Local honey bees adapt better
Bees that are adapted to the local environment fare better at meeting challenges than bees purchased from a different home area, researchers have found.
Scientists came to the conclusion after studying the genes of honey bees and their interaction with the environment.
"It is very clear that the local bees fare better than imported ones and that they live longer," said Per Kryger from the Aarhus University, Denmark.
Colonies with queens from the local environment lived on average 83 days more than colonies with queens from foreign areas.
"Our results indicate that the way forward is to strengthen the breeding programmes with local honey bees instead of imported queens. That would help maintain the bee population's natural diversity," explained Per Kryger.
Bees are one of the most important insects for humans, producing honey and pollinating our crops.
The numbers of bees are under pressure from pesticides, germs and environmental changes the world over and when bees in a colony die, many bee-keepers believe that it is best to buy queens from outside.
(Posted on 15-07-2014)