The Purpose


With the purpose

•             We will survey colonies of honey bees within the South West Peninsula, including possible feral colonies, to ascertain the distribution and quality of the Apis mellifera mellifera (AMM) population.

•             We will sample DNA from the potential remnant population of Cornish, AMM and correlate genotype/DNA profiles of the bees with published wing morphometric analyses and DNA markers.

•             We are using  selective breeding and artificial insemination to build stocks of Cornish AMM.

•             We want to involve a wide a population of beekeepers in Cornwall in the conservation of the Cornish AMM population.

•             The improved breeding stock of Cornish AMM will provide a good starting point for research involving disease resistance. It is much easier to improve bee stock with a pure strain than a hybridized one.  Disease resistance is known in the Cornish Dark Bee population particularly Varroa tolerance.

•             We would like Paignton and Eden/Heligan to be the public educational interface (including public displays) for the six year project (fund application deadline April 2013).

•             An overarching B4 IT/Web based system would co-ordinate material, research findings and make them freely available in an interactive way at Paignton/Eden/Heligan. We would like that to be independent, non-hierarchical, freely available and cooperative.

•             Paignton /Heligan/Eden, would join in our bid for Lottery funding to finance its displays and costs. We can provide good specimens and a supply of bee hives, which we can easily modify for you, for your specialist applications.


The Way Forward

•             Working from Cornwall

•             Reduce the reliance on imported bees

•             Greatly reduce the importation of bees at Governmental level

•             Collaboration with Soil Association/Land Owners /Eden/Paignton/Heligan