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Thread: Breeding drones

  1. #1
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    Default Breeding drones

    I have Queen in one of my tbh and want to produce some queens from her. How do you make sure that you have an enough drones from her? With regular hives you can purchase drone frames/foundation. I know that queen breeders have special drone nucs to make sure there are enough drones for each queen.
    Anyone have ideas how to breed enough drones to hopefully keep the wild drones down to a minimum?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Breeding drones

    You don't want the drones from your hive breeding with the virgin queen from that hive. The drone frame foundation for the lang hive is used as a mite control. Unless you have a controlled area flooded with your stock your going to need and want the wild ones. The queen will fly out once sometimes twice to breed to a DCA. Where all the drones from the area hang out for a virgin queen to come crusing by. (simular to the outfield bar at the Dr. Pepper Center in Frisco.)

    If you really like that queen. You can most likley buy queens from where you got your bees.
    Chuck Norris has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Breeding drones

    As I understand it, the queen won't mate with drones from her own hive. She smells her hive and rejects them. That way the inbreeding keeps the strain a bit fresher. She'll go for those guys don't have her hive scent.
    Just like a woman!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Breeding drones

    the queen won't mate with drones from her own hive
    Well, that's interesting!
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Breeding drones

    Not true, inbreed drones will have white eyes etc....

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Breeding drones

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewSchwab View Post
    Not true, inbreed drones will have white eyes etc....

    ...and webbed feet? I don't think so.

    A certain amount of in-breeding is inevitable - and I don't buy the 'queens will reject her own drones' theory either. How, exactly, is she going to 'reject' them? They are bigger than her and flying up from behind, remember!

    If a virgin queen flies out, it stands to reason that the first drones to know about it will be her own - or at least - those hanging out in her hive, which, of course, are just as likely to be from another colony, as drones wander freely. The safety mechanism that nature has built into the honeybee to reduce the incidence of in-breeding is - multiple mating. If a queen mates with a dozen drones, it doesn't matter if one or two of them happen to be her sons.

    And the way to stack the odds in favour of one of your queens mating with drones from a queen whose line you want to perpetuate is to let the bees in the best queen's hive build as many drones as they like, while culling drone brood from the hives with less desirable traits.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Breeding drones

    Quote Originally Posted by buckbee View Post
    A certain amount of in-breeding is inevitable - and I don't buy the 'queens will reject her own drones' theory either. How, exactly, is she going to 'reject' them? They are bigger than her and flying up from behind, remember!If a virgin queen flies out, it stands to reason that the first drones to know about it will be her own - or at least - those hanging out in her hive, which, of course, are just as likely to be from another colony, as drones wander freely.
    I truly do not know for myself. My source for that information is an apiarist doctor from the school of agriculture in the University of California, located in Davis, who has made a professional life study of the bee and this is what he told my face when I asked that very question. The drone MAY reject the queen based on pheromones, but I do recall him saying there is a rejection of sexual union with drones from her own hive. Made sense to me.
    I do not know if size matters (that's what they all say!) when it comes to the animal kingdom, as I've seen dogs become aggressive with their own in spite of size, and small birds in flight chase away much larger birds as well. Also, as I understand it, the mating flight happens a good distance away from the hive in a place common for various drones to hang out together. We agree that such makes it certain that inbreeding will not occur. But she does not mate with every drone there so the fact that they come up from "behind" does not make it for me. But, you could be right.

    Quote Originally Posted by buckbee View Post
    The safety mechanism that nature has built into the honeybee to reduce the incidence of in-breeding is - multiple mating. If a queen mates with a dozen drones, it doesn't matter if one or two of them happen to be her sons.And the way to stack the odds in favour of one of your queens mating with drones from a queen whose line you want to perpetuate is to let the bees in the best queen's hive build as many drones as they like, while culling drone brood from the hives with less desirable traits.
    I don't think "best" has much to do with nature. It is our imposition of our theories that have determined "best". It certainly has worked for them for the last 65 million years so I guess they've a lock on it. No one knows the mechanism for why bees cull their own. In my opinion if a bunch of drones from a laying worker go out to mate then that may not be "the best" and yet those genes would be advanced which is contrary to the notion of "best".
    I don't know, it's all too complicated for a guy like me. But thanks for the exchange!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Breeding drones

    Quote Originally Posted by LenInNorCal View Post
    I truly do not know for myself. My source for that information is an apiarist doctor from the school of agriculture in the University of California, located in Davis, who has made a professional life study of the bee and this is what he told my face when I asked that very question. The drone MAY reject the queen based on pheromones, but I do recall him saying there is a rejection of sexual union with drones from her own hive. Made sense to me.
    It does make sense in terms of heterosis, and if the good doctor has good reason to say it is so then perhaps it is so. I still find it hard to imagine how it works in practice, however! Brother Adam used a certain amount of inbreeding to create and maintain the Buckfast strain. That does not, of course, prove that it happens in nature, but given his breeding methods - flooding an isolated mating apiary with selected drones - it must have happened under these relatively artificial conditions.

    Quote Originally Posted by LenInNorCal View Post
    I don't think "best" has much to do with nature. It is our imposition of our theories that have determined "best". It certainly has worked for them for the last 65 million years so I guess they've a lock on it. No one knows the mechanism for why bees cull their own. In my opinion if a bunch of drones from a laying worker go out to mate then that may not be "the best" and yet those genes would be advanced which is contrary to the notion of "best".
    I don't think those runt drones from laying workers stand any chance of out-competing drones in full possession of their faculties!

    'Best' in nature really means 'fittest for survival', of course, while for us it might mean 'most productive' or 'most disease resistant' or 'best tempered'. This leads on to a philosophical argument about whether we have the 'right' to interfere with nature, or whether or not it is 'right' to breed bees according to our needs and desires.

    I tend to think that we have gone too far down the road of trying to 'improve' on nature, and that CCD and endemic AFB and EFB is the visible result. We should - IMO - work with what nature provides and be grateful, but such is the nature of man that he cannot help trying to bend nature to his will and 'improve' on it. I fear that the inevitable end of that road will be GM food and crops and their seeds wholly owned by corporations. I suspect GM bees are only just around the corner.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Breeding drones

    >She smells her hive and rejects them.

    Actually the queen flies further to mate than the drones do and she flies at a different altitude. These to factors make it UNLIKELY that she will mate from drones from her yard (not just her hive). But it does not preclude it. I've heard many an eyewitness account of seeing the queen fly out and mate directly overhead of her own hive.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Breeding drones

    How much do we know about the queen's mating flight and acceptance of suitors? Is there a lot of research out there? It must be a subject that is really hard to study and draw conclusions from. Adrian

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Breeding drones

    "I've heard many an eyewitness account of seeing the queen fly out and mate directly overhead of her own hive. "

    Michael, I will bow to your expertise, but anecdotal stories I find suspicious especially third hand...but that's just me.

    BTW, ever see that film of a bee flying? I think it was French and they attached a tiny camera to the bee and recorded her flight. I wonder if they can do that to a queen on her maiden voyage?

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