Welcome to the dark side! The SICAMM 2018 dark bee conference in Finland

The Finnish Beekeepers’ Association is happy to invite you to the SICAMM conference 2018. The conference will be organized at Mustiala agricultural school, southern Finland. This is the oldest agricultural school in the country, where educational activities started already in 1840. More information about the location: HAMK Mustiala campus

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Abstract book


SICAMM 2018 conference program:


Thursday 12th July

Travelling to Mustiala, conference registration (from 4 p.m.) and welcome note (at 6 p.m.)

Shuttle bus(es) will leave from Helsinki-Vantaa airport at 3:30 p.m and possibly later in the evening. Travel is also possible by public bus – we are happy to help you with the timetables.


Friday 13th July

Registration from 8 a.m.

9:00 Opening ceremony

10:00 Keynote speaker Bjørn Dahle, Norway: SMARTBEES – Sustainable mangament of resilient bee populations

10:45 Coffee break

11:05 Per Thunman: SICAMM today and tomorrow

11:25 Lassi Kauko: Dark bees in Finland

11:45 Lars Kirkerud: Brown bees in A. m. mellifera in Norway – present situtation

12:05 Joseph Widdecombe: Bee farming with the native bee in Cornwall

12:25 Ralf Ulrich: Dark bees in Germany

12:45 Annika Michelson: Dark bees in Estonia

13:05 Lunch

14:00 Maritta Martikkala: Beekeeping in Finland

14:20 Beata Panasiuk: Conservation programs of Apis mellifera mellifera bees in Poland

14:40 Łucja Sconieczna: Variability of morphplogical features of the native middle-European bee

15:00 Dylan Elen: The dark bee movement in North-Belgium - an update

15:20 Coffee break

16:00 Melanie Parejo: Honeybee conservation genomics in Switzerland and informative SNPs to estimating C-lineage introgression in A. m. mellifera

16:20 Norman Carreck: Where are we heading with local bees in Britain and Ireland?

18:00 Smoke sauna and social event at Korteniemi traditional farm


Saturday 14th July

9:00 Keynote speaker Ralph Büchler, Germany: Honey bee mating behavior drives selection on local adaptation and disease resistance

9:45 Dorian Pritchard: Geordie bees bite the mite

10:20 Coffee break

10:40 Roger Patterson: Sustainability - can we all work together?

11:20 Małgorzata Bieńkowska: Bee breeding activity in Poland

11:40 Lauri Ruottinen: Mustiala – history and education

12:00 Risto Kuittinen: How a measuring system can help the management of honey bee colonies

12:20 Aimo Nurminen: Branding the honey of dark bees

12:40 Nils Jacob Drivdal: Diversity - a challenge for dark bee projects

13:00 Lunch

14:00 Alice Pinto: A novel SNP-based tool for estimating C-lineage introgression in the dark honey bee

14:20 Ingvar Arvidsson: Dark bees in Sweden

14:40 Marleen Boerjan: Natural selection of varroa tolerant Apis mellifera mellifera ‘black bee’ colonies in the Netherlands

15:00 Dylan Elen: Breeding for conservation - a new European initiative

15:20 Coffee break

16:10 Jack Hassett: Significant pure population of the dark European honey bee (Apis mellifera mellifera) remains in Ireland

16:30 Helen Mooney: Investigations into wild black bees in Ireland

18:00 Dinner with a historical theme


Sunday 15th July

9:00 Keynote speaker Per Kryger, Denmark: Bee races in Europe, their genetic characteristics and relationships

9:45 Padruot Fried: Results and conclusions of the project to protect the Dark Bee in Switzerland, 2015-17

10:05 Jonathan Ellis: Introgression in native populations of Apis mellifera mellifera L in the UK: implications for conservation

10:30 Coffee break

10:50 Jacques van Alphen: Is natural selection alone enough for the evolution of resistance against varroa in the European honeybee?

11:10 Anneli Salonen: Are there differences in honey collected by Italian and dark honey bees? 

11:30 Jussi Marin: Goal, it´s honey!

11:50 Helen Mooney: SICAMM 2020 congress in Ireland

12:10 SICAMM meeting

13:00 Lunch

Transport to Turku area for excursion participants and possibly a shuttle bus to the airport.


Monday 16th July

Excursion: Dark bee breeding magic in the sunny archipelago

Let´s take a look at a bee breeding station in the sunny archipelago! Pakinainen has had a pure breeding operation of the dark bee since year 2000. No other honey bee races are thus kept here. The location of the island is shown here: Pakinainen map. Pakinainen is the largest island in western Rymättylä, a municipality which is nowadays a part of Naantali city. The island is home to a couple of families around the year and in the summertime, the beautiful Rymättylä archipelago attracts summer cottage owners and other holiday seekers. In addition to the bees, we will take a look at the rich flora of the island.

We will travel to Pakinainen by ferry from Rymättylä main island (ferry leaving at 10 a.m.).


Tuesday 17th July

Excursion: Presidential bees and flowers, Naantali old town and something sparkling

Today our main attraction is the Kultaranta Garden in Naantali. Kultaranta Manor House was built in 1916 and it has been the summer residence of Finnish presidents since 1922. The 54-hectare estate has a market garden and a formal garden with e.g. thousands of roses of several different varieties (some of them named after former presidents, such as Rosa ´Tarja Halonen´). Honey bees have been around in the garden for about 30 years and dark bees have been kept here for 10+ years. Our second attraction is Naantali Old Town, dating back to the 15th century. We will also visit the Naantali Abbey, which was a Bridgettine abbey in then-Swedish Finland. Our last stop will be the Brinkhall Sparkling Factory & Shop in Rymättylä: The excursion starts at 10 a.m. and ends by 5 p.m. After this transport to bus/train station or to the airport will be available.


Wednesday 18th July

Open house at Hunajayhtymä

Those who plan to stay in Finland a bit longer may want to use this excellent opportunity to visit Hunajayhtymä, the largest honey packer in Finland. More information about the company:


If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us by email:,

Contacts: Lassi Kauko, tel: +358 50 545 3628, Maritta Martikkala, tel: +358 50 303 0890, Eeva-Liisa Korpela, tel: +358 40 506 3202


We hope to see you in Finland this summer!

Kind regards, Finnish Beekeepers’ Association


SICAMM was founded in 1995 at Flekkefjord, Norway by beekeepers and scientists from Austria, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, as an international association devoted to the protection of the European dark honeybee, Apis mellifera mellifera.

Participation has since extended to most European countries.

The main activity of SICAMM has been to organize international conferences.


Suomi järjestää SICAMM-konferenssin heinäkuussa 2018. SICAMM (Societas Internationalis pro Conservatione Apis melliferae melliferae) on kansainvälinen tumman mehiläisen suojelusta ja jalostuksesta kiinnostuneiden järjestö. SICAMM-konferenssi järjestetään joka toinen vuosi ja se houkuttelee tutkijoita ja mehiläistarhaajia eri puolilta Eurooppaa. SICAMMiin voi tutustua sivuilla

Mustialassa järjestettävässä konferenssissa saadaan ajantasaista tietoa uusimmista tutkimuksista ja kokemuksista tummiin mehiläisiin ja muihin rotuihin liittyen.