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  1. #181
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    I don't have an account to view the information above and don't have time to deal with it this morning. I did read the description an the idea of splitting and recombining hives.

    I did find it interested that it said. "This usually results in a new queen (adding to the gene pool from whatever source the drone came from) but if not you are usually better off.

    Taken at it's face value this is saying if you add to the gene pool you are taking a step backwards. You whee better off with what you had in the first place. If the queen from the split does not survive you have added nothing. If she does you have replaced half of your original genes with who knows what. I would have to see how he goes about fertilization of the new queen.

    Genetics are complicated in that you have confusing factors influencing confusing factors. and then throw in a healthy does of exceptions.

    There are the basics of how genes work. and then there are the specifics to any species.

    For example almost every known animal in the world has it's sex determined by only 2 genes. an X and a Y two X's means a female an X and a Y mean a male and only males can carry a Y. This creates a 50-50 chance of any offspring being a male or a female. But in bees this is not true. they have multiple genes and only a combination of two of the same or even one of the same results in a male. All others result in a female. this is the cause of the female dominated production of offspring. now for the exception. the queen can alter the chance of an egg receiving the same gene from the sperm by simply laying an egg with no contribution from the drone. she controls how many males will even be produced in a hive.

    If there are 19 genes in each drone that determine sex. and the queen mates with 10 drones. this means there is a pool of 190 possible genes that determine the sex of every fertile egg in the hive. The chance that a drone will result from a fertile egg is almost impossible.

    It it possible that with no selection process desirable traits will result? certainly. It is more likely you will get struck by lightening but it happens.

    Over 10,000 genes most of which are undesirable and by chance you will draw only a combination that is desirable.

    What if out of all of those 19 genes only one produces a top quality productive queen that passes that tendency toward top rate productivity to her daughters? You have less than 5% chance of drawing that gene. and even if you do you still have 169 additional draws to be just as lucky. You have to be lucky and get the right hygienic genes. and the right aggression genes. and a better set of smelling and taste genes. etc. etc. etc.

    Anyone ever tried to draw 140 straight winning hands at poker? Let me know when you have done it.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  2. #182
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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
    Taken at it's face value this is saying if you add to the gene pool you are taking a step backwards. You whee better off with what you had in the first place.
    Well, it depends what you are trying to do. If you are trying to fix traits in a population, adding genetics is a step backwards. If you are trying to add traits (or "roll the dice"), then adding genetics is a step forward.
    Any breeding program must have some kind of uniformity (color, temperament, behavior, production, etc) as a goal...which means that at some point, even if you are bringing in some new genetics, you have to largely work with what you have. A popluation with no fixed traits is random, and of little use for any kind of breeding (except for 'rolling the dice')


    But in bees this is not true. they have multiple genes and only a combination of two of the same or even one of the same results in a male. All others result in a female. this is the cause of the female dominated production of offspring. now for the exception. the queen can alter the chance of an egg receiving the same gene from the sperm by simply laying an egg with no contribution from the drone. she controls how many males will even be produced in a hive.
    ...except for the fact that larvae with homozygous sex determination genes are eaten by nurse bees within a few hours of the egg "hatching". Unless you work in a lab, you have never seen a diploid drone.
    ...therefore, the odds involving the sex determination gene has NOTHING to do with the abundance of females in a colony.
    If there are 19 genes in each drone that determine sex. and the queen mates with 10 drones. this means there is a pool of 190 possible genes that determine the sex of every fertile egg in the hive. The chance that a drone will result from a fertile egg is almost impossible.
    Daniel, I understand that you are trying to grasp this stuff, but this isn't true, and it isn't helpful.

    A gene resides at a specific location (loci) on a chromosome. An allele is a variation of a gene. In the case of sex determination in honeybees, there is ONE loci where the sex determination gene resides. There are 19 or so alleles of the sex determination gene...in that one location on the chromosome, one of 19 possible alleles is present.

    All of the sperm from a given drone is identical. If a queen mates with 10 drones, and each drone has a separate sex determination gene, then each female offspring will have 1 of those 10 alleles.
    On the queen side, she has 2 sets of chromosomes, and therefore, has two different alleles of the sex determination gene (they are not the same as one another, otherwise she would have been a diploid drone). Each egg she produces has one of these two alleles.
    So, each female offspring has one of the two sex determination genes that the queen has, and one of the 10 carried by the drones.
    If one of those drones had one of the alleles carried by the queen, then 1/2 of the female offspring fathered by that particular drone will be homozygous at the sex determination gene....1 in 20 (average) workers (or queens) will be diploid, and not viable.
    It it possible that with no selection process desirable traits will result? certainly. It is more likely you will get struck by lightening but it happens.
    Natural selection is a selection process...one that brought about virtually all the life you see around you. If one wants to keep bees, the most desirable trait is bees that are alive...without that, you can't do anything else.


    deknow

  3. #183
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    I don't follow.
    I was not aware that Bond Beekeepers did any grafting and raising of queens, selecting for traits other than survival.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  4. #184
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    If you ask nicely, they will be happy to tell you.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #185
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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
    Good beekeepers do not tolerate mean bees.

    Obviously you never met Paul Engelhardt. "I don't care what you call my bees, they make honey." He'd rather have mean bees that produce than gentle ones that don't produce as much. He was working w/ what he had.

    So, I think your statement about good beekeepers is too much a blanket statrement and doesn't take into consideration the commercial point of view very well.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  6. #186
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Perhaps you may not see it my way Mark, but I stand by my statement. I don't want to get off topic because this is interesting, but mean bees are a liability in many many ways.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  7. #187
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    I agree. But they can also be the best producers. One has to decide what is best for themselves.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  8. #188
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    One benefit of you much more experienced beekeepers is great stories of old so-and-so's who did things you ought not to do. Your experience as an inspector provides plenty of those.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  9. #189
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    We learn best from our mistakes. Sometimes from those of others.

    Thomas Jefferson's biographer just recently said, when asked about Jefferson's flaws, "I learn more from sinners than Saints." Or something like that.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  10. #190
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    Here is a short talk by Randy Quinn, who did much of the field work for the Starline and midnight queen operations.....talking about these same issues.
    http://www.beeuntoothers.com/CIG/ind...08/randy-quinn

    Deknow
    Thanks for this video. It seems there is a beautiful simplicity to some of the solutions for queen raising.

  11. #191
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    ....I also highly recommend this video, from the same conference. Kerstin Ebberston on sustainable breeding practices.

  12. #192
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Thank you Dean for the links. Interesting.

    I for one, would be interested in knowing what happened to SK's operation. After that long TF, what a disappointment. Did he breed from his stock that had the genitic traits he liked? he mentioned he brought in some new genitics a couple of times.

    Jim, can a 700-800 hive operation become sustainable by breeding from your own stock, and importing genitics you wish to have, also as a secondary source of sustainability? I have tried MP's system of overwintering nucs whith great sucess. The weak ones, queen gets squished, back to a nuc with new queen added. I guess that's not "live and let Die" is it?

    Sol, hot hives have been some of my best producers, no fun to handle, but when production is by the barrel, you deal with it. I don't like it, but production is the goal. I make a note, and requeen when time allows. I watched a old forum member, (Tecumseh), get hit 12 times on the thumb, in the same place, over and over. I grabbed my gloves, but he is tough.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Stonefly7

  13. #193
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Like Sol, I just want to remind the thread that I'm talking about the Bond method as it would likely be used by a beekeeper - not as it might have been used in an isolated experiment. I'm not thinking of survival as the only method of selection, but as a response to treating for mites - one which any truly "treatment free" practitioner would be doing.

    Of course, you're still going to requeen an agressive hive, and you're going to select from more productive queens for grafting, etc. In practice, it wouldn't be a totally hands-off selection process.

    I do understand any confusion, though...

    Adam

  14. #194
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stonefly7 View Post
    Sol, hot hives have been some of my best producers, no fun to handle, but when production is by the barrel, you deal with it. I don't like it, but production is the goal. I make a note, and requeen when time allows.
    I understand. Even the illustrious Solomon Parker waits until after the flow to requeen. But I do requeen, and so do you. And that's good. The neighbors often have small children.

    This reminds me of some bee guru who once said he had create an AFB resistant strain of bees. They weren't good for much else, but they could clean up AFB like nobody's business. The same used to be said of treatment-free bees, they survived, but no honey and mean. But with everything, you get what you breed for, generally speaking. Survival is bred for by the bees, and I only make increase from hives that make honey and that I can work in the rain with no smoke. That rain part may or may not be literal depending on inspection day, but you get what I mean.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  15. #195
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stonefly7 View Post
    I for one, would be interested in knowing what happened to SK's operation. After that long TF, what a disappointment. Did he breed from his stock that had the genitic traits he liked? he mentioned he brought in some new genitics a couple of times.
    I often let the bees raise their own queens via supercedure or walk away splits. Occasionally I would graft.

    But I always selected from my "best" colonies, placing an emphasis on 1) survivability, 2) gentleness, and 3) honey production. In that order.

    I would occasionally import queens from other locations. When I did, I'd strive to find treatment free local queens (or VSH queens), or the best you could find of treatment free queens at the time. The goal was to add some genetics into the gene pool that my "survivors" didn't have (such as VSH or Hygenic traits). I'd observe for a year or so to see how they worked before I'd graft from them though.

    I never did mite counts. I viewed it as a waste of time. If they survived with high mite counts, they still survived. If they died with low mite counts, they still died.

  16. #196
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    I have a very hot, very productive hive. I certainly do not intend to use this hive as a source of new queens. I suppose if I breed from other hives, the drones from the hot hive will continue to pass on some of their characteristics.

    The weak ones, queen gets squished, back to a nuc with new queen added. I guess that's not "live and let Die" is it?
    That is a form of live and let die, since the queen provides all of the genetic material in the hive. Killing the queen is the same as letting the colony die. They will all die in a couple of months anyway and will be replaced by offspring of the new queen.

    Ted

  17. #197
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    i am still trying to understand the reasoning behing letting a hive completely die out.

    i get the part about not propagating weakness and vunerablility to pests and pathogens. but it seems like requeening would take care of that, and without loosing the whole colony, (and setting it up for possible robbing and the spread of the problem to nearby colonies).

    is the hive allowed to die out completely so that is has had it every chance possible to overcome the problem, thereby proving it did indeed have the right stuff?

    is it usually in the late fall or winter when they collapse, thereby making it difficult or impossible to requeen?

    is there another reason i haven't considered?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  18. #198
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Sol, illustrious huh! Sometime I will share with you my chasing of genitics with my Rhode Island Reds and New Hampshire Reds. All for the bloody egg.

    SK, I am glad you are back at it. Are you going to attempt any management changes this time. We have all been there. I try not to allow any supersedure or do walkaways. After gleaning from MP, KW and Br.A, I want to control that process as close as I can. I believe queen source may play a large part in the demise of many of our hives. Top three selection traits, 1. Fecundity 2. Survivability (same as resistance to disease) 3 Production. If you have the first two, the third will fall in place unless darth of flow or weather snaps.

    I don't do mite counts either, not interested. The weak ones are weak for a reason. Don't care, squish and back to the nuc yards.

    Kind regards
    Stonefly7

  19. #199
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by taydeko View Post
    I suppose if I breed from other hives, the drones from the hot hive will continue to pass on some of their characteristics.
    I was concerned about that with my hot hive this spring. They were exceedingly good at producing drones.

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    is the hive allowed to die out completely so that is has had it every chance possible to overcome the problem, thereby proving it did indeed have the right stuff? is it usually in the late fall or winter when they collapse, thereby making it difficult or impossible to requeen?
    Yes to both. Now that I am producing a significant number of my own queens, any requeening is done in the late spring in hives already not having brought any honey in and/or failed to build up. I didn't used to do requeening at all, only splitting and dying.

    I see your point though, it's less utilitarian, and I'm doing it less. But going into fall, there's just nothing to be done.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  20. #200
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    Default Re: Live and Let Die - Do you really reduce the gene pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stonefly7 View Post
    Sol, illustrious huh! Sometime I will share with you my chasing of genitics with my Rhode Island Reds and New Hampshire Reds. All for the bloody egg.
    I would love to hear that story, I'm a hobbyist chicken farmer myself. Perhaps in a different thread, in a different forum.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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