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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Carlton,WA,USA
    Posts
    132

    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.

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