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Thread: Breeder queens

  1. #1
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    Default Breeder queens

    So, here's my thought. Since one of the obvious reason to buy a breeder queen is to gather genetics from her to increase certain characteristics of the apiary, I was thinking on a "different" way to achieve this then normal.

    Typically the way I understand it is people raise daughters from the breeder, those mate with your drones and you have your next generation of queens. Well what if we took the other route? I'm not exactly sure why but somehow I feel like there is just a lot of potential lost with that method. I consider myself a very small time queen breeder, so I have my own personal queens that are my breeder queens. Would I not achieve better results, and a better use of the genetics purchased in someone else's breeder queen if I were to take the drones from the purchased queens and inseminate daughters of my own stock?

    Here is my reasoning, what I consider a breeder for myself is obvious the closest thing to a "perfect" bee in my mind in my apiary at that time. The purchased breeder queens drones are an identical genetic copy of the queen (right?) so in my my mind that is the "purest" form of genetics I can receive from the queen. (By purest I mean how good the genetics are that that queen contain for the characteristics for which you bought her). So by taking that, and mating say, 20 virgins from my stock, evaluating then producing production queens from the top few I have propagated a better genetic makeup apiary wide then I would have using the more common method.

    I understand that the drones of the purchased breeder queen is inseminated with are carefully choose just like the queen, however, to me the mixing of the genetics can degrade the overall effectiveness of transferring the desirable traits over the large scale. For example (just numbers and nothing more) if you purchased a breeder that comprised of 90% being perfect honey producer and mated with drones of the same, there is ~20 error in perfection in her virgin daughters that is then compounded by the drones that virgin is mated to. Where else that factor is mitigated by using my virgin daughters and the purchased breeders drones.

    Yes it can be done the other way around, but my genetics are already in my apiary, I want to pull out as much as possible as efficiently as possible and as quick as possible from the breeder that is purchased that will eventually die, and cause some genetic (maybe characteristic would have been a better word this whole time?) loss to be taken with her death no matter how many offspring you produced from her.

    What's your guys thoughts? This is nothing scientific or fact based on my end, just some day dreaming gut feelings while at work, that I thought I'd share and get beesources opinion on.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Breeder queens

    interesting thought cheezer, and i look forward to seeing how the experts reply. my first thought is that if it is indeed important for a virgin to mate with multiple drones then using the drones from only one queen may not give enough 'mix'. i noticed that adamf makes semen available for those wanting to inseminate their own queens, i'm guessing that it would be a 'blend' from drones from multiple queens.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Breeder queens

    If you are after the drones produced by the breeder queens you intend to purchase...then, why not just buy virgin queens that are selected and scheduled for II by the breeder? Much cheaper and they will produce the drones you want, even if they open mate in your apiary or however else they get mated...or if they don't mate, they will for sure be drone layers all the way.
    Might be a bit tough to keep the colony going with a drone layer, but that's a different story.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Breeder queens

    Quote Originally Posted by apis maximus View Post
    If you are after the drones produced by the breeder queens you intend to purchase...then, why not just buy virgin queens that are selected and scheduled for II by the breeder?
    giving some thought to trying that next season.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Breeder queens

    Cheezer32 says...
    "The purchased breeder queens drones are an identical genetic copy of the queen (right?)"

    That is incorrect. The drone gets 16 of the queens 32 chromosomes. As far as I know, it's a varied 16 of the 32, so not all drone brothers are identical to each other. No drone is identical to his queen mother, as he only contains half of her chromosomes.

    This thread, with video link in first posting, may help you with your decision of using breeder queens as drone mothers instead of queen mothers in your operation...

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...-Breeding-Bees
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Breeder queens

    Are you planning to do artificial insemination using your drones in this scheme? If not, how do you insure that only the desired 20 drones mate with your queen?
    20 hives, 10 years, T and TF, All local stock

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Breeder queens

    I would raise daughter queens as well, which is why I would buy a mates breeder queen, a lot more material to pull into the breeding pull.

    Ray: Good information, ad after reading it, it makes even more sense to do it this way or what I am trying to achieve.

    Hi real: my breeder queens may or may not have been inseminated for this scenario, but they will have been field tests over time for the traits that I'm wishing to achieve. So by inseminatin daughter queen I'm hoping that I will find a desirable match of genetics to then continue improvement upon.

    For what I'm trying to accomplish I want to isolate particular characteristics of the bees with no regard to overall hive health or other characteristics. I am only focusing on bringing out that ONE trait so understanding the makeups and how traits are passed really helps me achieve this. I know at first that may seem contrary, but I want to develop strains that are perfect at only one thing and may otherwise my useless or unproductive, and see through several different mixing/mating/generational scenarios how the makeups change/differ get passed along get skipped replaced etc. I know that in theory this work has kind of been done by someone at one point in time, however I want to try several myself to see what happens and help develop a personal understanding about everything, to me an understanding of the working is much better than knowledge of how it works. Vastly different terms IMO.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Breeder queens

    I've found through the years that having a good drone mother colony in my mating yard gives me much better well mated queens. I think you have a good idea Cheezer, good luck.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Breeder queens

    As a breeder, I use multiple routes. I breed queens on a basis of high overall score over a number of traits, I breed drones on a basis of high overall score and high score of male-passed traits, I use both I.I and open mating. Of course, there is LOTS OF RECORD KEEPING involved.

    Each I.I. mating is focusing on one trait at a time, and of course the progress is made in the repeating of the process generation by generation, but the stock is started with high-scoring colonies.

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