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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Is queen color a dominant trait?

    One of my queens is almost all black. 98 % anyway. I realize the multiple drone matings and the variety of daughters. What has to happen genetically to produce a black daughter queen?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Sherburne, MN, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Is queen color a dominant trait?

    Since your queen is already almost completely black, you will need to mate her to other black drones (or as many as possible). Color can be a hard trait to get because you don't often know if the queen's or the drone's ancestors had that same black gene or whether it is recessive or dominant. So your best bet would be to keep the desirable drones (the black ones) around a virgin queen and inhibit the drones with the lighter colors so they don't fertilize her. If your queen that you describe is already laying eggs, then you need to somehow produce a virgin queen, preferibly many, then select the darkest queen and mate her with the darker drones.

    I hope this helped.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Is queen color a dominant trait?

    Yes, it helps. Aside from artificial insemination, or, over populating the drone spectrum with black, drones, it is pretty much what ever open mating produces. I'm thinking about a round of queens to over winter some Nucs. Might punch a few of her eggs to see what happens. Does that make it recessive I guess?
    Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Sherburne, MN, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Is queen color a dominant trait?

    You will know if it's recessive if most of the offspring are different in color. If it is a dominant trait it will produce black bees most of the time. It can be hard to determine if it is either because the queen mates with so many drones. It's more like a guideline.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,701

    Default Re: Is queen color a dominant trait?

    Gotcha,,,,What I do not understand is how it plays into queens being heterozygous, and drones homozygous. I know enough to know I don't understand.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Sherburne, MN, USA
    Posts
    58

    Default Re: Is queen color a dominant trait?

    Queens are heterozygous because they have both a mother and a father as they come from a fertilized egg. Drones are homozygous because they only have a mother as they come from unfertilized eggs. The drones still pass genes down, but only the ones of their mother. Queens pass genes down from their mother and father. So, only during every other generation (when new drones are added) will it affect the gene pool (assuming you use the same hive every year and they make their own queens). By always adding more or keeping black drones in the yard, you will eventually get black bees. I'll try and find you a chart I once saw to help understand this.

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