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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
    Posts
    658

    Default Breeding a queen from the future

    Last night I was sitting beside my nuc on my patio wathing the bees coming and going, this helps me think and come up with different ideas.
    The one I came up with last night was about breeding a queen that you would otherwise not have until the distant future. these are my thoughts...

    The first step would be to select the lucky mama that you would start with.

    The second step would be to rear daughters from her. I'd say about 20 or so to allow for ones that wouldn't get mated and also for some selectivness.

    The third step would be to select the better queen (hard to do since she has just started laying, but...)and breed off of her another 20 queens. Then repeat this step again. In our location we could probably be able to do this 5 times through the season.

    another thing is drone stock. It will be impossible to use drones from a closer generation to the current queens you would be raising but even setting up some drone mother from the third generation queens of that year in an isolated yard to mate up the fifth generation(last generation for that year) will at least keep the generation gap of drones and queens smaller.

    The following year you could continue with the last queens you had reared.

    Assuming that the average queen lives 3 years (naturally), 5 generations would be like a 15 year jump into the future and ant the end of 2 years would be like 30 years. For those of us the requeen every year with our own stock it would be like a 5 year leap into the future or at the end of year 2, 10 years.

    keeping the drone stocks updated in isolated mating yards would be important. A queen could be chosen at anytime for back breeding. I could be possible to breed a queen with drones going 15 generations back.

    How practical could this be. who knows? but it would be fun and certianly intresting to see what could come out of them.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Lima, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    726

    Default Re: Breeding a queen from the future

    Breeding programs won't wait 3 years for each cycle so in reality it's much faster than that. Plus only a fee queens are really productive for 3 years due to the simple fact that their egg laying ability is limited by the amount of sperm they store when mating. (4.5 million sperm/average eggs per day/laying days per year/4-7 sperm released per fertilized egg = theoretical productive life). Keeping queens in smaller hives can extend their life (I've seen up to 9 years quoted), but you can't really evaluate them in these conditions.

    Raising more than one cycle a year can be done, but would be impossible to do proper selection for all but a few traits. Measuring overall productivity (honey production) and overwintering is normally limited to once a year. Other traits such as VSH may allow for multiple cycles but still are slow because you need to wait for the adults who are responsible for the behavior to be replaced. Selection based on one or only a few traits can quickly lead to bees good at those few things, but nothing else.

    Typically we would evaluate queens in production colonies and are overwintered so that they can be judged on the entire season so you end up getting a bee that is more balanced.

    You certainly could try and raise second and 3rd generations, etc. in the same year from the apparent best, but be aware that you are selecting on first impressions and they may turn out to be lousy at something you can't evaluate in such a short period of time. The small pool of queens, and only selecting one queen to produce from can also lead to inbreeding problems.

    Not to say it can't be a useful tool. VSH could be selected for fairly quickly using such methods (perhaps 3 generations per year depending on your seasons length and availability of drones). But it would likely suffer from serious inbreeding as the USDA program did. They go a resistant bee, but was too inbred to be useful for production, but the trait then can be outcrossed, but that will take more time.


    -Tim

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
    Posts
    658

    Default Re: Breeding a queen from the future

    Quote Originally Posted by tarheit View Post

    Not to say it can't be a useful tool. VSH could be selected for fairly quickly using such methods (perhaps 3 generations per year depending on your seasons length and availability of drones). But it would likely suffer from serious inbreeding as the USDA program did. They go a resistant bee, but was too inbred to be useful for production, but the trait then can be outcrossed, but that will take more time.


    -Tim
    those were my thoughts too. I also know that selection could only be based on the queens egg laying ability for it is obvious that the atributes of the workers won't be seen for up 9 weeks and up to the following year as to how they overwinter. I just threw this thread on here as an intresting concept. It's something I might try at some point.

    something else that this would be helpful for though is the back breeding.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

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