees living in Northern Europe since immemorial times could be used for queen breeding. In the area which is now Finland, wild bees never existed, which means the Northern bee must have been imported
Hartikka A. Queen Breeding in Finland. in Beekeeping in Cold Climate Zones. Apimmondia Publishing House, 1974 pp 101-2

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Beekeeping is not known to have existed until the bees were brought by sea from Sweden and Estonia...The first book on bees and beekeeping, published in Swedish, was by Winter (1818): he said that 'the useful bees have not been known or used [by Finnish people] until now..
Crane, E. The World History of beekeeping and Honey Hunting. London: Duckworth. 1999. pp236-7.

Ruttner Milner and Dews' The Dark European Honey Bee also mentions this, but cites the fact that Archaeological specimens from Norway prove that AMM existed previously in Scandanavia, but then retreated. Look also at the natural distribution range of honeybees on their map and also compare it with that in Eva Cranes 'bees and beekeeping, science, practice and world resources' and of Gould and Gould's 'The Honey bee'. I can find no definitive proof, or even tentative suggestion, that bees existed in Finland before humans brought them there.
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Old 29th May 2010, 04:22 PM   #142
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Do you have any evidence of how early the Finnish poems and folklore that mention bees are?
certainly pre christian but apparently the Mordvins of Finland were christianized late ( early 19th century)
Mordvin goddess of beekeeping Nishkende Tevtyar
I googled Kalevala and apparently Finnish folk poetry was first written down in the 1670's but the Kalevala ( epic poem thingy ) was only compiled in the 19th century.
Perhaps we should ask finman to enlighten us with more local knowledge, he seems to know everything about beekeeping
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Old 29th May 2010, 04:29 PM   #143
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Also in Ransom's book ' The sacred bee ' it says that tribute was partly paid in honey and wax to the Tartar kings in Marco Polo's day ( c1254-1324 ) presumably from Finnish tribes
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Old 30th May 2010, 09:41 AM   #144
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certainly pre christian but apparently the Mordvins of Finland were christianized late ( early 19th century)
Mordvin goddess of beekeeping Nishkende Tevtyar
I googled Kalevala and apparently Finnish folk poetry was first written down in the 1670's but the Kalevala ( epic poem thingy ) was only compiled in the 19th century.
I have just scannd through the chapter in Ransome. As you note, although she presumes the bees to be native, I cannot see anything that she cites dating the prescence of bees to before the 19th century. There is nothing that I can see that pre-dates the introduction of honeybees by Professor Kalm in 1747 (Crane's World History of beekeeping and honey hunting).
Looking at the distribution maps of honeybees again, Gould and Gould's map (which has a suspiciously straight northern boundary) seems to encompass the very South of Finland (i.e. only just going over the gulf of Finland), although all the other maps seem to exclude Finland from the natural distribution of the honeybee.

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Perhaps we should ask finman to enlighten us with more local knowledge, he seems to know everything about beekeeping
I'll second that. PM sent.

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Also in Ransom's book ' The sacred bee ' it says that tribute was partly paid in honey and wax to the Tartar kings in Marco Polo's day ( c1254-1324 ) presumably from Finnish tribes
Thanks for this. I have to say that the history of the minority cultural groups of Finland is outside my area of expertise, but looking here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_Tatars it looks like the first of this group came with the Russian Empire era which started in 1809 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finland) and therefore probably brought their culture with them to some extent and also came after the introduction of honeybees. Indeed, the reference in Ransome refers only to the abundance of Honey and Wax in Russia.

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Old 30th May 2010, 07:47 PM   #145
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.
in old folklore bee is perhaps Apis mellifera, but it is just bumblebee. they are many and their nest were found on fields or meadows and people ate bumblebee honey.
Kalevala was colected from poor eastern Finland, and that was not the place where bees has kept. First beehives were in Turku south west Finland.
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Old 30th May 2010, 08:02 PM   #146
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Thanks Finman.
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Old 9th June 2010, 03:24 PM   #147
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I have just joined this forum and scanned through the discussion on Amm. I hate to upset people but there are native black bees in some areas of Scotland. In particular there is 35 colonies on the island of Colonsay run by Andrew Abraham. Andrews bees were checked using morphometry and also confirmed by DNA analysis. I also have colonies of native Amm and I know of a number of Scottish beekeepers in Mull, Orkney, Fife, Wester Ross etc who also have black bees. The colonies are currently being checked using the latest Drawwing software and DNA being extracted for further analysis. None of us have large setups and can only breed a small number of queens each year. It is hoped that a breeding program will be set up soon under the Scottish Beekeepers Association (SBA) to co-ordinate the breeding program. If you want to see some morph results go to the SBA forum site.
I would also like to point out that some areas of Scotland are still varroa free and we wish to keep it that way,therefore we are careful how we send out breeding stock.

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Old 9th June 2010, 04:06 PM   #148
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As I understand it they'll send out virgins but consider mated queens too precious to let out of their area
They were just an example, there are other amm buffs on the green isle and our side of the water too with excellent morphometrically proven and genetically proven pure amm stock .
Isnt it time for people who continue denying theyre existance to stop spreading missinformation?
I would not say that they dont supply to outsiders. Some of the posts in this thread make it sound like they are like a cross between something out of the wicker man and Father Ted's craggy island. The Galtee Queens were for sale to anyone but demand now outstrips supply so they now only supply to beekeepers in the Republic of Ireland and also Northern Ireland. From where I am in the North it would take me 4-5 hrs drive to get to where the Galtees are bred. Hardly local and definately outside of their area. That withstanding there are a fair few local breeding programmes in operation and more beekeepers wiling to breed their own. The problem is obtaining the right starting genetic material. AMM's suit a lot of beekeepers and for me they suit our climate here. But they are like marmite you love it or hate it. The good thing about the Galtee queen is they are pure mated. My friend who brought in 2 Bickerstaffes AMM had offspring from 1 queen yellow and the other black. When he complained he was then told they graft from pure stock but then open mate. SO not really what he wanted.
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Old 9th June 2010, 05:23 PM   #149
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Thanks for backing up what I have been saying Jimbo.

The black bee is fit and well if you know where to look.

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Old 9th June 2010, 06:02 PM   #150
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None one want my black queen then? She's going for free. She is black, but no idea if she is AMM.

Prefer you collect her if you want her, so she doesn't get damaged, but since I don't want her, I suppose I shouldn't be so picky.

Otherwise I am going to send her to forum microscopist for him to do what he does with spare queens.

I don't want her because I want super gentle bees, and as far as I can tell her progeny are more grumpy than I like, although not mean.
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