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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    945

    Thumbs down Back to square 1

    Every time I think I'm getting a handle on this, I discover how wrong I am.

    This time, can someone tell me which strains are hybrids and which ones breed true? Do any strains still breed true?

    I've been looking at VSH, Pol-line, Buckfast, Carnies, Italian. Am I missing anybody I should be looking at? I really would like to OCCASIONALLY breed a few queens with some chance of not loosing every good characteristic in the strain. I am just a small-time hobbyist with no thoughts of expanding into sidelining or full-fledged full-time. I'm retired and this was supposed to be the return to a FUN hobby, but I am starting to feel like Billy Crystal yelling, "I'm on vacation!" as he gets dragged by the steer in City Slickers!

    Thanks!

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,238

    Default Re: Back to square 1

    If you open mate your queens they will be bred by all kinds of different drones. You will not know what they are.

    If your package requeens it's self which happens most of the time, or your hive swarms you will have a virgin queen that will leave for mating flights.

    I and many others prefer the feral survivors over the commercial bees. Would much rather have an open mated queen.

    And I also believe the future of beek is in the feral survivors.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Back to square 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Hills Farm View Post
    I'm retired and this was supposed to be the return to a FUN hobby, but I am starting to feel like Billy Crystal yelling, "I'm on vacation!" as he gets dragged by the steer in City Slickers!
    Ha ha ha!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    3,044

    Default Re: Back to square 1

    New queens retain some traits passed on by their mother, depending on how they're mated you can get similar genetics. You must remember this will only hold true for the new queen, as she open mates, her offspring (the workers) will have mixed traits depending on drone sources and will behave as such. You will not retain pure lines open mating unless you flood drones from the same lineage. use II, or are isolated.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: Back to square 1

    About the only purposeful hybrids that do not at all breed true, are now gone and would have been Starlines and Midnites. Some would say a Buckfast, and they are a cross, but not in the same way. The Starlines and Midnites were bred from special lines which were brought together at the end, like hybrid sweet corn. Buckfast is more of a mixed breed. It's not so much dependent on an F1 cross. But you may get something somewhat different on the next generation.

    The rest are pretty much breeds with those that are called crosses, just being guesses as to what the queen would likely breed with not two carefully contro
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,127

    Default Re: Back to square 1

    Hi Rusty it sounds like this has become rather of an issue for you and causing a bit of stress.

    Basically, as a guy with just a few hives, you don't need to give this too much thought. Russians, although mite resistant, can have other issues and should be regarded as something of a breed apart. There are differences between everything else, but not so marked as just about everything you get will be hybridised to a greater or lesser degree.

    Very difficult / impossible to get a true purebred. For you, just go with bees you like, whatever they might be called. You'll be looking for gentleness and productivity. Keep it simple.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    945

    Default Re: Back to square 1

    Very difficult / impossible to get a true purebred. For you, just go with bees you like, whatever they might be called. You'll be looking for gentleness and productivity. Keep it simple.
    Actually I'm not even concerned with productivity as much as I am trying to figure out how to hang on to the hygienic traits. My first package ever was Midnights from Weaver, so I understand about always having to go back to the breeder for queens. I was just hoping this time around to be able to breed a few of my own without loosing the hygienic traits I am so interested in encouraging. Sometimes it is a real hassle to have to send for a queen. What I'd like to do is breed a few and have a nuc or 2 on hand for emergencies.

    Can you tell how confused I am by all of this?

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,127

    Default Re: Back to square 1

    With all the efforts that have gone into breeding them, there are increasing amounts of hygeinic and resistant bees in the general population. So if you start with good bees & breed from that your chances are OK. Just try it see what happens.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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