If you are a member and have anything that you feel is important to chemical free beekeeping, please email it to me. I will post it in this section in a future issue. Thank you. Dennis

Where ever you live in the world you should apply the information on working your bees that is given below when the weather conditions in your area are right. So take notes and be ready.

Cletus Notes 

For those of us who celebrate Christmas, we should spend December with family and friends. Our bees should already be buttoned up and have what they need to weather the winter months.

It is time to celebrate our blessings and to help someone else who hasn't been as blessed as we have. To anyone in need, even a plate of food will brighten their life a little. If each one of us took the time to help someone in need, think of all the good we could do this holiday season.

I hope that each and every one of you have a wonder Christmas and a Happy New Year season.

Dennis

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 Genetic 'remix' Key to
Evolution of Bee Behavior:
York University Research

TORONTO– Worker bees have become a highly skilled and specialized work force because the genes that determine their behaviour are shuffled frequently, helping natural selection to build a better bee, research from York University suggests.

The embargoed study, to be published October 15 at 3pm EST in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), sheds light on how worker bees – who are sterile – evolved charismatic and cooperative behaviours such as nursing young bees, collecting food for the colony, defending it against intruders, and dancing to communicate the location of profitable flowers to nestmates.

When York University researchers examined the honey bee genome, they discovered that the genes associated with worker behaviour were found in areas of the genome that have the highest rate of recombination. Recombination represents a shuffling of the genetic deck: recombination in the ovaries of a queen shuffles the chromosomes she inherited from her parents. As a result, the queen's female offspring are likely to inherit mosaic chromosomes with different combinations of mutations, says Biology Professor Amro Zayed, whose lab conducted the research.

Recombination allows natural selection to act on specific mutations without regard to neighbouring mutations.

"If I'm a good rower in a dragon boat with 49 poor rowers, I am going to lose all of my races. But if teams were shuffled after every race, I'll likely have a better chance of winning. I may even get to be in a boat with 49 good rowers just like myself," says Zayed. "The same thing happens with mutations on a chromosome. Recombination makes the evolutionary fate of mutations independent of their surrounding neighbours, which enhances the process of natural selection.".

The team believes that they have solved one of the mysteries of the honey bee's genome, says postdoctoral research associate Clement Kent, lead author on the study.

"The honey bee has the highest rates of recombination in animals – ten times higher than humans. Our study shows that this high degree of genetic shuffling has turned on the evolutionary faucet in parts of the bee genome responsible for orchestrating worker behaviour," says Kent. "This can allow natural selection to increase the fitness of honey bee colonies, which live or die based on how well their workers 'behave'."