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Thread: inbreeding

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Baraga, Michigan
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    22

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    I have 3 hives in upper michigan and there are no beekeepers within 10 miles of me. There are also no ferel bees that survive the winter up here. If I wanted to raise some queens I assume they would have to mate with the drones from the same hives. Would this cause any problems with inbreeding?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,361

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    My guess is there are bees within 10 miles and you just don't know about them. Probably feral survivors. But if you get queens that have really spotty brood that's a good sign they are too inbred.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
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    829

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    Drones can fly more than 40km approx 25 miles. Monitor your bees for Varroa mites and you can see what’s around your hives. No mites mean you’re in an isolated area and a lucky beekeeper.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central Square, NY, Oswego County
    Posts
    814

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    To prevent inbreeding I would get an out side queen once in a while and raise daughters from her. I do not think you will have any problems with in breeding for quite a while. You have 3 hives and the drones will inter mingle at congugation areas (drone hang outs). These areas are where the drones fly to and wait for a queen to fly by. Queens and drones will fly a long ways for matting.
    Dan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    393

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    it seems to take me about 3 generations before i see inbreeding. only one big beekeeper comes to mind in that area but i suspect there are more than enough unrelated drones around for mating that you wont ever see any problems.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Bartonville, TX USA
    Posts
    456

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    Try adding two different queen lines to give you hybrid vigor.

  7. #7

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    I've wondered about this, too. I'm in Alaska and have much the same situation as Yooper. Would there be more of a problem if one had, say, New World Carniolans or Buckfasts rather than a "pure" breed like Italians or something?
    I'm new at beekeeping, so forgive me if I'm way off base or using the wrong terminology.
    wfarler mentioned using two different queen lines...would this be effectively accomplished by buying package bees (of the same breed-Carniolans for example) from two different sources? If you used two completely different crosses (say Midnites and Buckfasts) instead of different lines of one breed, wouldn't there be more of a chance of future inbred generations eventually regressing to the original undesirable characteristics of whatever breeds their parents' hybridization was intended to avoid? What about two different lines of one crossed breed, like Buckfasts?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
    Posts
    331

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    If you bring in some new genetics once in a while, you should not have a problem. I do combination breeding, and do not have that problem, but I do get a few nasty hives now and then. The Carniolian, when cross bred can get really nasty. That I have done, and still I try to breed it out, but then again, the explosiveness in the spring is a desireable quality here in the north. With only six months to work with, we need all the help we can get.

    And I also agree with MB, there are probably feral bees around you, that you are unaware of. I also thought that, until I started removing swarms. I found some interesting qualities/downfalls from ferals, but the resistance and survival traits far outweigh the downfalls. One more gene to add to the mix!

    ------------------
    Dale Richards
    Dal-Col Apiaries
    Drums, PA

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