New Bee Species Found at Blenheim

outreacher

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No one knew they existed’: wild heirs of lost British honeybee found at Blenheim​

The ‘ecotype’, thought to have been wiped out by disease and invasive species, is thriving in the estate’s ancient woodlands
Bees at Blenheim

Bee conservationist Filipe Salbany handles the Blenheim bees without protective kit as they are ‘extremely relaxed’. Photograph: Filipe Salbany

Thousands of rare forest honeybees that appear to be the last wild descendants of Britain’s native honeybee population have been discovered in the ancient woodlands of Blenheim Palace.

The newly discovered subspecies, or ecotype, of honeybee is smaller, furrier and darker than the honeybees found in managed beehives, and is believed to be related to the indigenous wild honeybees that foraged the English countryside for centuries. Until now, it was presumed all these bees had been completely wiped out by disease and competition from imported species.
 

nigelscamelcoat

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Full Story Link Here

No one knew they existed’: wild heirs of lost British honeybee found at Blenheim​

The ‘ecotype’, thought to have been wiped out by disease and invasive species, is thriving in the estate’s ancient woodlands
Bees at Blenheim

Bee conservationist Filipe Salbany handles the Blenheim bees without protective kit as they are ‘extremely relaxed’. Photograph: Filipe Salbany

Thousands of rare forest honeybees that appear to be the last wild descendants of Britain’s native honeybee population have been discovered in the ancient woodlands of Blenheim Palace.

The newly discovered subspecies, or ecotype, of honeybee is smaller, furrier and darker than the honeybees found in managed beehives, and is believed to be related to the indigenous wild honeybees that foraged the English countryside for centuries. Until now, it was presumed all these bees had been completely wiped out by disease and competition from imported species.
Thanks for that outie. Illustrates how important ancient woodland is. It makes me think how far biodiversity might have evolved had we not destroyed the vast majority of it. Still we continue to bulldoze what takes centuries to establish.
 
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outreacher

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Just shows don’t mess with nature and everything is hunky dory, stop ripping up ancient woodlands and building chuffing roads and houses on them. How many colonies have unknowingly been destroyed.
actually quite chuffed that theses colonies have managed to survive

Destroy nature and we destroy ourselves. yet we continue to ignore the damage we are doing as if it is separate from us.
 

pnewortham

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No one knew they existed’: wild heirs of lost British honeybee found at Blenheim​

The ‘ecotype’, thought to have been wiped out by disease and invasive species, is thriving in the estate’s ancient woodlands
Bees at Blenheim

Bee conservationist Filipe Salbany handles the Blenheim bees without protective kit as they are ‘extremely relaxed’. Photograph: Filipe Salbany

Thousands of rare forest honeybees that appear to be the last wild descendants of Britain’s native honeybee population have been discovered in the ancient woodlands of Blenheim Palace.

The newly discovered subspecies, or ecotype, of honeybee is smaller, furrier and darker than the honeybees found in managed beehives, and is believed to be related to the indigenous wild honeybees that foraged the English countryside for centuries. Until now, it was presumed all these bees had been completely wiped out by disease and competition from imported species.

Thank god for royal palaces, tories, and the landed gentry.

They deserve all the credit for this.
 

Bardas

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Excellent...it's an area in which I have some specialised professional knowledge. Many beekeepers are now breeding bees with more of the characteristics of our native bee, as the UK is right on the edge of honeybee viability climatically, and they are indeed more resistant. Some of this is down to instinct...a friend of mine researched this himself years ago for his doctorate, and found, for instance, that native bees isolate and throw out diseased areas of the hive, whilst most UK domesticated bees ( bred largely from imported Italian `Carni` breeds back in my day) have lost the ability.

I have a photo of me somewhere working with native type bees up in the North Wales mountains..I found them more aggressive, generally, than domesticated bees but much more likely to thrive and they were the highest yielders.

It was once thought we had wiped out the last UK population during the war, when a remote Scottish island was used for bomb practice, and although they are still around, the `purity` is obviously in some doubt. The fact that they have been undisturbed for 200 years at Blenheim is fantastic news, as it removes most doubt that they may be hybrids.
 

sliper

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Excellent...it's an area in which I have some specialised professional knowledge. Many beekeepers are now breeding bees with more of the characteristics of our native bee, as the UK is right on the edge of honeybee viability climatically, and they are indeed more resistant. Some of this is down to instinct...a friend of mine researched this himself years ago for his doctorate, and found, for instance, that native bees isolate and throw out diseased areas of the hive, whilst most UK domesticated bees ( bred largely from imported Italian `Carni` breeds back in my day) have lost the ability.

I have a photo of me somewhere working with native type bees up in the North Wales mountains..I found them more aggressive, generally, than domesticated bees but much more likely to thrive and they were the highest yielders.

It was once thought we had wiped out the last UK population during the war, when a remote Scottish island was used for bomb practice, and although they are still around, the `purity` is obviously in some doubt. The fact that they have been undisturbed for 200 years at Blenheim is fantastic news, as it removes most doubt that they may be hybrids.

We live in town (but close to country). Much to my surprise and pleasure we get terrific numbers of bees in our garden.. we have a number of plants that seem to attract them. I have some oregano growing and they love it.. maybe they are Italian bees. But they also massively go for the cotoneaster. There are a couple hives about a quarter of a mile away. I did see a number of dead bumble bee's this summer... I put that down to the use of weedkillers and insecticides
 

Bardas

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We live in town (but close to country). Much to my surprise and pleasure we get terrific numbers of bees in our garden.. we have a number of plants that seem to attract them. I have some oregano growing and they love it.. maybe they are Italian bees. But they also massively go for the cotoneaster. There are a couple hives about a quarter of a mile away. I did see a number of dead bumble bee's this summer... I put that down to the use of weedkillers and insecticides

Weedkillers and Insecticides do kill, of course, but it can also be easy to forget just how short lived many bees are.
 

daddyman16

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There was a hive between our roof slats, looked like it was frequented by Bumblebees to me but maybe they were Mason Bees. Every so often there would be dead bees on the drive, possibly because the other bees chuck dead ones out. It went quiet for a while and it seemed like Honey Bees moved into the old hive? At least they look like Honey Bees.

I just let them get on with it, was a bit random when I'd find a dead baby bee under my son's rugs. Guessing he was keeping them as pets without my knowledge.
 
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outreacher

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In my school days there was a lad in our year who had no fear of bees, and he used to amaze us with stunts like putting jam on his fingers, holding his hand near the flower beds and the bees would fly onto his hand feasting on the jam. It was brilliant to watch, awesome.

Some party trick a cool dude he was, I never tried it, I was always a bit nervous around buzzing insects.
 

northender0602

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In my school days there was a lad in our year who had no fear of bees, and he used to amaze us with stunts like putting jam on his fingers, holding his hand near the flower beds and the bees would fly onto his hand feasting on the jam. It was brilliant to watch, awesome.

Some party trick a cool dude he was, I never tried it, I was always a bit nervous around buzzing insects.
Me too, was removing some render on our house one year, when I swatted some buzzy thing away with my hand, trouble is I forgot I had a lump hammer in it at the time ……..🤡

Ever felt like you’ve knocked your nose into the top of your head? 🤣
 

nigelscamelcoat

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There was a hive between our roof slats, looked like it was frequented by Bumblebees to me but maybe they were Mason Bees. Every so often there would be dead bees on the drive, possibly because the other bees chuck dead ones out. It went quiet for a while and it seemed like Honey Bees moved into the old hive? At least they look like Honey Bees.

I just let them get on with it, was a bit random when I'd find a dead baby bee under my son's rugs. Guessing he was keeping them as pets without my knowledge.
Mason bees eat away at the mortar and can cause a lot of damage. The enter through gaps in the mortar. You may have had tree bumblebees which are quite rare and a different proportion altogether. Google them, the males do a dance outside the nest around May, unmistakable. They usually get in through the eaves or a gap in the slates.
 

daddyman16

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You may have had tree bumblebees which are quite rare and a different proportion altogether. Google them, the males do a dance outside the nest around May, unmistakable. They usually get in through the eaves or a gap in the slates.

That was them, wow, that's great!

I watched them doing that dance and at the time I thought there were just tonnes of bees going in and out. Well, I'm very glad I left them to it now.
 

daddyman16

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In my school days there was a lad in our year who had no fear of bees, and he used to amaze us with stunts like putting jam on his fingers, holding his hand near the flower beds and the bees would fly onto his hand feasting on the jam. It was brilliant to watch, awesome.

Some party trick a cool dude he was, I never tried it, I was always a bit nervous around buzzing insects.

Was that all he'd put jam on?

Sorry, but that is some courage though, I think bees are quite relaxed so long as you don't attack them. Just like spiders, the fear we humans have of them is usually uncalled for and only makes the problem worse, a self fulfilling prophecy almost.
 
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