Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 35

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Carlton,WA,USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Does colony have a sub-family preference in raising queens?

    I have been puzzling over whether colonies tend to favor larvae from one or more sub-families to raise queens from.

    Assume ten drone mates, we have ten sub-families. If one has a distinct genetic resistance to an outside threat such as disease or parasite, it will have a higher survival rate. Thus, over time, its percentage of the worker population will increase, say to 20%.

    But the queen still lays eggs from that family at a 10% rate. Is there any evidence or studies that shows the bees have any feedback method that increases the odds of the successful sub-family in raising queens?

    Note that from my experience rearing queens, I would say no. They will accept larvae from any source. BUT most queen rearing is started under the emergency impulse, which is actually rare in nature. In a crisis, they may not be selective, and accept whatever larvae might save the hive.

    Given the luxury of time, as in swarming or supercedure, perhaps they are more selective.

    It is beyond the scope of a simple post, but this would help explain to me why drone laying is suppressed in a queenright hive. Darwin was extremely troubled by haplodiploidy and I am not convinced by Hamilton’s explanation.
    Last edited by MethowKraig; 01-30-2013 at 04:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,025

    Default Re: Does colony have a sub-family preference in raising queens?

    From Dr. John Connor's Bee Sex Essentials, "efforts to show that super-sisters favor queens from their sub-family over half-sister queens have failed to show there is a clear and significant bias." However, he also notes research which has shown that bees from the same sub-family can recognize each other, and that division of labor within the hive often corresponds to these sub-families (patrilines).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Carlton,WA,USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Does colony have a sub-family preference in raising queens?

    Any actual scientific studies?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: Does colony have a sub-family preference in raising queens?

    MethowKraig - I'll shoot an email off to Doc (Dr. Lawrence John Connor) and ask about his bibliography for a starter reading list. My intuition says some patrilines will be more "popular" than others - and I'll bet the tendency starts early, favoring certain grubs when food is scarce, especially during supercedure response, etc., but I'd rather read a study and repeat an experiment, or design a new one and let the bees tell me the answer, any time!

    I may send a few emails around the universities and Randy Oliver and others and see what studies are out there. Good question, good post! This is right at the core of rearing quality queens, especially for those of us who are running colony trait tests, mixing and concentrating semen from desirable drones, and getting into I.I. Thank you for starting this one!

    Indypartridge - perhaps you could post a list from the bibliography of LJC's Bee Sex Essentials...?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Carlton,WA,USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Does colony have a sub-family preference in raising queens?

    Here is the basic conundrum:

    Given a stable population of colonies (pre-human influence), a single queen will, on average, produce one successful daughter queen.

    For ease of the math, assume an average of ten drones per typical colony, thus ten sub-families each colony.

    First problem: 90% of genetic material contributed by drones is "dead-ended" at the colony because 9 out of ten sub-families do not produce a queen.

    Also, note that each queen will, on average, have ten drone sons that contribute genetic material to other colonies. But only 10% of those drones will actually be lucky enough to have a daughter queen.

    Second problem: Without going into the math of Hamilton's "relatedness index," if you multiply relatedness by the 10% success rate, the result is that drone laying workers would be a far more effective way of passing on genetic material. This method would also increase genetic diversity dramatically because the male side of the genome would be passed on. It would also be directly influenced by the sub-familiy's success rate. The more workers the more drones.

    Third problem: Drone laying workers are the hive's last resort effort to pass on its genetics. They have tried supercedure. They have tried emergency rearing. The only thing left is drone laying workers. Given that the math says otherwise, there must be some extreme danger in this method of reproduction. What is the danger?

    In summary, only when genetic material gets into the queen is it passed on in the lineage. Having a good drone mate or two and thus a successful colony is dead ended most of the time.

    UNLESS, as I noted in my start of this thread, there is some sort of feed back mechanism to increase the success rate of queen rearing for the best sub-families.

    If the workers do not exhibit a preference, perhaps it is the queen herself. The increase in the sub-family pheromone, resulting from more viable workers surviving, could influence her directly.
    Last edited by MethowKraig; 01-30-2013 at 01:39 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,496

    Default Re: Does colony have a sub-family preference in raising queens?

    Quote Originally Posted by MethowKraig View Post
    .... But only 10% of those drones will actually be lucky enough to have a daughter queen.
    From evolution point of view, it is very high success rate!

    Quote Originally Posted by MethowKraig View Post
    ...In summary, only when genetic material gets into the queen is it passed on in the lineage.
    I am not sure I understood this. In my understanding, the drones determines the lineage because they are haploid and thus, "pure line". In queen, since she is diploid, Mendel's law would work efficiently "diluting" the lineage: only 25% will keep lineage in each generation (1/4 of 1/4 in 2nd and so on). Because many drones inseminate the queen, it is really difficult to keep lineage via queen. In this sense, drones are "lineage" keepers.

    Very interesting topic. I wish to know more on this subject. Selection may be at the queen and/or nurse-bees level. It is easy to imagine that nurse-bees could have some preferences who to choose to rise. From another hand, at normal circumstances, it is a queen who lays the egg into queen cell. It is known (?) that queen may choose the semen to be used - particularly from africanized drones. I do not know if queen could segregate semen from all drones participated in insemination or most of the semen is mixed?

    Sergey
    Серёжа, Sergey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Carlton,WA,USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Does colony have a sub-family preference in raising queens?

    Quote Originally Posted by MethowKraig View Post
    Darwin was extremely troubled by haplodiploidy and I am not convinced by Hamilton’s explanation.
    I used the wrong word. Should be, "Darwin was troubled by eusocial behavior." Eusocial behavior means some of the females give up reproducing to help the queen.

    However, it is interesting to note that Bees belong to the Hymenoptora Order, along with ants and wasps. The entire order reproduces by haplodiploidy (haploid males). There seems to be a link between haploidiploidy and social behavior. Almost all social insects are in the Hymenoptera Order. The one big exception is termites.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Carlton,WA,USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Does colony have a sub-family preference in raising queens?

    Sergey,

    The queen is inseminated by many drones and thus her colony is influenced by many drones. However, only sub-family lines that actually produce a queen extend their drone's influence. If only one or two sub-families produce a queen, the other drone lines are at a dead end in the colony.

    "Met-How" Kraig

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,496

    Default Re: Does colony have a sub-family preference in raising queens?

    Quote Originally Posted by MethowKraig View Post
    ... If only one or two sub-families produce a queen, the other drone lines are at a dead end in the colony.
    Agree. I think my wording was not good - I meant that two "pure" lineages (mother/father) presented only in the drones the queen produced- each drone in the hive inherited ether mother or father haploid set of genes. Each drones from worker bees (assuming random semen) would have one out of many genotype presented in the inseminated queen (plus mother's set). I agree that only one drone preserved the lineage via the queen, but it is happened in any diploid organisms.
    The subject of this thread is much more interesting if bees could recognize and possibly select the beneficial (?) genotype (or phenotype?).
    Sergey
    Серёжа, Sergey

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: Does colony have a sub-family preference in raising queens?

    I'm in the beginning of trying to design an/some experiment(s). Using the centrifuge, homogenize the semen of two drones at a time, one having a visible trait such as Cordovan or Chartreuse Eyes, and the other not having the chosen visible trait. Instrumentally inseminate one group of queens with the visible trait and one group of queens without. Put the resulting queens in observer hives and keep quantitative records of resulting bees and daughter queens. Watch for and record as many behaviors related to patrilines / sub-families as you can think of.

    Suggestions are welcome.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: Does colony have a sub-family preference in raising queens?

    Sergey - a point of interest regarding if the semen is mixed. Instrumental insemination can utilize "homogenized" semen from multiple drones by putting the various semen samples into a centrifuge and spinning them all together, or semen directly collected from drones, unmixed. I doubt that nature mixes it as thoroughly as 20 G's in a centrifuge, but the question is a good one.

    I do remember reading a study that said that several queens that had been instrumentally inseminated were observed going out on a mating flight anyways (after I.I.), and that many did not. Your question makes me wonder if laboratory mixing being different than "Mother Nature mixing" (and perhaps number of drone matings) has anything to do with an I.I. queen's behavior as contrasted to a naturally mated queen's behavior.

    Either way, if Mama Queen has some kind of control over which husband's sperm she's laying, that would seem a surprise - but it is not out of the realm of possibility.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Carlton,WA,USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Does colony have a sub-family preference in raising queens?

    Quote Originally Posted by MethowKraig View Post
    Third problem: Drone laying workers are the hive's last resort effort to pass on its genetics. They have tried supercedure. They have tried emergency rearing. The only thing left is drone laying workers. Given that the math says otherwise, there must be some extreme danger in this method of reproduction. What is the danger?
    Let me propose a hypothesis for the danger in drone laying workers. I will call it the "arms race restriction."

    If one sub family has 1% of its workers laying drones, the incentive will be for the second to have 2%, etc. Very quickly, within a dozen or so generations, the drone population will be dominated by one or two drone lines. This will feed back as a reduction in sex alleles and brood failure due to diploid drones.

    The same would be true if a sub family is preferential to raising its own queens.

    The success of the colony would seem to depend on the complete suppression of any competition between families. After all, by its very nature, competition would tear apart the very cooperation that makes a beehive successful.

    However, this still leaves open the concept of the queen having an influence. Sergey noted there is evidence of queens being preferential to africanized drone semen. Perhaps queens have been influencing survival all along but it was just never noticed.

    Maybe she really is a "Queen" and not just an egg laying machine!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: Does colony have a sub-family preference in raising queens?

    Quote Originally Posted by MethowKraig View Post

    Assume ten drone mates, we have ten sub-families. If one has a distinct genetic resistance to an outside threat such as disease or parasite, it will have a higher survival rate. Thus, over time, its percentage of the worker population will increase, say to 20%.
    I think this intra-hive evolutionary force of sub-family attrition through natural selection due to stresses will have a lot to do with who gets to become queen over an acceptible evolutionary time period.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Carlton,WA,USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Does colony have a sub-family preference in raising queens?

    Charlie,

    I think this thread got sidetracked on the LW issue. I agree with how you describe LW's as they are now. I was trying to understand why honeybees evolved that way.

    But going back to the original topic. Given a hive with an exceptionally healthy sub family. In my example, growing from 10% to to 20% of the population through attrition of the other bees. It seems like there must be some mechanism for the hive to take advantage of this.

    I can think of only two possibilities. Either could be controlled by pheromones.

    1. Nurse bees influence the outcome of queen larvae by favoring the thriving family when raising queens.
    2. The queen influences the outcome by favoring the family's sperm when laying in a queen cell.

    Sounds like the first may have been studied but not the second.

    I wish some experts would weigh in on this thread. Do you have any contacts with better minds than ours?

    Thanks for your thoughts. Always enjoy your posts.

    Kraig

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: Does colony have a sub-family preference in raising queens?

    Dr. Larry Connor emailed me back, saying that there were conflicting results. He gave a brief list of study leads from the entomologists at UC Davis, Berkley, North Carolina State, and some names to look for - Harry Laidlaw, Robert Page, Radniks, others, David Tarpy, Otto Mackenson - and suggested that I ask Dr. Tom Rinderer at Baton Rouge Bee Lab. I have not yet heard back from Dr. Rinderer. It could be a while searching these studies without titles, but the topic is interesting.

    My guess would be that hypothesis #1 is indeed worthy of investigating if it has not been done already, and that possibly in hypothesis #2 that Daddy Drone may have flavored his own sperm with whatever nectar / pollen beer his working ladies fed him, along with his mama's gene mix.

    And Ojai, CA is in Ventura County (Just "North" err, West, really of LA) about 12 miles inland from the city of Ventura. I'm a short ways out in the sticks from Ojai.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 02-01-2013 at 08:57 PM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: Does colony have a sub-family preference in raising queens?

    Quote Originally Posted by MethowKraig View Post
    Charlie,

    ...But going back to the original topic. Given a hive with an exceptionally healthy sub family. In my example, growing from 10% to to 20% of the population through attrition of the other bees. It seems like there must be some mechanism for the hive to take advantage of this.

    I can think of only two possibilities. Either could be controlled by pheromones.

    1. Nurse bees influence the outcome of queen larvae by favoring the thriving family when raising queens.
    2. The queen influences the outcome by favoring the family's sperm when laying in a queen cell.

    Sounds like the first may have been studied but not the second.

    I wish some experts would weigh in on this thread. Do you have any contacts with better minds than ours?...

    Kraig
    regarding this in post #17...let us exaggerate your percentages to more clearly illustrate what probably happens most of the time.

    Suppose one patriline (sub-family with the same daddy) has a far superior genetic advantage, say 66.7% survival rate against some very real stressor pathogen, while nine other patrilines bite the dust in great numbers, say 99% death rate. Now the question of "Who gets all the royal jelly?" is a mathematical no-brainer. We expect the patriline with the superior tolerance will be around 66.6 times more likely to count a successful new queen from their numbers than any other patriline, especially in an emergency response. Statistics strongly and consistently going against this tide would suggest a tendency toward favoritism of some kind (probably while dooming the hive) and would most certainly perk up the numeric sense of any good scientist.

    That nurse bees can recognize super-sisters is very likely. That they spend even slightly more time attending super-sister larvae is somewhat probable, and therefore the more likely to be researched.

    The queen somehow "knowing" whose sperm is passing while fertilizing is probably less likely, some researchers might consider the idea to be preposterous, so it is less likely to be researched. It remains a possibility until someone disproves it.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: Does colony have a sub-family preference in raising queens?

    Quote Originally Posted by MethowKraig View Post
    ....Darwin was extremely troubled by haplodiploidy and I am not convinced by Hamilton’s explanation.
    Kraig - I understand you backed off from the haplodiploidy wording for eusocial behavior, but could you expound a bit further regarding Darwin and Hamilton? Again, this is interesting stuff.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Carlton,WA,USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Does colony have a sub-family preference in raising queens?

    Go to:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_eusociality

    The basis of Hamilton's thesis for the evolution of eusocial behavior is that a worker gives up her ability to reproduce because her own offspring would be related by 1/2 but helping her mother queen produces super-sisters that are related by 3/4.

    Where Hamilton breaks down for me is she is also cooperating in raising half-sisters and drone brothers who are related only by 1/4.

    This is noted in the above reference under: Current Therories: Haplodiploidy/Kin selection in the statement, "Other problems with this theory are when there are multiple males breeding with the queen then siblings are less related."

    So, that is why I am wondering why workers wouldn't have evolved to raise their own drones, which would be related by 1/2. Obviously, over evolutionary time, they would have evolved to be well fed, etc. You could imagine a system where the workers laid haploid drones and the queen laid diploid workers.

    There is some huge impediment to this happening. Again, I'm thinking there is some feedback mechanism, perhaps the sex allele, that stops this evolution.

    See my next post;
    Last edited by MethowKraig; 02-02-2013 at 10:26 AM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Carlton,WA,USA
    Posts
    129

    Default Re: Does colony have a sub-family preference in raising queens?

    Charlie,

    The favoring of queen larvae from the successful sub-family is a separate, but related, question to why the workers don't produce drones of their own.

    It seems likely to me that two forces are in play.

    1. There is an extreme danger of some sort in drone laying workers. Probably some sort of in-breeding danger.
    2. The advantage of cooperating with half sisters is in some mechanism that reinforces the genetic influence of the best sub-families.

    Exactly what the danger is in #1, and the feedback mechanism in #2 is, remains to be explored by scientists.

    Philosophically, I like the premise that is the queen who is pushing the sub-family advantage through the frequency of sub-family pheromones. If the workers are doing it, seems like it could set off an "arms race" within the hive that might threaten the very cooperation that is the basis of the honeybee's success.


    Kraig

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    960

    Default Re: Does colony have a sub-family preference in raising queens?

    Kraig - The drones are genetically clones (or perhaps "1/2 clones") of their mother, not their father, having been made from UN-fertilized eggs, so there are no 1/4-related nor 3/4-related bees. Daddy Drone's papa does not count. The evolutionary differences must be studied comparing and contrasting to their closest relatives in the hymnoptera group that reproduce differently. My guess is that the setup has a lot to do with queens not liking each other and killing by pre-emptive strike sting before their sister queens hatch or fighting to the death if they have both hatched. The system is dependent on the lone egg-layer, and is therefore susceptible to disaster, so groups that re-queen well (fast enough, often enough, and well-timed in the season, etc.) and those that developed Laying Workers had a survival advantage.

    Workers do not voluntarily "give up" their reproductivity, they are starved out of it before they are born by being fed "worker jelly", not royal jelly. Worker food is lower in sugars and proteins, requiring them to develop for 19 to 22 days, as opposed to 14 to 17 days for a queen.The ovarioles on the worker bees' ovaries are not developed - the ovaries are diminutive, and their pheromone production is minor, if even existent at all.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads