As I wrote in my previous post I did my first test with a good result. I was somewhat surprised. It seems also this colony I tested is my best one. A little embarrassing as I’ve been breeding and selecting bees for many years and in later years also for varroa resistance. The colony was a big swarm I caught last year that most probably came from the wall of the dog training center in the area where I live. But right in the middle of the ‘Elgon land’, only Elgon drones around here for virgin queens to mate with.
I’ve been breeding a bee I call Elgon as an important part of it’s heritage come from the slopes of Mt Elgon on the border between Kenya and Uganda. I visited the area in 1989. You can read about the adventure here: http://www.beesource.com/point-of-view/erik-osterlund/exploring-monticola-efforts-to-find-an-acceptable-varroa-resistant-honey-bee/
The queens from this swarm hatch at least one day earlier than ordinary European bees. That’s what we learned quickly when starting breeding with the Monticola material. So this swarm is influenced of Apis monticola in its heritage. Still the Elgon stock is. And many drones have very black thorax from this swarm, another trait that can be common in Monticola bees. So nature has evidently helped me select a good variety of the Elgon bee. If you are religious it’s easy to think you’ve got help from above. Well, Someone probably saw I couldn’t make a good enough selection myself.