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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Question

    I have some hives that went to drones. Some are probably failing queens, and some are laying workers (for discussion points).

    Is there any information concerning drones produced from other than a queenright colony. Is there any indications that drones produced from failing queens or laying workers are inferior in any regards?

    If they are, does anyone actively cull drones in any way?

    Although having healthy drones is understood as they can pass viruses and other issues, if the drones are from a otherwise healthy hives, just not a queenright one, is there any pitfalls to be concerned with?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Germany /Europe
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    Post

    Hi, Bjorn,
    how much are "some" hives of the total?
    Laying workers = always queenless hives.
    Failing queens - how much?

    The maturity of drones depends on a lot of things.
    The origin is mostly ranged on the second rank.
    Do you have signs of inbreed in the broodnest?
    The genetics of bees are very different of mammals because they aren't determined male or femal on one chromosome .
    They have "sex allels" on up to 12 chromosomes instead in 2 like mammals.
    This makes breeding sometimes so complicated.
    I can't give you a hint but buying a book about bee genetics.
    I could write a novel here and it wouldn't bring you any usage.
    Sorry...... :-(((
    Sincerely
    Alienor

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,329

    Post

    As far as I know the drones from a failing queen are just as viable and, of course the same genetics as before. The queen simply runs out of semen. I leave them. I figure they will drift to the other hives and save them having to raise more drones.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Pearisburg,VA
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    75

    Post

    Alienor, How can you tell from the looks of the brood nest that inbreeding has occurred? I have never heard this before or read about it. I do feel that inbreeding could be a problem.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Germany /Europe
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    Post

    Hi, Redneck,
    if inbreeding occurs you will have empty cells in the capped brood.
    It looks like somebody has fired with lead shot to it.
    The outage can go up to 50% and you can count it.
    Make a parallelogramm which covers 100 worker cells and count the empty cells than you have the % .

    It's a bit complicated.
    There are 12 different sex allels.
    A queen or a worker always carry 2 of them and this makes them female.
    Drones carry only one and that makes them male.
    Drones which carry 2 will not develop but cannibalized by the nurse bees as larvae.
    So if every drone carrys just 1 allel of the 2 from his mother Mother Nature invented the multiple mating with a lot of drones to prevent inbreeding.

    To complicate it again only heterozygot eggs are allowed to develop.
    So if you have the homozygot combination K1with another K1 these eggs will be eaten by the workers.
    If you calculate the possible combinations of 1 allel from the mother in it 12 variations and of the 12 existing allels from drones you get 144 variations.
    Everything will work like K1K6 or K7K12 but not K1K1 or K7K7.
    This means there would be 144-12=132 variations which give you good workers or queens if the allels are homogeneously distributed in the population.
    And this means you have also in this perfect conditions an outage of 8,3% but in most cases you will not notice it.
    For example:
    if the queen carries K1 and K2, she produces 2 kinds of drones, one with K1 and another with K2.
    If it happens that she mates only drones with K1 and K2 you will have the following combinations:

    K1 from queen+ K1 from drone= homozygot, eggs will be eaten up
    K1 from queen+ K2 from drone=heterozygot, okay
    K2 from queens+ K1 from drone=heterozygot,okay
    K2 from queens + K2 from drone=homozygot, eggs will be eaten up.
    This constellation will give you a 50% outage in your brood nest.

    In general there are more variations avalaible because of the multiple mating with drones from far away.

    edit: *an outage of 10-15% is the maximum what should be tolerated.
    If 10 allels are in the given population existing this gives you 10% outage.
    If 9 available = 11%
    If 8 available = 12%
    If 7 available = 14%
    If 6 available = 16,67%
    If 5 available = 20%
    The lower the % the better because than you have a high variability of genes. *

    Inbreeding often occurs when queens were inseminated.
    If you take drones only from one hive or from hives with closely related queens you are forcing inbreeding. Look at the example.
    You can ruin a strain if you don't take care of the number of allels.
    So I prefer open mating because I know about the importance of this topic.
    It seems much more better to me to raise 100 queens and select the 5 best for breeding than to raise and inseminate 5.
    The genetic variation will be spread wider if open mated.

    I hope I could explain it easily understood.
    If not feel free to ask, of course!

    [size="1"][ June 25, 2006, 02:42 AM: Message edited by: Alienor ][/size]
    Sincerely
    Alienor

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
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    Post

    --Is there any indications that drones produced from failing queens or laying workers are inferior in any regards?

    Hi Mike T.

    I don’t know that they would be genetically inferior.
    But because they are smaller from being reared in worker cells mating fitness might be affected and they might have difficulty competing as drones depend on body size and strength. So this might affect; their ability to reach distant DCA’s (up to about 4 miles); mating flight time which may average up to 30 minutes; number of flights per day which average 2-4, and the ability to reach high bursts of speed required in pursuing queens. Interesting also that smaller drones produce on average 37% less spermatozoa than large drones, but 20% more in relation to body size. It is estimated that larger drones enjoy a 20% fitness advantage over smaller drones.


    http://www.edpsciences.org/articles/....pdf?access=ok

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Pearisburg,VA
    Posts
    75

    Post

    Alienor, First let me thank you for the informative answer to my question. I am 66 years old and have kept bees most of my life. I have never heard this topic explained in any of the bee meetings that I have attended. Now the reason for my interest in this topic, I have extracting equipment that I let A friend use, and he is determined to keep me from going out of beekeeping. He has about 30 hives which swarm every year mutiple times, and he keeps filling up my old hives. He has filled 32 hives for me this year. I suspect that his bees are inbred. I have convinced him to re-queen his bees this year with my help. Most of his bees are very agressive and swarm the most of any bees that I have been around. Are you saying that the inbred eggs are distroyed? If not could the agressiveness and the excessive swarming be from this problem? I will also be re-queening all of my bees. I had decided to not get over 25 hives again, but I must have about 80 at present. I doubt if I can ever get out of beekeeping.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    >If not could the agressiveness and the excessive swarming be from this problem?

    Any trait can be fixed (as in anchored) quickly by inbreeding. Good traits. Bad traits. Inbreeding in itself won't cause agressiveness but inbreeding an agressive line can fix that trait so that it's very hard to breed out.

    I've never seen swarming as a genetic trait. I figure I can make or prevent any hive from swarming if I'm paying attention, don't let things go too long without checking and take the right steps. But maybe I just haven't had "swarmy" bees.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Germany /Europe
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    Post

    ""'ve never seen swarming as a genetic trait. I figure I can make or prevent any hive from swarming if I'm paying attention, don't let things go too long without checking and take the right steps. But maybe I just haven't had "swarmy" bees.""

    Hello, Mike,
    yes, of course is swarming to some degree a genetic trait.
    My buckfast bees are bred anti-swarmy (I don't know the correct word).
    If they build swarm cups at all one time breaking them is enough to discourage swarming. This works at about 90% of my hives.
    They will not build QC again except for supercedure. They are also very tame and easy to handle.
    In contrast the old strain of german bees in "Lüneburger Heide" was bred for heavy swarming; one hive came up to 5-7swarms per year. These bees were also notorious for stinging.
    Selection is all, I think.

    @Redneck:
    "" Are you saying that the inbred eggs are distroyed?""
    No, only the eggs are destroyed which would make homozygot and diploid drones.
    Eggs who make workers will be kept, and that are the most.
    If inbreeding occurs you can see it on the capped brood. If there are empty cells between when the brood is just capped count them.
    Take an area of 100 cells and count the empty cells and you can say how much inbred they are.
    IMHO I would re-queen immediately because struggling with aggressive bees isn't funny.

    Newbies in beek can ruin a hive with working too fast and rude. If the bees are rolled and squeezed every week they will become very aggressive for a long time and will react angry when just the cover is opened.
    But you are such a long time in bees I'm sure this is not the cause.
    So I would re-queen and hope the best.

    [size="1"][ June 26, 2006, 03:16 AM: Message edited by: Alienor ][/size]
    Sincerely
    Alienor

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

    Post

    --How can you tell from the looks of the brood nest that inbreeding has occurred?

    Check of brood viability.

    Brood Viability; denotes out-breeding associated with open mating (Brother Adam). Increased genetic diversity has a direct influence on task diversity, disease resistance and other factors determining colony fitness (Oster and Wilson), and provides a buffer against fluctuations in the environment (Crozier and Page). Multiple mating promotes colony fitness by lowering the probability that the queen will produce a high proportion of unviable diploid males within her brood (Tarpy & Page). Colonies with a high level of polyandry will have a substantial fitness advantage because of differences in growth rate during colony development (Cole & Wiernasz). There are significant correlations of brood viability to winter survival (Tarpy & Page). A colony’s phenotype is a reflection of the tasks performed by its workers and a significant concave relationship exists between brood viability and worker population (Tarpy & Page).

    What to Look for are solid flat brood pattern, absence of empty cells, brood viability plus other essential traits are explained very well in these two links:

    Glenn Apiaries
    The State of the Art of Bee Breeding
    http://members.aol.com/queenb95/breeding.html

    Breeding Improved Honey Bees
    Mackensen Brood viability method
    http://www.beesource.com/pov/usda/breeding3.htm

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Germany /Europe
    Posts
    126

    Post

    Hi, Joe,
    "viability" was the word I couldn't find

    But the test for hygienic bees is not correct.
    If you kill the pupae through the capping you will put some secrete(blood?) with the needle to the outside.
    So the bees can smell that and open the cell.
    If correct done you have to reserve the test area on the back of that frame with a piece of cardboard and when the brood is capped to push your needle from the backside in the cells.
    Than you can see if your bees are really hygienic and perceive if the pupa inside is dead.
    But the links are great!
    Sincerely
    Alienor

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    2,071

    Post

    Alienor,

    Thanks for explaining the correct hygienic test!

    Hey Alienor, could you tell me about your beekeeping experience in a private email?
    I'm at naturebee@yahoo.com I can return in kind.

    The stuff you are writing is of very high quality and I am curious of your background in beekeeping. Keep up the good work!

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