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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Arrow breeder queen survivability

    I have ordered the following breeder queens in the past three years....

    2005 (1)Russian
    (1)Russian/SMR

    2006 (1)Russian
    (1)Carni - (alive)
    (1) Russian/SMR
    (1)SMR/SMR

    2007 (1)Russian
    (1)Carni - (alive)

    I have used some as breeders and some for stocking drone yards. What I find interesting is that only two are still going. The 2006 and 2007 carni's. The rest were put through the same criteria as my overwintered nucs. I have had great success with the queens raised from all the breeder queens, except the SMR/SMR breeder queen which was a flop from the start. I have also used other breeder stock from the USDA russian program and a few other places. But these were A/I queens I listed above. So I do not really expect them to last more than a season or two. But I did find it interesting that the two carni's are still kicking.

    This year, I did not add any breeder queen A/I stock, and have continued to select from my survivors.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Wheatfield, IN
    Posts
    2,068

    Default

    Bjorn.

    Could you explain the SMR/SMR "flop from the start"?

    Note: My Carni breeder from last year is also still going strong this year.
    Dan Williamson
    B&C Honey Farm http://www.flickr.com/photos/9848229@N05/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Default

    Dan,
    The pattern was not good, the grafts were not good, and in general, I am not sure what the problem was. It could of been just coincidence and I got a bad queen or perhaps damaged somehow in transit.

    When you look at a queen and evaluate a pattern, you know a good one and a bad one. And it seemed that this queen was not a good one. I want to feel confident that every egg is a good one and a queen will be a good one with every graft. But between the missing holes, the lousy pattern and the low rate of takes on the couple grafts I did perform, I quickly shoved her to the side. Was it a virus, inbreeding, or just a fluke of genetics? Not sure. Maybe it was a weak line to begin with that was genetically diverse, etc. All this does not help, except to say I'm not sure.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
    Posts
    4,072

    Default

    "The pattern was not good, the grafts were not good, and in general, I am not sure what the problem was. It could of been just coincidence and I got a bad queen or perhaps damaged somehow in transit."

    Not a flop really, and not the fault of the queen, or so i've been told. SMR x SMR are very hygenic, too much so, and the workers remove alot of brood, which is what they are supposed to do....but...they remove too much. The SMR trait is most useful at about 75%, and unlikely to survive at 100%.

    The only way to keep these colonies alive is to add frames of emeraging brood. These queens should only be used for drone colonies, and should not be expected to overwinter in cold climates.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hughson, CA
    Posts
    153

    Default

    Not a flop really, and not the fault of the queen, or so i've been told. SMR x SMR are very hygenic, too much so, and the workers remove alot of brood, which is what they are supposed to do....but...they remove too much. The SMR trait is most useful at about 75%, and unlikely to survive at 100%.
    This is the first time I have heard of bees being excessively hygienic. Can you expand upon that? Where does that information come from? I was under the impression that the long-term goal when breeding hygienic queens was to eventually have 100% hygienic bees per the freeze analysis. I would appreciate your thoughts.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
    Posts
    4,072

    Default

    The SMR traits are good, very good in fact, but you don't want bees that have 100% SMR traits, because they take out brood for just about any reason, so much to the point that they don't or can't survive.

    That is why you don't see SMR X SMR queens for sale, except as breeder queens. If you can keep 50-75% SMR traits in your bees, you are good.

    Your drone colonies should be headed up by SMR X SMR queens.

    Additional Info here:

    http://members.aol.com/queenb95/smr.html
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Santa Rosa, California
    Posts
    86

    Default The two Carni's... still going.

    BjornBee,
    The Carniolans are the best bee for my area of Northern California,with cool nights and warm days. No other type of bees do as well for me.
    The clean bees are those that spend hours polishing the landing board, frames and comb.
    Lee...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Huntington, West Virginia, USA
    Posts
    438

    Lightbulb hygienic queens

    Dann Purvis spoke at HAS last summer. He mentioned that we may have been making a mistake all these years killing off queens with spotty brood patterns. He said it could have been evidence of strong hygienic behavior.
    Instead we bred from queens with wall-to-wall brood and now we have bees that aren't very hygienic.
    Something to think about. -Danno

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Perkasie, PA
    Posts
    1,998

    Default

    Very hygienic SMR breeder are hard on people like myself. I have only 11 colonies (9 full strength production). I do not have the luxury of being able to evaluate hundreds of grafts from each queen or controlling my drone source. If the breeder queen herself raises an unthrifty colony, then a may lose 10% of my hives. For this reason, I use SMR crosses only, not the inbred lines. The 5 SMR hybrid breeders that I have purchased seem to live fairly normal lifespans and raise good colonies, but run out of sperm after about 6-9 months of solid laying. I'm still learning (I use the miller method to raise queens) but would recommend the SMR crosses based on my limited experiences.

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