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Author Topic: Does Varroa Destructor Attack Native Bees Along With Our Honey Bee?  (Read 716 times)

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Does Varroa Destructor Attack Native Bees Along With Our Honey Bee?
« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2020, 05:00:10 pm »
Hops:  I hunted big horn sheep in the West fork, north of Nez Perce.  Hops, I have never heard a person mention of the name Nez Perce.  You must study a lot!  I found the Indian sheep caves, not on any map, nor mentioned in any book that I know of.  There are no trails leading to these caves.  I found 3 caves, big enough to walk in, 10 ft ceiling.   
That is amazing!  I know of the Nez Perce from reading the American Girl book series when I was younger.  The series was actually what introduced me to Appaloosas, and made me fall in love with spotted horses.

Anyway, on subject: I have seen one yellow jacket with a Varroa mite attached.  I do not know what to think of that?
 
I wonder if perhaps the mite hopped on the wasp when it was robbing a bee hive.  Varroa mites are not known to affect wasps, at least not that I've heard.  Strange indeed. 

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Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Does Varroa Destructor Attack Native Bees Along With Our Honey Bee?
« Reply #21 on: September 03, 2020, 05:25:58 pm »
Yes, Member, I was guessing the same; yellow jacket robbed a honeybee hive and pick up a mite?


Anyway, if Varroa did attack and kill a yellow jacket nest, who would know?  I stay as far away as I can from yellow jackets.  Last year, I was stung 3 times swatting at a yellow jacket.  As I swatted, the wasp got up the long sleeve of my shirt and nailed my arm 3 times before I crushed it.  Arkansas is not so bad with yellow jackets, contrary to western Montana which was unbelievable with yellow jackets in September.  A fella could not put down an open can of pop or a yellow jacket would enter the pop can.  Thinking ahead are ya?  Yes, that happened to me, in my mouth, but I spit the wasp out so fast I did not get stung.
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Does Varroa Destructor Attack Native Bees Along With Our Honey Bee?
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2020, 06:32:03 pm »
Yes, Member, I was guessing the same; yellow jacket robbed a honeybee hive and pick up a mite?


Anyway, if Varroa did attack and kill a yellow jacket nest, who would know?  I stay as far away as I can from yellow jackets.  Last year, I was stung 3 times swatting at a yellow jacket.  As I swatted, the wasp got up the long sleeve of my shirt and nailed my arm 3 times before I crushed it.  Arkansas is not so bad with yellow jackets, contrary to western Montana which was unbelievable with yellow jackets in September.  A fella could not put down an open can of pop or a yellow jacket would enter the pop can.  Thinking ahead are ya?  Yes, that happened to me, in my mouth, but I spit the wasp out so fast I did not get stung.
Oh that is HORRIBLE!!!  I think my latent fear of insects I had as a child just resurfaced.  *shudder*   
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Offline beesnweeds

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Re: Does Varroa Destructor Attack Native Bees Along With Our Honey Bee?
« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2020, 10:47:37 pm »
  Who would know if yellow jackets get infested with varroa?  Most gardeners would.  Yellow jackets/hornets are awesome hunters of garden pests and if they started to disappear people would notice.  I understand why most hate yellow jackets, but I have a lot of respect for them. 
They are beneficial insects.  I would hate to see an introduced pest or virus take them out.  I love the fact they are so hardy and tough, unlike are honey bees that we really have to care for.  After the leaves fall I'm surprised how many hornet nest are hanging over roads, I hope it stays that way.
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Does Varroa Destructor Attack Native Bees Along With Our Honey Bee?
« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2020, 11:14:47 pm »
  Who would know if yellow jackets get infested with varroa?  Most gardeners would.  Yellow jackets/hornets are awesome hunters of garden pests and if they started to disappear people would notice.  I understand why most hate yellow jackets, but I have a lot of respect for them. 
They are beneficial insects.  I would hate to see an introduced pest or virus take them out.  I love the fact they are so hardy and tough, unlike are honey bees that we really have to care for.  After the leaves fall I'm surprised how many hornet nest are hanging over roads, I hope it stays that way.
I absolutely agree!  Yellow jackets, and all wasps in general really, don't get anywhere near enough love from people.  They provide extremely important ecological services that far outweigh their negatives, like stinging.  There are also so many solitary wasps that aren't even aggressive.  I read somewhere that for almost every garden pest there is a wasp that controls its population.  It's kind of like bees, actually.  People don't realize how important they are.  :happy:
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Does Varroa Destructor Attack Native Bees Along With Our Honey Bee?
« Reply #25 on: September 03, 2020, 11:29:45 pm »
beesnweeds and The15thMember, I love them also (form a distance). lol
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Offline Troutdog

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Re: Does Varroa Destructor Attack Native Bees Along With Our Honey Bee?
« Reply #26 on: September 06, 2020, 11:17:29 am »
Most diseases apis melifera are transferable to other hymenoptera. Varroa affects apis bumbas as well as cut leaf, mason etc.
African genetics are in ny. Thanks to importation. Does not have to be full african to behave african. I have carniolan black queens meaner than you want to imagine here in ny. So what percentage of african genes? Prob not as much as you might guess. Like hygenic behavior perhaps as little as 13% according to dr.harbo usda baton rougue.
All bees are from Africa. And yes black bees matter too!.
Goid news is a true african hive will not survive ny winter. It's the half breeds you need to be worried about.
Treatment free queen readers think the african crisses are a lovely idea. If you ever had a full on experience with this behavior you will understand why I hate having southern bees Summer here in NY.
For those of you buying queens from california..... a large breeder there had his mating yards exposed to fla african bees during almond pollination in an area where Southern bees were banned for that reason of transference. So good luck with that. Just 1 more reason to roll your own.


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Offline Troutdog

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Re: Does Varroa Destructor Attack Native Bees Along With Our Honey Bee?
« Reply #27 on: September 06, 2020, 11:21:12 am »
Follow up
It is now suspected that chronic bee paralysis comes to melifera via ants, another member of hymenoptera. So within the genus we see much more transference of disease.

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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Does Varroa Destructor Attack Native Bees Along With Our Honey Bee?
« Reply #28 on: September 06, 2020, 12:34:38 pm »
Most diseases apis melifera are transferable to other hymenoptera. Varroa affects apis bumbas as well as cut leaf, mason etc.
Follow up
It is now suspected that chronic bee paralysis comes to melifera via ants, another member of hymenoptera. So within the genus we see much more transference of disease.
No offense intended, but I'm skeptical of these claims.  Knowing how closely tied the varroa mite's life cycle is to the honey bees' method of brood-rearing, I'm not sure how they could reproduce effectively in solitary bees' nests, much less ant nests.  Solitary bees only go through 1, maybe 2 brood cycles a year, so the mites would have to survive extremely long in the cells, potentially through freezing temps.  And ants don't even raise their larva in any sort of structure that is gets capped, so the varroa would never have the chance to reproduce.  On top of this, many ants naturally produce formic acid, which as we know is an acaricide (mite-icide).  Do you have references for this information?         
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Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Does Varroa Destructor Attack Native Bees Along With Our Honey Bee?
« Reply #29 on: September 06, 2020, 02:10:38 pm »
Member, I can?t speak for TroutDog, but my understanding was example: mason bee as an inadvertent host, not the intended host, honeybee.  Agree, the life cycle of the Varroa that inadvertently hoped onto a mason bee would be doom for Varroa.
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline Troutdog

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Re: Does Varroa Destructor Attack Native Bees Along With Our Honey Bee?
« Reply #30 on: September 06, 2020, 02:45:17 pm »
Transferring virus is not only by mites.
Where did the mites get the virus?
Ants do not have a varroa problem I never said all hymenoptera have mites I thought I said the diseases in melifera are being caught by other hymenoptera especially bombas. The diseases exasperated by mites.
CBPV, AIPV, NOSEMA, are three well researched. Seely talks about it on his website.
Any pollinating insect is subjected to mites (not varroa, but tracheal is one) and or diseases resulting from mite infeststion via transference at shared sources such as water and flowers. Pollinators are subjected to many melifera disease. DWV is of note.
Bombas has it own particular mite problem not varroa destructor, so not all mites and virus is transferable and tends to be species specific, but cut leaf, mason, bombas are having transference of virus occuring although the conversations are anecdotal at the moment.
Fungicides and growth inhibitors are a larger problem than mites for everything pollinator.

A search on Google   heres a study on nosema.
The scientists found that just over two thirds of the wild bees exposed to the disease caught it, and those that did died at nearly three times the rate of those without it. Most European beehives have been found to contain the disease to some extent.
The scientists also found that flowers can transmit the disease.
"About two thirds of the flowers exposed to infected European honey bees were found to be carrying Nosema ceranae spores. In every case, at least one stingless bee that foraged on the flowers contracted the pathogen. What this means is that wild bees can be infected with the disease by sharing a flower with an infected European bee ," said Dr. Lach.
Five out of the six stingless bee hives the researchers monitored over five months tested positive for the pathogen at least once.
Dr. Lach said species' geographic distributions are changing rapidly due to habitat loss, climate change, and through new species being introduced by humans.
"This leads to novel combinations of interacting species that share no evolutionary history. Introduced species may bring with them their pathogens and parasites and provide an opportunity for these to spread to new species," Dr. Lach said.
Dr. Lach said more work had to be done outside the laboratory setting and within different seasons to get a clearer picture of how dangerous the pathogen is to wild bees.
"We know that new hosts will not have had the opportunity to develop defenses against new pathogens and may be particularly susceptible. For example, human immunodeficiency virus and severe acute respiratory syndrome jumped from chimpanzees and bats, respectively, to humans and have resulted in millions of deaths," she said.
Dr. Lach said it was the first study to find a spillover of the pathogen from European bees to Australia's stingless bees.
"Reducing risk of pathogen transmission from managed to wild bees presents multiple challenges and must involve the beekeeping community for any real change to occur. Development of rapid effective diagnostic tools and reliable means of preventing and treating infection will be important advances too," she said.
The work was published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.


The invasive mite does not live on bumblebees, but University of Exeter scientists have discovered it indirectly affects them by raising infection rates among honeybees, which then spread DWV to nearby bumblebees. ... "We compared areas where honeybees had Varroa destructor mites with mite-free areas," said Dr.Jun 12, 2019

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213224415300158

Sorry for any mite misunderstanding. Honeybees are a huge problem for native pollinators.
Honeybees have been found in the fossil record of North America albeit a long time ago.

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Offline Nock

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Re: Does Varroa Destructor Attack Native Bees Along With Our Honey Bee?
« Reply #31 on: September 06, 2020, 03:26:42 pm »
  Who would know if yellow jackets get infested with varroa?  Most gardeners would.  Yellow jackets/hornets are awesome hunters of garden pests and if they started to disappear people would notice.  I understand why most hate yellow jackets, but I have a lot of respect for them. 
They are beneficial insects.  I would hate to see an introduced pest or virus take them out.  I love the fact they are so hardy and tough, unlike are honey bees that we really have to care for.  After the leaves fall I'm surprised how many hornet nest are hanging over roads, I hope it stays that way.
I absolutely agree!  Yellow jackets, and all wasps in general really, don't get anywhere near enough love from people.  They provide extremely important ecological services that far outweigh their negatives, like stinging.  There are also so many solitary wasps that aren't even aggressive.  I read somewhere that for almost every garden pest there is a wasp that controls its population.  It's kind of like bees, actually.  People don't realize how important they are.  :happy:
I leave them be in my sheds and carport. Until they become a problem. Which is rare.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Does Varroa Destructor Attack Native Bees Along With Our Honey Bee?
« Reply #32 on: September 06, 2020, 07:19:23 pm »
Most diseases apis melifera are transferable to other hymenoptera. Varroa affects apis bumbas as well as cut leaf, mason etc.
Follow up
It is now suspected that chronic bee paralysis comes to melifera via ants, another member of hymenoptera. So within the genus we see much more transference of disease.

Sorry for any mite misunderstanding.

No, no, really sorry, I was indeed totally misunderstanding you.  Because the original question was about Varroa destructor I assumed that you were still talking about mites.  In spite of the fact that you clearly never said that.  :embarassed:  Again, so sorry, my mistake.  And thanks for all those references, quite interesting. 

Member, I can?t speak for TroutDog, but my understanding was example: mason bee as an inadvertent host, not the intended host, honeybee.  Agree, the life cycle of the Varroa that inadvertently hoped onto a mason bee would be doom for Varroa.
And in light of what Trout was actually saying, yes, that does make sense, Mr. Van.  An incidental mite could easily transmit a virus to a new host. 

 
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Does Varroa Destructor Attack Native Bees Along With Our Honey Bee?
« Reply #33 on: September 06, 2020, 07:26:37 pm »
I leave them be in my sheds and carport. Until they become a problem. Which is rare.
Same here, although I do kill those brown-colored paper wasps if I can reach them, just to keep their numbers low.  I have found them to be very aggressive come fall if their nests get large, so anytime it's convenient, those get the flyswatter or a shoe.  Any other wasps are welcome in my book.       
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Does Varroa Destructor Attack Native Bees Along With Our Honey Bee?
« Reply #34 on: September 14, 2020, 01:06:12 pm »
Interesting information, Van.  I agree that it's certainly possible that Africanized bees could take hold through shipping bees like this, but I don't believe Dr. Seeley attributed the varroa resistance of the wild colonies in NY to Africanized genes, although he did say they played a role in helping the colonies in Arizona survive.  In chapter 2 of his book, "The Lives of Bees" he describes how he learned that the bees were developing resistance through the African genes in Arizona, which made him concerned that the wild bees in his area had all perished, because they didn't have any African genes. 
I just wanted to correct something I said here, Dr. Seeley actually does talk about African genes entering the gene pool of the wild bees in NY in this book.  I assumed that he would reference any information on this subject that in Chapter 2 "Bees in the Forest Still", but yesterday when I was reading the book, I found where he discusses it in Chapter 10, "Colony Defense".  Just wanted to correct that for any future readers.   
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Offline paus

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Re: Does Varroa Destructor Attack Native Bees Along With Our Honey Bee?
« Reply #35 on: September 14, 2020, 05:07:03 pm »
I discovered by accident and self defense that a weed eater is the best wasp eliminator I have used.  They always " so far" attack the business end of the weed eater and have never made any attempt to get to me. All you see is wings twirling to the ground. If it is possible to get the W.E.  to the nest "Thats all she wrote".  I don't have a battery W.E. but very soon, as this would be very handy around bee yards.

Offline Hops Brewster

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Re: Does Varroa Destructor Attack Native Bees Along With Our Honey Bee?
« Reply #36 on: September 15, 2020, 11:48:08 am »
This has been quite an esoteric and educational thread. 

BTW, spots on horses are as ancient as horses.  Many cave paintings show spotted horses, stripes, too.  I don't know if it's recessive gene or what, but it makes sense.  Spots are a common natural camouflage in wild critters.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Does Varroa Destructor Attack Native Bees Along With Our Honey Bee?
« Reply #37 on: September 16, 2020, 12:46:02 pm »
Varroa mites are an obligate parasite of the honey bee.  They cannot live on other kinds of bees.  They can live on Apis mellifera, Apis cerana and I think Apis floria.  I have not heard of them on Apis dorsata.

As far as mites on bees there are at least 751 species that live on bees:
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmites.htm

As far as honey bees being native to North America:

https://books.google.com/books?id=29swAQAAMAAJ&pg=RA1-PA299&dq=American+Bee+Journal+%22Jeremy+Belknap%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCcQ6AEwAGoVChMIgJus0IOxxwIVFBKSCh2NFwF7#v=onepage&q=American%20Bee%20Journal%20%22Jeremy%20Belknap%22&f=false

American Bee Journal June 1923 (Vol 63 No 6) starting on page 299

IS THE HONEYBEE NATIVE OF AMERICA?
A Discourse Intended to Commemorate the Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus.
By Jeremy Belknap.
Delivered at the request of the Historical Society of Massachusetts on the 23rd of October, 1792

Dissertation No. 3, on the question whether the honeybee is a native of America.

Mr. Jefferson, in his notes on Virginia, has said that ?The honeybee is not a native of our continent. The Indians concur with us in the tradition that it was brought from Europe, but when and by whom we know not. The bees have generally extended themselves into the country, a little in advance of the white settlers. The Indians called them the white man?s fly; and consider their approach as indicating the approach of the settlement of the whites.? He allows that ?in Brazil there is a species of honeybee without a sting, but that is very different from the one we have, which perfectly resembles that of Europe.? The facts adduced by the respectable author are true; but they will not warrant his conclusion that ?the honeybee, meaning the one resembling that of Europe, is not a native of our continent.?

There is one circumstance in the history of Columbus which proves that bees were known in the islands of the West Indies, at the time of his discovery. When on his first return to Europe he was in danger of perishing at sea, he wrote an account of his discovery on parchment, which he inclosed in a cake of wax, and put into a tight cask, committing the whole to the sea, in hope of it?s being driven on shore or taken up. This was procured in the island of Hispaniola, which he had visited, and it was one of the first fruits of his discovery.

The indefatigable Purchas gives us an account of the revenues of the Empire of Mexico, before the arrival of the Spaniards, as described in its annals; which were pictures drawn on cotton cloth. Among other articles he exhibits the figures of covered pots with two handles, which are said to be pots of ?bees? honey.? Of these pots, two hundred are depicted in one tribute-roll, and one hundred in several others.

This account is confirmed by the late history of Mexico, written by the Abbe Clavigero, a native of Vera Cruz who from a residence of thirty-six years in Mexico, and a minute inquiry into the natural history and antiquities of his country must be supposed to be well informed, and competent to give a just account. He tells us that a part of every useful production of nature or art was paid in tribute to the kings of Mexico, and among other articles of revenue he reckons ?600 cups of honey? paid annually by the inhabitants of the southern part of the empire. He also says, ?that though they extracted a great quantity of wax from the honeycomb, they either did not know how or were not at pains to make lights of it.?

In his enumeration of the insects of Mexico, he reckons six different kinds of bees which make honey, four of which have no stings, and one of the other two which have stings, one ?agrees with the common bee of Europe, not only in size, shape and color, but also disposition and manners, and in qualities of its honey and wax.?
In the account given by Purchas, of the travels of Ferdinado de Soto, in Florida, it is observed that when he came to Chiaha, which by the description was one of the upper branches of the Mobile (now in the State of Georgia) he found among the provisions of the natives ?a pot full of honey of bees.? This was A.D. 1540, when there were no Europeans settled on the continent of America, but in Mexico and Peru.

From these authorities it is evident that honeybees were known in Mexico and the islands, before the arrival of the Europeans; and that they had extended as far northward as Florida, a country so denominated from the numberless flowers, which grow there in the wild luxuriance and afford a plenty of food for this useful tribe of insects. The inference is, that bees were not imported by the Spaniards; for however fond they might be of honey as an article of food, or of wax to make tapers for common use, or for the illumination of their churches, yet as bees were known to be in the country there could be no need of importing them. The report of honey and wax being found in the islands, in Mexico, and in Florida, had reached Europe and had been published there long before any emigrations were made to the northward; therefore, if these had been considered as articles of subsistence or of commerce, the sanguine spirit of the first adventurers would have rather led them to think of finding them in America, than of transporting bees from Europe to make them.

As to the circumstance of the bees ?extending themselves a little in advance of white settlers,? it cannot be considered as a conclusive argument in favor or their having been first brought from Europe. It is well known that where land is cultivated bees find a greater plenty of food than in the forest. The blossoms of fruit trees, of grasses and grain, particularly clover and buckwheat, afford them a rich and plentiful repast, and they are seen in vast numbers in our fields and orchards at the season of those blossoms. They therefore delight in the neighborhood of ?the white settlers?, and are able to increase in numbers, as well as to augment their quantity of stores, by availing themselves of the labors of man. May it not be from this circumstance that the Indians have given them the name of ?the white man?s fly?; and that they ?consider their approach (or frequent appearance) as indicating the approach of the settlement of the whites??
The first European settlement in Virginia was made about seventy years after the expedition of De Soto, in Florida, and the first settlement in New England was ten years posterior to that of Virginia. The large intermediate country was uncultivated for a long time afterward. The southern bees, therefore, could have no inducement to extend themselves very far into the northward for many years after the settlements were begun, and within that time bees were imported from Europe.
That honey and wax were not known to the Indians of New England is evident from this, that they had no words in their language for them. When Mr. Eliot translated the Bible into the Indian language, wherever these terms occurred he used the English words, though sometimes with Indian termination.

Joffelyn, who visited New England first in 1638, and afterward in 1663, and wrote an account of his voyage with some sketches of natural history in 1673, speaks of the honeybee in these words: ?the honeybees are carried over by the English, and thrive there exceedingly.?
There is a tradition in New England that the person who first brought a hive of bees into the country was rewarded with a grant of land; but the person?s name, or the place where the land lay or by whom the grant was made, I have not been able to learn.

It appears then that the honeybee is a native of America, and that its productions were found by the first European visitors as far northward as Florida and Georgia. It is also true that bees were imported from Europe into New England, and probably into Virginia; but whether if this importation had not taken place, the bees of the southern parts would not have extended themselves northerly, or whether those which we now have are not a mixture of native and imported bees, cannot be determined. It is however certain that they have multiplied exceedingly, and that they are frequently found in New England, in a wild state, in the trunks of hollow trees, as far northward as cultivation and settlements have extended, which is nearly to the 45th degree of latitude.
I have made an inquiry of several persons from Canada, but have not learned that bees were known during their residence in that country. It is, however, not improbable that as cultivation extends, the bees may find their way to the northward of the lakes and rivers of Canada, even though none should be transported thither by the inhabitants.

Still American Bee Journal June 1923 (Vol 63 No 6) page 300
Was there a Native Honey-Bee?
By Frank C. Pellett.

We are indebted to our good friend Harold L. Kelly of Washing D.C. for the above article  written by Mr. Belknap in 1792.  Mr. Kelly  found this among some old writings on bees in the Library of Congress.  Written, as it was, so long ago, it is of much historical interest, although not altogether convincing to one who is familiar with the bees of the tropics.

The first statement  to the effect that Columbus enclosed an account of his discovery of a cake of wax is not conclusive for the reason that the wax could easily have been obtained from the stingless bees.

The Mexican bees are said to be of six different kinds, of which four have no stings and the other two have stings.  The stingless bees, of course, could not be mistaken for the honey-bee.  One of the stinging kind was very probably the honey-making wasp, which was described by the writer in this Journal in January, 1921.

Since the description which was supposed to refer to the honey-bee was written long after the Spaniards had settled in Mexico it does not follow that it was a native species to which the writer referred.

The reference to the ?pot full of honie of bees? found in what is now Georgia is more convincing, but even this might easily refer to the product of the bumblebee, which produces a small amount of honey.  The natives were often attracted by food in small quantity and travelers finding them eating honey might mention the fact without calling attention to the source.

The fact that the honeybee extended its range so rapidly and in advance of settlement indicates that it was an introduced species.  This is not absolute, however, since a change in conditions often affects the spread of a native species.  The breaking up of the prairies caused the Colorado potato beetle, a native insect, to change its food plant from buffalo burr to the potato, and then to spread all over the continent.  This change however, came with the advance of settlement and not ahead of it.  It is possible, of course, that there was a native honey-bee confined to a limited area which remained in its original habitat and that it was the European species which did in fact spread over the country following its introduction.

There is a persistent opinion that the honeybee was native to America although no proof of the fact has yet been brought forward.  We are much interested in establishing the fact or definitely proving to the contrary and appreciate such information as the above which Mr. Kelly has found.  Through his kindness we are able also to republish, for our readers, notes concerning bees in Mexico to which Mr. Belknap refers.

Still American Bee Journal June 1923 (Vol 63 No 6) page 301
EXCERPT FROM THE HISTORY OF MEXICO
By Abbe D. Francesco Saverio Clavigero (1731-1787)
Translated from the original Italian in 1806 by Chas Cullen, Esq.
Excerpt from Book 1, of Volume 1.

Bees
There are at least six different kinds of bees. The first is the same as the common bee of Europe, with which it agrees, not only in size, shape and color, but also in its disposition and manners, and in the qualities of its honey and wax.

The second species which differs from the first only in having no sting, is the bee of Yucatan and Chiapa, which makes the fine, clear honey of Estabentun, of an aromatic flavor, superior to that of all other kinds of honey with which we are acquainted. The honey is taken from them six times a year, that is once in every other month; but the best is that which is got in November, being made from a white flower like Jessamine, which blooms in September, called in that country Estabentun, from which the honey has derived its name. The honey of Estabentun is in high estimation with the English and French, who touch at the ports of Yucatan; and I have known the French of Buarico to buy it sometimes for the purpose of sending it as a present to the king.

The third species resembles in its form, the winged ants, but is smaller than the common bee, and without a sting. This insect, which is peculiar to warm and temperate climates, forms nests, in size and shape resembling sugar loaves, and even sometimes greatly exceeding these in size, from trees, and particularly from the oak. The populousness of these hives is much greater than those of the common bee. The nymphs of this bee, which are eatable, are white and round, like a pearl. The honey is of a grayish color, but of a fine flavor.

The fourth species is a yellow bee, smaller than the common one, but like it, furnished with a sting. Its honey is not equal to those already mentioned.
The fifth is a small bee furnished with a sting which constructs its hives of an orbicular form. In subterranean cavities; and the honey is sour and somewhat bitter.
The Tlalpiprolli, which is the sixth species, is black and yellow of the size of the common bee, but has no sting.

Wasp
The Xicotli or Xicote, is a thick black wasp, with a yellow belly, which makes a very sweet honey, in holes made by it in walls. It is provided with a strong sting, which gives a very painful wound. The cuicalmiahautl has likewise a sting, but whether it makes honey or not, we do not know.
 


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Vikings were here around 1000 a.d.  If there were no honeybees here at the time, I have no doubt they would have brought them.  Vikings without mead are no Vikings at all...  The Chinese could have brought them in 1421.  No doubt the Spanish brought them sometime after 1500 or so, perhaps as late as the 1600s.  But the manifest that is often quoted says they arrived in Virginia in 1622. 

I'm Lakota and one of our words for bee is "wichayazipa". Beeswax is "wichayazipa wigli" which means literally "bees fat". Bumble bee is Wichayazipa hinsma. Honey bee is "wichayazipa thunkce". That is as opposed to words like "wichayazipa zi" (yellow jacket) and "chanhanpi" (sugar).

I ask people from other tribes all the time, and have always gotten similar results. They have words for bees, honey and beeswax that are not made up words like the words for monkey or cow or horse. For instance the word for monkey translates "dog man" (shunka wicasa) and horse is "great dog" (shunkawakan) and cow is "female meat" (pte win) while the word for a buffalo cow changed from "female meat" to "real female meat" (pte winyelo). These European things have made up names.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin