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Thread: Drone question?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Cole County, Missouri
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    170

    Default Drone question?

    Ok I have different colored drones? My queen is supposed to be a Minn Hyg. Most of her prodigy show hyg behavior. But this drone issue is confusing me.

    Drones do not have fathers. So do not carry any genetic material from the males the queen has mated.
    I also read drones will show recessive traits being that they do not hold two copies from each parent. Because they only have one parent the female. Be it a queen or a laying worker.
    So why do I have black drones and very light blonde drones? lighter then my other bees? My workers are mostly the yellow with the stripes on the butt , and the others are black bees . My queen is all red. Could this just be worker bees laying? if so how do worker drones compare to queen produced drones?
    I have a new queen due to hatch by the end of this week. And she will be taking her virgin flight with this mixed crop of boys. I must say the black drones look so much spunkier and healthier then the blonde ones. Which look all droopey. Maybe my queen is a bit inbred and this new queen born will be too inbred to produce good brood.. then I will have to buy a new queen late in the season. Or put the two hives back together.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
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    3,670

    Default Re: Drone question?

    Your queen is not of a pure stable genetic line. The drones tell the story. I would not worry about it, if she's performing well then keep her.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Cole County, Missouri
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    Default Re: Drone question?

    Thank you.. The linage is not of great concern unless I run into inbred depression this early in the game.. But heck that would be good experince.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
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    Default Re: Drone question?

    Sorry to break it to you but your queen will not mate with her own family, even in Missouri. She will outfly all your drones.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Westford, MA, USA
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    479

    Default Re: Drone question?

    Maybe because the drones you see in your hive probably having nothing whatever to do with your hive except that it was a convenient place to stop and get refreshment while looking for queens to mate with. In times of plenty drones are typically free to come and go in any hive they come across.
    I have a nuc out back I made up 10 days ago. There were no drones or drone brood on the frames when I made it up yet withing 24 hours there were drones coming and going from the box. Interestingly they were all very black drones and the nuc was made from a Russian hive, just a coincidence I guess.
    Last edited by Peter; 07-04-2011 at 04:49 PM. Reason: Spelling

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Cole County, Missouri
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: Drone question?

    I have seen both colored drones ever since my queen started laying, and hatching young.. As for the virgins not mating thier kin? How is this proven.. Never read this anywhere. I have read about linebreeding bees, and inbreeding bees which would be impossible if bees were that smart unless you were using II which was not mentioned in the articles.

    I also had some laying workers ,caught one doing it and removed her. WHy I asked about laying workers.

    I saw one of the black ones practice flying.. I say he was pretty fast. The blonde ones. Now Unless they are reserving energy just for the race. I dont see them doing much of anything. I do know I have another hive within 5 miles of me. And got visited by some tiny bees that were not from my hives. My bees ran them off. I am hoping for outside drones. But not banking on it. Because there simply are not that many bees in my area.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
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    Default Re: Drone question?

    Quote Originally Posted by beeG View Post
    Drones do not have fathers. So do not carry any genetic material from the males the queen has mated.
    Correct. But the queen herself is diploid - she has two sets of chromosomes (two sets of 16 = 32). When she produces an egg it contains only 16 chromosomes - half of her set, and it could be either half of each pair of chromosomes that is kept/discarded. These might hold dominant characteristics that she herself displays, or they might hold recessive traits that in the queen are 'covered' by the dominant other half of her genes.

    If she is laying a worker egg, those 16 chromosomes are married up with the 16 chromosomes in sperm cell to produce a worker (or queen) with a full set of 32 chromosomes.

    If she is laying a drone egg, no sperm is released, and the drone is created with only 16 chromosomes. Thus, the sperm cell is actually a FULL genetic copy of the drone who creates it, while the egg is only a SUBSET of the genes of the queen.

    I also read drones will show recessive traits being that they do not hold two copies from each parent. Because they only have one parent the female. Be it a queen or a laying worker.
    Yep, exactly.

    So why do I have black drones and very light blonde drones? lighter then my other bees?
    Two options: 1, see above - the queen has 16 pairs of chromosomes - your drones will be a mix of one or the other half of each pair, resulting in different expressions of the genes. It's vitally important to the bees' genetic diversity that this is the case too - it allows the full range of genes to be kept in play in the wider population.

    2, research has shown that at any given time 60% of the drones in a hive have no genetic link to that hive - they were bred elsewhere. Again, it's part of maintaining that genetic diversity that drones are gregarious and will move freely between hives.


    Maybe my queen is a bit inbred and this new queen born will be too inbred to produce good brood..
    I don't see any reason to suspect an inbreeding issue from what you've described, and there's no reason to worry about your new queen - again, there is research to show she will go to some lengths to avoid mating with drones from her own hive.

    relax.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
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    Default Re: Drone question?

    Quote Originally Posted by beeG View Post
    As for the virgins not mating thier kin? How is this proven.. Never read this anywhere.
    There are studies out there.

    I have read about linebreeding bees, and inbreeding bees which would be impossible if bees were that smart unless you were using II which was not mentioned in the articles.
    linebreeding/inbreeding = same thing.
    Linebreeding is what you call it when it works.
    Inbreeding is what you call it when it doesn't.

    If the articles you read didn't mention AI (artificial insemination - not sure about II), then that is probably because it is a given that linebreeding in bees can only be properly achieved through AI, because of the way queens mate on the wing, at a given height and a good distance from the hive and with multiple drones - it is practically impossible to control both male and female aspects of the mating without using AI.

    Anything else is usually referred to as 'open mating'.

    I am hoping for outside drones. But not banking on it. Because there simply are not that many bees in my area.
    I don't know your region at all, but I'd be amazed if there are NOT bees in your area that you don't know about.

    Remember that if your queen will fly five miles to mate, and she will... then your mating area is not just a five mile radius or a ten mile across circle, but it also includes the five miles that drones will fly from other hives to mate on the border of your queen's mating area, so straight away you need to double the radius that you are looking for potential mates within.

    Again, relax.

    If it makes you feel better get a queen breeder on speed dial so you can order a mated queen if your new one does turn out a dud.

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