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  1. #61
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    i'm open to learning more about this.

    here's how one could create a bottleneck if they wanted to:

    start with just one hive and build it up to a strong double deep and try to have a few drone frames. split the queen out of the hive and make a two frame nuc. let the hive raise 9 good queen cells, and make 9 more nucs up out of it, for a total of 10 hives deriving from that one queen. be sure and locate these far away from any other bees.

    if the mating occurs mostly with the drones from the parent hive. all of the bees will be so inbred, or bottlenecked, that the diversity would be all but lost.

    in this extreme, and anything that approximates it, you should get marked bottlenecking.

    for most operations, especially those around forested areas, i think you would have to try awfully hard to achieve a bottleneck.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  2. #62
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    my bee suppier raises all of his bees from 2 or 3 queen mothers per year. his bees were derived from 6 feral cut outs, 14 years ago, near his location. there are probably many dozens of feral colonies mating with his queens. he has never used any treatment of any kind ever. he sells a couple of hundred queens and nucs each year. they consistantly perform beyond expections, with an ocassional dink of course.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  3. #63
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    after just a few generations you lose so much genetic material...
    How do you lose genetic material? If there is a different amount of genetic material, you either have a severe mutation or a different species. I hope you are only mistaken in terms.


    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    considering there is usually one item selecting for survival.
    There are many. VSH is a trait that varies wildly in survivor bees. Any given bee needs many traits to survive unless you plan on feeding them everything they eat and medicating for every pestilence, heating the hive in winter, cooling it in summer, providing pre-drawn comb and too many more to list.


    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i think you would have to try awfully hard to achieve a bottleneck.
    Yes, and who would want to? It certainly has precious little to do with real life beekeeping.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #64
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    probably no one would want to, but they might inadvertently achieve it if trying to turn one hive into 10, with no outside drones.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #65
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Okay, so who has no outside drones?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  6. #66
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    hmmm, good point sol.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #67
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    I think what I picked up this weekend was that when you select you narrow. When you choose certain traits you may lose others thereby bottlenecking. Does that make sense? I'm not sure.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  8. #68
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    it does to a point. the problem is all of the traits you are getting anyway regardless of the 'one' you are selecting for.

    personally, i am selecting for successful happy bees.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #69
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Letting bees alone to deal with disease is not selecting too narrow. It's the very description of what bees do naturally. Where we could possibly get into trouble is if we breed for only one other trait, like honey production or gentleness or VSH or something. I've heard of queens so VSH that they can't brood properly and have to be supported by adding brood all the time. Is that what people are thinking about when they ask this question (the thread)? It's not like that at all. That's very artificial. Bond method is natural, it's what real bees do, setting aside all the other things we do to them of course.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  10. #70
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    i bet that's what they were talking about sol.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  11. #71
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    How do you lose genetic material? If there is a different amount of genetic material, you either have a severe mutation or a different species. I hope you are only mistaken in terms.
    I'm not mistaken.

    I was referring to the genetic pool as a whole. If you have 20 colonies existing within a given area, and all 20 of those have slightly different genetic material, it is highly likely that several of those hives will contain a specific set of genetic combinations that none of the other hives contain. By eliminating 18 out of 20 of those hives, then rebreeding from the remaining two, you wreak havoc on the potential gene pool.

    Or so Marla says. I tried to dispute otherwise. Who knows.


    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    There are many.
    You misinterpreted my comment.

    If you have high varroa populations, then you lose a number of colonies, you've just experienced one item that reduced your gene pool. The same would hold true for a severe nosema infection. Your colonies don't magically disappear from a number of mysterious diseases, infections, viruses or parasites. You lose each colony to one infection. One disease. One parasite. Multiple factors may have weakened the colony, but multiple factors didn't kill the colony. One factor did. That's the selecting factor.

  12. #72
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    so who has no outside drones?
    Moving from one hive to ten with no outside drones is the extreme situation. Let me give you a more likely one.

    Say you start with 10 colonies, and there are another 20 within mating distance of your hive. Assuming all 30 colonies are headed by different genetic backgrounds, any given queen has no option but to mate with a drone of a different genetic background (unless of course the drone is from the same hive, making him a brother). If a virgin mates with 12 drones, and 29 hives are of different lineages, the odds are greatly in favor that she will introduce new genes other than those she currently has. Now, if you requeen your other 9 colonies with your most productive hive, all 10 colonies are headed by similar (not identical, due to haploid/diploid birth) genetic material. Now the odds of any given virgin mating with similar genetic material increases to 1 in 3 (as 10 of the available 30 hives are sisters). Those 10 similar hives now produce drones that are very similar, which mate with the offspring of the 20 feral colonies, causing them to be more like your hives than they originally were. Then you increase your 10 hives to 30 hives, using sister queens from your most productive hive. Now the odds are actually greater that your virgin will mate with a related drone than with one of the "feral" drones. The entire time, skewing the curve toward inbreeding, and selecting for an isolation of genetic material. If the queen that you selected to head your 30 hives didn't contain a desired gene (mite chewing behavior, excessively developed ovaries, good wax capping patterns), the odds are that you just removed that gene from the available gene pool. And the fight goes on.

    You said you couldn't see how a genetic bottlenecking could occur. The above is a very reasonable example of it occurring within 3 years.

    Yes, it is extremely rare that you will encounter 0 outside drones. But, if you aren't careful you may have 98% of the drones in a 5 mile radius be from your hives (and all brothers). That (in genetic terms) is very close to having 0 outside drones available.

  13. #73
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    that's the case that approximates the extreme case. i would not personally requeen the majority of my apiary from one queen mother. but i can see how someone might give that a try.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  14. #74
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Actually due to the other genetic factors. the mating of a queen to it's brother is about the same thing as a female mating with it's own half clone. You can pretty much consider the drones clones of the queen that produced them. This does have the effect that bees have figured out how two females can mate and produce offspring. ever thought of that? The true Amazon.

    Anyway this woudl result in a drastic in breeding effect and it is highly likely such genetic pairings could survive. The offspring woudl be subject to a wide variety of mutations and deformities.

    In addition queens do not mate with just one drone. making it even more unlikely that every mating would be with a brother. There are other factors that prevent the likelihood that brother and sister will mate but they are not as well known and as far as I know not as well supported. One of them is that drones and queens travel significantly different distances during mating flights. As much as a two mile difference from some sources I have seen.

    It is still pretty amazing that the bees has managed in effect to figure out how to get female to mate with a female via a surrogate carrier of one of the females genes and produce offspring.

    One very interesting point in all this. Where did that female gene come from? If the queen only has a male gene. how did it become a female gene in the drone. I suspect the queen actually has a female and a male gene. but to produce a female bee (worker) it requires two doses of female genes. One from the queen and one from the drone to produce a female bee. So in actuality the drone is an exact clone of the queen except that it has only one female gene resulting in a male offspring.

    I may very well be wrong but if I am right then the genetic make up of a queen woudl be XY X being male Y being female. The genetic makeup of a drone, any and all drones are also XY. Remember a drone is genetically identical to the queen that produced it.

    So a queen that lays an unfertilized egg made an egg with XY chromosomes. Resulting in a male offspring. it takes two Y's to make a female. But when that males sperm is added to the egg of any queen you now have an XX YY chromosome. you now have the two y's required to produce a female and a female is the result. you do not end up with half females and half males because a double Y is dominant. This would demonstrate both dosage and dominant qualities of chromosomes.

    Another way it might possibly happen is that bees only have one sex gene. the queen has one. the drone has the other. in this case we will call the chromosome Y. one Y results in a male. two Y's result in a female. Again allowing every drone to be a clone of the queens genetics but when those genes are combined with the genes of another queen. female offspring are the result

    It also makes since that a female would have twice as many Y's (Whys) as a male. Women are always full of questions.

    Okay I am ducking now.
    Last edited by Daniel Y; 11-18-2012 at 06:29 AM.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  15. #75
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i would not personally requeen the majority of my apiary from one queen mother.
    But that was why Marla stated that a successful breeding operation couldn't exist with less than 100 colonies. Taking the top performing 1 colony and requeening all of your hives would spell disaster eventually. But what if you have 20 colonies and you requeen half with the top performing 4? Lets say you continued to do that for several years. If every year, one of the original four becomes "non-performing", and is replaced by a sister queen, within 3 years you've eliminated 87.5% (roughly) of the available genetic material from the mating pool. Continue on for a few more years and you are closer to a 98% removal.

    That is discounting colonies from outside your operation, but eventually, with enough growth, the drones from your colonies would flood the DCAs, which would turn the ferals into the same genetics as your hives, further inbreeding your operation.

  16. #76
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    fortunately, a queen will never mate with her own drone/clone offspring, because she has already mated before he was born.

    as far as mating with a brother goes, at best a virgin queen might find herself mating with an occasional half brother. even this half brother would like have got a different set of genes than his half sister, because when the queen's eggs are formed, the genetic material is a mix from both the egg and sperm that made her. i.e. every egg that the queen produces has it's own unique set of genes.

    in this species, the x and the y do not apply, it's haploid expression and diploid expression.

    i have learned recently the the cape bee can make more females by combining two sets of female gametes.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #77
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    Where did that female gene come from? If the queen only has a male gene.
    You are losing me Daniel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    then the genetic make up of a queen woudl be XY X being male Y being female. The genetic makeup of a drone, any and all drones are also XY. Remember a drone is genetically identical to the queen that produced it.
    That's not how it works. Female eggs (queens, workers) have 32 chromosomes. Male eggs (drones) have 16 chromosomes. The male can not carry all 32 chromosomes the queen had.

    http://www.glenn-apiaries.com/principles.html

  18. #78
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Is Daniel our new Francois Huber, declaring that there really are no male bees, only females? I think perhaps you are using too much imagination and not enough knowledge and understanding.

    What you wrote make no since to me.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  19. #79
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    But that was why Marla stated that a successful breeding operation couldn't exist with less than 100 colonies. Taking the top performing 1 colony and requeening all of your hives would spell disaster eventually. But what if you have 20 colonies and you requeen half with the top performing 4? Lets say you continued to do that for several years. If every year, one of the original four becomes "non-performing", and is replaced by a sister queen, within 3 years you've eliminated 87.5% (roughly) of the available genetic material from the mating pool. Continue on for a few more years and you are closer to a 98% removal.

    That is discounting colonies from outside your operation, but eventually, with enough growth, the drones from your colonies would flood the DCAs, which would turn the ferals into the same genetics as your hives, further inbreeding your operation.
    you may be right. i would have to sit down and trace it out on paper to see how that works, and i have not done that.

    but, let's look at the genetic diversity even in queen daughter 'sisters' from a given season of mating.

    if you made 10 new daughter queens from one queen mother, each one would be genetically unique.
    this is because each egg 'pulls' its genes randomly from the mother queen's two sets of genes to become one set in the egg, and because chances are that different drone sperm was used to fertilize each of the ten new daughters when they were conceived.

    it's the same way for the all of the drones that a given queen will make, in that they are not all identical genetically, because the egg that made them 'pulled' genes randomly from the queen's two sets.

    i'm not saying that you couldn't bottleneck a population. my opinion is that nature is providing enough possiblities for different genetic combinations to make that hard to happen.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  20. #80
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Very true, sp. A colony holds more genetic material than each individual bee. If a queen mates with 12 different drones, the colony as a whole can contain 24 different combinations of genes (assuming that a queen has 32 chromosomes, she gives 16 of them to workers (at random) along with another 16 from one of the 12 drones). But the percentages doesn't change. If each colony (for simplicity reasons) holds 24 different genetic combinations, and you have 10 colonies, you have the possibility of 240 different genetic combinations (although likely several of them would be duplicates). If you remove 9 colonies from the mix and requeen them from your surviving one colony, you are still removing 216 of the available 240 combinations, or 90%.

    The remaining 9 queens won't be genetic duplicates of the mother queen. And they won't individually mate with identical drones that mated with their sisters (or their mothers) making the odds of severe inbreeding reduced. But it doesn't mean it is eliminated. With enough successive selection, without introducing new genes, has the same effect whether you start with 10 genetic combinations or 240. It still gets reduced exponentially.

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