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Thread: Queen breeding

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Queen breeding

    Please keep in mind that you can get "pure" russian stock from the certified holders of the lines released by the ARS http://www.russianbreeder.org/members.htm
    If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live. - Lin Yutang

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Queen breeding

    Quote Originally Posted by rrussell6870 View Post
    Beekuk, The reason for bringing the drone comb into the lab to hatch under incubation is simply to be certain of their origin before extracting...

    We have several different methods for this...


    2. Also hatched can be used for spermifica testing... ie.. dna verification, levels of potency at different intervals of life stages, size/potency studies, color/marking studies, etc...
    Hi
    What is "dna verification"?


    Adam Finkelstein
    www.vpqueenbees.com

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Queen breeding

    Actually, I think they are being released by the USDA-ARS which means that the goverment (our tax dollars) is doing this to try and help the survival of the honey bee. While I have been gung -ho on trying these genetics. I believe that it may not be the best genetics out there. We all know that as much good as goverment funded programs do there are many that are just led in one direction (Russians) by someone with money/influence and that may not have been the best direction. What Mr. Russell has told me so far is ringing very true. I have 5 of my 8 hive with the top deeps crammed full of honey.
    I was told when I went to the pure Russians that I would have to change my way of keeping. I was expecting to fight swarming next spring, but not this. If they make it to spring. there has to be room for brood in the box around the cluster. I still love my Russians, but like my children, they are already worrying me. They are not for everyone.
    My goal was, and still is to not treat. I will not treat. If they survive on their own they will be here if not I will try other genetics. There are other mutts that can survive without treatment. There is , in my opinion, a much better chance of getting "survivors" from the Russians than from the general public because they are very much controlled, while the other breeders can be less than honest. I'm going to make a very controversal statement that will not be accepted by many, but think about it. If you buy genetics from AHB areas of the country then you are only helping the AHB genetics survive the more northern areas that they can't now survive in. In my opinion it is a mistake to bring bees north out of these areas. Because they will swarm and survive, and mate with others until they are back to/or close to AHB. Most of the survivor stock comes from these areas.
    PLEASE REMEMBER THIS IS JUST MY OPINION.
    So much to learn, so little time!!

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Queen breeding

    Actually, the USDA-ARS released the lines to the CRADA holder Mr. Charlie Harper, since then, lines were released to members of the association "only". Now you can be on the members list but that does not mean that you are certified. To become certified you need to send samples of your bees to the USDA-ARS lab for genetic testing, they will determine if your bees are genetically russian and you get that pretty seal on the association's web site. I bought breeder russian queens from Glenn apiaries in 2009 and still have them, but although I can tell you I have pure russians, to many it does not count because I do not have the lab's seal of approval. Long story short, you have to work with what works for you. There are no perfect bees out there, find one that you can live with and try to be happy with it... wait why does that sound like a wife; oh well.
    If you can spend a perfectly useless afternoon in a perfectly useless manner, you have learned how to live. - Lin Yutang

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Queen breeding

    You have it all right, glad I'm not the only one that does his homework. I don't think that Glenn is going to have them this year. I hope they do. I didn't know until yesterday that drones would actually fly a distance and enter another hive and be accepted. Blows my mind.
    So much to learn, so little time!!

  6. #26
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    Re: Queen breeding

    Quote Originally Posted by adamf View Post
    Hi
    What is "dna verification"?


    Adam Finkelstein
    www.vpqueenbees.com
    We study the dna of each production of drones.. These studies are to of course "verify" the origin, but also to test for genetic mutations in order to maintain a vital stock... There is such a thing as "Over Bred"... its important to keep re-insert native (or base) strains into ANY hybrid situation... After all those genetics are "What makes a bee, a bee". For example; you can breed a hog of significantly higher than average body weight, to an equally large sow, then find several other pairs of this nature and continue the process with them... Then you can breed the largest of the unrelated offspring... continue this process for many generations and what you will have is HUGE pigs... However, by neccessitating the body weight traits, you will certainly omit other traits, such as disease resistance, skeletal developement, aggression, or maybe even reproductive ability.

    This same scenario holds true for all creatures. I have heard it termed "one-sided" dna.. and that really fits the bill... As we breed for honey production, disease or pest resistance, gentleness, buildup speed, color, or cool weather activity, we have to maintain the base genetics in order to keep a balance of the OTHER traits that we are NOT thinking about... instinctual communications, instinctual logistics, size, sight, agility, longevity, etc...


    Hopefully this helps!

  7. #27
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    Re: Queen breeding

    This is a quote from a very large operation in Rotorua, NZ

    The web address is www.aratakihoneyrotorua.co.nz if you would like to veiw it there.

    They are a huge supplier to europe, canada, and the US.

    Just food for thought...


    """""""The genetic material we use was imported into NZ by David Yanke and comes from three Queen Breeding institutes in Europe, namely Lunz, Austria; Kirchhain, Germany; and Mayen, Germany. These Institutes concentrate on varroa tolerance. The Institute in Kirchhain Germany, has been trialling their Carnica against Primorsky Queens brought straight from Baton Rouge and representing all the lines they maintain there. Their data shows that their best Carnica is as tolerant as the average Primorsky, and light years ahead when it comes to temperament, productivity, and swarming. (i.e. the Primorsky swarm much more readily then do Carnica.)

    Yanke’s evaluations have shown that the Carnica hybrids are much more varroa tolerant than his yellow bees. Feedback from other commercial beekeepers and my own experience backs this up. """""""

    Again, this is a quote taken directly from their website, so please NO hate mail... lol.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Queen breeding

    Quote Originally Posted by rrussell6870 View Post
    We study the dna of each production of drones.. These studies are to of course "verify" the origin, but also to test for genetic mutations in order to maintain a vital stock... There is such a thing as "Over Bred"... its important to keep re-insert native (or base) strains into ANY hybrid situation... After all those genetics are "What makes a bee, a bee".
    I followed-up your post because I wanted to be sure I understood what you
    were saying. Your use of the phrase "DNA verification" stands out because
    DNA is the same in all animals. How it is arranged by the sequence of
    it's base pairs is what is significant
    . This mechanism isn't quite understood.
    In fact, there are very many things that happen in heredity that we do not understand
    at the molecular and developmental level.


    For
    example; you can breed a hog of significantly higher than average body
    weight, to an equally large sow, then find several other pairs of this
    nature and continue the process with them... Then you can breed the largest
    of the unrelated offspring... continue this process for many generations
    and what you will have is HUGE pigs... However, by neccessitating the body
    weight traits, you will certainly omit other traits, such as disease
    resistance, skeletal developement, aggression, or maybe even reproductive
    ability.

    This is simple selection. A breeder can choose to breed from an animal that
    expresses the desired characteristics (phenotype) and select for the same
    characteristics in future generations. The breeder or you, are selecting
    for the unique combination of traits that the DNA, RNA, proteins etc. in the
    genotype, code for to make the phenotype. The breeder is selecting for
    this from the pool (population) of breeding animals. Each has a unique
    expression of traits based on the way each arrangement of DNA/RNA/proteins
    differ slightly.


    This same scenario holds true for all creatures. I have heard it termed
    "one-sided" DNA.. and that really fits the bill... As we breed for honey
    production, disease or pest resistance, gentleness, buildup speed, color,
    or cool weather activity, we have to maintain the base genetics in order to keep a balance of the OTHER traits that we are NOT thinking about...
    instinctual communications, instinctual logistics, size, sight, agility,
    longevity, etc...

    There's no difference in the "genetics" in your breeding population's DNA.
    There's a difference in what the DNA's sequence produces through the
    DNA's arrangement and expression of proteins that this sequence makes.
    Finding the breeding animal with a desirable expression is selection.
    Using these selected animals to make offspring, and then selecting again,
    etc.; that's breeding.

    A breeder is akin to a collector of DNA expressions. He/She is curating the
    outcome of the DNA's sequence expression. That is significantly different from curating just the DNA.

    Adam Finkelstein
    www.vpqueenbees.com

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Queen breeding

    Where are you getting the DNA work done and who does your II work?

    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  10. #30
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    Re: Queen breeding

    Adam,

    I am confused as to what you are attempting to say... It appears that you think that I have said that I manipulate dna of something... selection is the process of breeding... studying the data from the dna is quite simply a method of determining what lineages are present through the arrangement.

    The statements that you made are textbook, but have nothing to do with my posts.

    Is there something in my post that made you assume that we used dna to develope queens or something of that nature?

    You stated that there is no difference in the dna of a breeding population and any other bee.... not true.... the "DNA" is the same base, but the arrangement is unique in each creature... generational simularities are determined through the study of the arrangement. I did not see it important in my original post to detail how dna is evaluated...

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Queen breeding

    Quote Originally Posted by habutti View Post
    There are no perfect bees out there, find one that you can live with and try to be happy with it... wait why does that sound like a wife; oh well.
    We are right, you know.

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Queen breeding

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren View Post
    We are right, you know.
    Yeah, we know.

  13. #33
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    Re: Queen breeding

    Quote Originally Posted by valleyman View Post
    Actually, I think they are being released by the USDA-ARS which means that the goverment (our tax dollars) is doing this to try and help the survival of the honey bee. While I have been gung -ho on trying these genetics. I believe that it may not be the best genetics out there. We all know that as much good as goverment funded programs do there are many that are just led in one direction (Russians) by someone with money/influence and that may not have been the best direction.

    valleyman,

    you could not be more correct with this statement....While the russians show more resistance to varrora than the bees that we have been raising here in the US since day one, they do not possess the characteristics that we use to develop apiculture practices in our warmer areas... I believe that releasing them will pose its own threats to our industry... Sure they will adapt to our needs with time, but the bees that we ALL are breeding today will become as resistant as the russians in less time than the russians will take to change to fit our climatic needs. The idea of "breeding them in" through "wild" swarms can only amount to one of two ends... 1) a complete waste of enormous funds that should have been put back into our starving economy.. or 2) the unanticipated addition of hybrid strains that will slow queen and package production (while the strains are identified and corrected) at a time when the shb has taken a continuously rising number of colonies thus raising the agricultural need for replacements.

    I myself think that scenario 1 will be the winner... however I would like to know if anyone knows how many swarms are being released and where as well as when are the releases taking place...

    And if no one knows the answers to these questions... then we have a HUGE problem and should demand to be informed as WE are the true breeders of queens in the US... not the USDA..
    s

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Queen breeding

    they do not possess the characteristics that we use to develop apiculture practices in our warmer areas...
    Mr. Russell,

    Can you elaborate on this statement some? What are these characteristics? How would that change for northern US climates?

    As a new beekeeper I hear a lot about mites and winter losses. I live in central Ohio where our winters are damp, cold and dreary.

    I'm looking to pick your brain, not a fight!

    Thank you in advance,

    Tom

  15. #35
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    Re: Queen breeding

    Tom,

    You should read back a bit in this thread to see some of our earlier discussions. The russians are adapted to a very harsh long, cold winter and short flow... thus they build up quickly, over stock with stores, and shut off very early... In the south, we rely on much earlier buildup for package production as early as feb to stock queen rearing nuks (usually when its still freezing)... this kind of build up requires both brood chambers to be filled with brood... We do not have much of a winter in the south, so 1 shallow or medium is more than enough to provide winter stores... Russians are notorious for filling not only the shallow, but also the top deep, and even some into the bottom deep, thus limiting the brood space and causing multiple swarms (which of course is part of the reason that they are so resistant to VD).

    In the US we do not have a "Like" climate to russia, thus using russians for their ability to over winter, is somewhat overkill...as carniolans are more suited for our exact climate. If you look back in this thread, read valleymans situation.

    They are a great bee... but not at all what is required for package production and queen rearing (imagine trying to shake enough bees for russian colonies during feb to fill 10,000 nuks..). Hope this helps.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 11-10-2010 at 06:22 AM.

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Queen breeding

    Quote Originally Posted by rrussell6870 View Post
    We do not have much of a winter in the south, so 1 shallow or medium is more than enough to provide winter stores... Russians are notorious for filling not only the shallow, but also the top deep, and even some into the bottom deep, thus limiting the brood space and causing multiple swarms (which of course is part of the reason that they are so resistant to VD)
    We are in central Florida and can attest to the above statements by rrussell. We had about 75 hives with Russians coming out of winter into spring last year....very slow build up from a very small winter cluster, as they started to build going into orange blossom they began storing in the brood chambers both top and bottom at an alarming rate which led to limited brood space and plenty of swarms. They seemed to prefer packing out the brood chambers with honey rather than storing in the provided supers. At the end of the orange blossom bloom we had some honey in the supers, lots of honey in the brood chambers and very little brood to start making splits. When it got hot the Russian queens shut down, and in regards to mites they had plenty of them, oh yeah they also got pretty mean, and I dont mean just a few of the colonies, just about all of them got mean. Im not knocking the Russians...they just didnt work for us...in another climate they would probably perform better...we have gone back to Italians.
    A government large enough to provide everything you need is strong enough to take everything you have. T. Jefferson

  17. #37
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    Re: Queen breeding

    Peacekeeper,

    Thanks for the post... This behavior is one that they have been forced to "learn" since their transfer northwards through europe and asia until they were sturdy enough to withstand the frigid climate of russia. These traits are their only means of survival in these types of environments... other traits that they are well known for are their excellent house keeping and tendencies to swarm constantly (as you have noted, this is due to the lack of space for the queen to lay)...

    All of these traits are derived from the stresses of living in such a frigid winter area, with so little time to build stores... ALL of which create the "mite resistance" that they are so noted to possess... By swarming constantly they have multiple breaks in the brood cycle, thus breaking the life cycle of the mites... this swarming tendency in cold climates is also the reason that they are so great about uncapping brood and removing it... and the excessive honey stores in a circular pattern around the cluster (instead of above it) is simply because they had to feed brood over extremely long frozen winters without ANY chance of foraging...

    These traits are great for russia... but just as the bees in russia have adapted to that environment, so have the bees in the US...

    We have MUCH more to forage on, MUCH MUCH longer periods to forage, and much warmer winters that do not require them to "surround" themselves in honey...

    Hopefully (all fingers crossed) the beetles will have a nice snack before the government causes enough damage to one of the most important agricultural systems in the US.

  18. #38
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    Default Re: Queen breeding

    Is this constant swarming behaviour mainly because they have been brought south,do they constantly swarm in there native Russia,especially with the very long cold winters and short summers,would think if they constantly swarmed and filled the brood nest with stores(leaving very little room to build up large amounts of brood,thus bee's) they would have great difficulty building up to remain strong enough to survive the winters of Russia.

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Queen breeding

    Quote Originally Posted by beekuk View Post
    Is this constant swarming behaviour mainly because they have been brought south,do they constantly swarm in there native Russia,especially with the very long cold winters and short summers
    I have a friend here in Vermont who raises Russian stock. He tells me that they are constantly raising and tearing down queen cells. Raising, tearing down. Raising, tearing down...until they swarm. Two years ago, in a particularly wet June, they swarmed in the pouring rain.

    If you want to make a good crop of honey, you need strong colonies with large populations. Here I want colonies to go into and come out of winter with large clusters. That's how they make supers of honey on early flows and how they are ready for apple pollination. Russians don't make it here. Don't tell my friend that.

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Queen breeding

    Thank you Michael,they sound worse than many of the carniolans from Slovenia.
    Think i will stick with my Buckfasts.

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