Source: SICAMM Home

To the experienced beekeepers on the Isle of Man, SICAMM may be well known; it wasn’t to me, but when I came across the picture below and compared the colour with the bees in our topbar hive, those we find in our garden and the ones we saw on our recent hive inspections, I got a greater appreciation of just what Roger Patterson was really looking for. NonLatin2These bees are black!

 

The Mission of SICAMM is found here, as follows:

Statement

The survival of the native honey bee of northern Europe, Apis mellifera mellifera, L. is now seriously threatened throughout its natural range.

  • SICAMM is an international union of beekeepers, regional and national associations, institutions and other groups that support a set of agreed objectives concerning conservation of this threatened subspecies.
  • SICAMM’s work depends on the efforts and initiatives of such groups and the competence of their individual members. We also encourage governments and scientific and environmental funding bodies to support endeavours to identify and conserve ecotypes and local variants of the north European honey bee.
  • We recognise and stress the legal duty of nations within the original natural range of A.m.mellifera to preserve or establish protection areas for their native honeybees, in accordance with the internationally respected Convention on Biodiversity (1992).
  • We believe this a task of pressing importance to the general conservation of biodiversity, but especially in the preservation of an invaluable genetic resource indispensible for food production for present and future generations.

 

Objectives of SICAMM

 

  1. SICAMM seeks to promote national and international cooperation between beekeepers, scientists, associations and institutions concerned with conservation of the dark north European honeybee Apis mellifera mellifera, L.
  2. The central aim of SICAMM is to support the survey, conservation, management and breeding of all extant ecotypes and geographical variants of A. m. mellifera.
  3. SICAMM aims to inform, educate and influence the general public, national and international scientific, political and public organizations in seeking support for its objectives. It obtains advice from experts, scientific committees and institutions and disseminates relevant technical and scientific information to associated groups, associations and institutions.
  4. SICAMM aims to gain political and financial support for projects initiated by associated groups, within the frame of its main objectives and the Convention on Biological Diversity, 1992. National or regional campaigns may be initiated by SICAMM in cooperation with local associated groups and national organizations.
  5. Where appropriate, SICAMM advocates recolonization of areas that have lost their native bees, stressing preference for introduction of variants of the native honey bee that are biologically closest to the original inhabitants of those areas.

One of the points of interest I found on the SICAMM website in a reference to one of their eminent researchers, the late Dr Josef Stark, was this comment:

It was Josef’s bees passing Geiger counters at their hive entrances that alerted the world to the Chernobyl nuclear accident.

 

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