View Full Version : Inbreeding
05-18-2004, 12:36 PM
I've never tried raising queens -- looks interesting though -- and much cheaper than buying them.
Question -- Do you have to take special precautions to prevent inbreeding -- virgin queens breeding with closely related drones?
Is there a minimum number of hives needed to prevent inbreeding if feral colonies are lacking?
Is inbreeding really undesirable?
I know honeybee genetics gets very complicated very quickly, but I was just curious in case I decide to raise queens someday with only a few colonies.
05-18-2004, 03:03 PM
Don't quote me on this, but I thought I heard somewhere that the queens fly out farther than the drones do to mate, therefore ensuring that they don't inbreed with drones from their own colony. I guess that would be true for other drones in the same apiary. Can anyone back me up on this? I thought I had the same problem in fact, and thought that there were no other drones in the area to mate with my queens, but lo and behold, I had a supercedure and the queen mated and is laying like crazy and everything is A-OK
Scot Mc Pherson
05-18-2004, 05:58 PM
I don't think they DO fly farther, I think they CAN fly farther. Drones are big lazy and stupid.
05-18-2004, 07:01 PM
Due to the fact the honey bee queens mate with numerous drones there is not as much chance for inbreeding as in mammals. To overcome this, move your mating to another beekeepers yard. Another thing is to buy or trade at least one queen each year.
Is inbreeding really undesirable? Only in very few cases. Research, Closed breeding program. Even with I.I one has to be careful not to use drones from sister hives.
I think that before we worry about inbreeding there are other more important matters that need our attention. Breeding criteria, chemical use and so on.
One of the signs of inbreeding is severely spotted brood. This is because workers are removing infertile eggs.
Some good reading is at http://www.ent.uga.edu/bees/Research/breeding.htm
05-19-2004, 06:56 AM
This looks like an interesting program. I noticed that small hive beetle tolerance/resistance was not part of the selection criteria. Perhaps that's "covered" under hygienic behavior.
05-19-2004, 09:37 AM
I don't think anyone has defined what SHB resistance would be yet.
Scot Mc Pherson
05-19-2004, 06:13 PM
Have any of yoru guys seen the bees do battle with the hive beetle?
Its not funny, they attack the beetle, try to rip it apart...give up and the beetle runs free.
05-19-2004, 07:18 PM
Wait until you see them with African bees. These ladies sort them out.
If a job is worth doing - Then do it well
05-19-2004, 08:05 PM
>Wait until you see them with African bees. These ladies sort them out.
That's what I'm afraid will be SHB resistance, agressive bees. http://www.beesource.com/ubb/smile.gif