bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Anthropomorphism in reverse

In a story from the Philippines about making a special vinegar and drinks using honey from native bees (Apis cerana) in preference to honey from imported bees, comes this:
Basil said their study of the native laywan or Apis cerana bees proved that the Philippines' native bees are better than the imported ones.

"This is the difference: the native bees clean themselves of the mites [presumably varroa] that infest them. They are so much like us, Filipinos, who always like to clean ourselves. They are so much different from the imported bees that don't clean the mites and die," he said.
I'm glad he didn't go any further.

But the good news is that their activities are encouraging attempts to save Apis cerana which they say has suffered from traditional honey harvesting techniques that kill the bees.

Varroa is thought to have originated on Apis cerana, which manage their varroa populations by grooming and other genetic traits.



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