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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    770

    Default Re: Would drone confinement help?

    MB: Thanks much for the link to a drone trap --- I think this is what I need for limiting the unwanted drones during mating and these appear easy to make. If all I had were queens producing drones with the varroa resistant genetics, I would not need to trap the "bad" drones. But, out of 10 hives maybe 4 have the needed mite resistance. Out of the 4, after very careful analysis of how they are handling the mites, I will graph queens from 2. To the extent possible, these virgin queens will be mated with the feral drone population which appears to be thriving in spite of the varroa mites, etc.

    In case anyone doesn't know about this, there is a new iPhone/ipad app that maps the location of feral hives. I found a link to a web site regarding this subject on the NCSU Apiculture site discussing Dr. Delaney's project. The link is www.SaveTheHives.com. The app author is Ronnie Bouchon, a friend, but I have not financial interest.
    Triangle Bees

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    SOMERSET, ENGLAND
    Posts
    354

    Default Re: Would drone confinement help?

    Quote Originally Posted by db_land View Post
    I think this is what I need for limiting the unwanted drones during mating and these appear easy to make.
    What are you intending to do, put it on in the spring when the first drone brood is seen, and leave it on until you finnish queen rearing?

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    770

    Default Re: Would drone confinement help?

    Yes --- unfortunately, at this point, that appears to be the only way to eliminate the undesirable drone genetics from mating. If I could neuter the drones as they leave the hive, that would accomplish the same thing, but I don't know of a way to do that.

    Another approach would be to flood the mating area with drones having the desired genetics, but I don't have the resources to produce the needed quantities and I don't think package bee providers sell 3 or 4 lb packages of mite resistant drones.
    Triangle Bees

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    SOMERSET, ENGLAND
    Posts
    354

    Default Re: Would drone confinement help?

    Move the hives away with the undesirable drones, leaving the good ones, trying to confine drones for most of a season is not good..

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    salisbury, wiltshire, united kingdom
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Would drone confinement help?

    Just another idea DB, do you have anyone within range of you that does have resistant colonies, if so could you do a deal and take droneless mating nucs with virgin queen to them for mating, just an idea

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    salisbury, wiltshire, united kingdom
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Would drone confinement help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    Aren´t you using Dartmoor station?
    Juhani, I have been full of intention to use Dartmoor, the excellent beekeeper that has the permissions to use it has offered but its about 145 miles from me and unfortunately I do a full time job as well as keep bees, I have the boxes, breeder queens but as of last year not the time, this year well hopefully if the offer is still open

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    SOMERSET, ENGLAND
    Posts
    354

    Default Re: Would drone confinement help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    Aren´t you using Dartmoor station?
    Sherberton on Dartmoor, i use this place and another for isolated matings.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    salisbury, wiltshire, united kingdom
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Would drone confinement help?

    Quote Originally Posted by beekuk View Post
    Sherberton on Dartmoor, i use this place and another for isolated matings.
    You don't know how lucky you are with a choice of isolated sites in this little country Beekuk

  9. #29

    Default Re: Would drone confinement help?

    To test possible mating station locations:

    Make ready 5 mating units, food, bees, virgin queen, but be sure that there are no drone bees. Take them to the location been tested and wait 3-4 weeks. If there are no laying queens after this period and the weather has been normal (couple of sunny days too), the place is excellent. I would say, that even if there is one (1/5) queen laying, the location is good for isolated matings.
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    770

    Default Re: Would drone confinement help?

    What are the criteria mite-resistant queen breeders use to evaluate/select queens/colonies for further breeding and/or as drone/queen source colonies? Mr. Ron Hoskins (Swindon Honeybee Conservation Group) uses the following approach: Collect and closely examine on a daily basis the hive debris found on the SBB insert. Examine with a amgnifier and or dissecting microscope. Look for damaged mites from bee bites; look for removed bee-larvae parts (antenae, etc); look for baby/immature mites among the debris.

    I would like to hear what other breeders use as mite-resistant selection criteria. Thanks
    Triangle Bees

  11. #31

    Default Re: Would drone confinement help?

    Quote Originally Posted by db_land View Post
    What are the criteria mite-resistant queen breeders use to evaluate/select queens/colonies for further breeding and/or as drone/queen source colonies? Mr. Ron Hoskins (Swindon Honeybee Conservation Group) uses the following approach: Collect and closely examine on a daily basis the hive debris found on the SBB insert. Examine with a amgnifier and or dissecting microscope. Look for damaged mites from bee bites; look for removed bee-larvae parts (antenae, etc); look for baby/immature mites among the debris.

    I would like to hear what other breeders use as mite-resistant selection criteria. Thanks
    From 2001 to 2008, while we were gradually diminishing the treatment, breeder queens and drone lines were selected from the best hives with the lowest mite counts(dropped with oxalic acid).
    From 2009 on they have been selected from the best hives with the lowest mite counts (measured by sugar roll).

    Emphasis has been survival, that is for sure. Not much more criteria is possible. In one time, I thought, that this was leading to extreme angriness, but later it was discovered that this was a phenomena caused by the huge mite loads, the bees were having then. Afterwards their behavior has normalized.
    Care has been taken to take grafts from various lines (=origins), to keep the variation as wide as possible. Some breeders have been selected, because they have special(=near extinction) mother or father.
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    1,084

    Default Re: Would drone confinement help?

    DB - I run both I.i. queens and open-mated queens. I send my best queens and drones off to an I.I. service in special cages that hold individual queens separate with their own supply of queen candy, and about 200 drones and 200 attendant worker bees in a communal cage with about 8 holes (7/8" diameter x 7/8" deep) of queen candy for the drone chamber.

    My drone colonies that are "close, but not the very best" go into a drone flooding area that I encourage other beekeepers to use for open mating. I place the queens between the drone colonies about 1 mile apart (it's a long canyon, so 2 drone stations and 1 queen station work out). I kill drones with unwanted traits - I stick a fork into the side of the drone comb and pull the drone larvae out. I trap unwanted drones above the excluder with no exits. They do die eventually. I re-queen these colonies for more desirable traits. Some bad ones always show, but that's open-mating for you. Just let them draw comb until you have better queens for the colony and do the deed. Open mating requires raising LOTS MORE queens and lots more selection / elimination than I.I.

    Guess which bees usually turn out to be the best producers! Mostly the I.I colonies, but occasionally a swarm or an open-mated colony show some traits very worth promoting in the next round. As I grow my apiary, more and more I.I colonies will dominate the yard.

    I'm trying to get set up to do the I.I myself. I have built the stage apparatus from inexpensive, off-the-shelf parts, but still need a Harbo syringe and a stereo microscope. I'm getting ready to move up near U.C. Davis to take Dr. Susan Cobey's classes.

    Good luck to you.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Would drone confinement help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kamon Reynolds View Post
    There are several breeding books that talk on how the queens will fly farther than the drones to avoid inbreeding.

    This is why drone colonies are placed away from the yard which contains the unmated queens. I have two drone yards for my queens each a little under 3/4 of a mile away
    how do you know which direction??

  14. #34

    Default Re: Would drone confinement help?

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post

    I'm trying to get set up to do the I.I myself. I have built the stage apparatus from inexpensive, off-the-shelf parts, but still need a Harbo syringe and a stereo microscope. I'm getting ready to move up near U.C. Davis to take Dr. Susan Cobey's classes.

    Good luck to you.
    Chinese make quite good stereo microscopes, mine is from a web shop, about 100$. Only 4-10x enlargements are needed, if I recall. My friend Kari Pirhonen used to make devices, he even sold some sting hooks (with hole) to some famous researcher in US(was it Cobey??). It is a tricky thing to make that hole... He is in Columbia at the moment, and his net pages did not seem to work, but here is one small picture: http://www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/page9.html
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    1,084

    Default Re: Would drone confinement help?

    Big THANK YOU, Juhani!!! I am holding off the stereo microscope until I have taken some classes and have some time behind them. I could machine one, too, but I am not a lens grinder. Have you seen any CO2 systems cheaper than $180 US dollars? I can get that price from Harbor Freight Tools here in California - a 20 US Gallon bottle tank ($98) and a regulator ($79).

    gmcharlie - (quote - How do you know which direction? - unquote)
    2 answers:

    1) The simple answer is that it does not matter, the bees will choose their own or an existing DCA (Drone Congregating Area).

    2) Talk your bee club members into a project identifying DCA's, using a virgin queen in a lightweight cage and a bunch of helium balloons on a fishing rod, flying the VQ up 30 to 100 feet every 1/2 mile around the county (a BIG map helps) between 11 am and 2 pm (It takes some time and effort!) You should be able to see the "comet" of drones around the virgin queen in the cage (It might help to bring along a pair of young eyes...) When you know the locations of all the mating areas, you can take advantage of them (if all you want is THAT they mate, not concerned with stock improvement too much) by placing your queen open-mating boxes 1/2 to 3/4 mile downwind from the DCA,

    OR:

    Once you have your DCA map of your county, choose an area WITH NO DCA's for a 10 mile radius for a drone flooding project. This latter method is preferable if you are trying to accomplish stock improvement - only flood with drones with desirable traits, kill those with undesirable traits and re-queen those not-so-good colonies with "good" queens. It is recommended that you have a minimum of 100 hives with desirable traits for drone flooding, but you could try it with fewer and hope for a few good matings. Careful grading of colonies' traits and record keeping is necessary, and such a less-than-ideal open-mating situation should be augmented by buying about half of your queens from a different breeder each year.

    If the whole bee club has enough drone colonies, and these have desirable traits, I would choose a drone flooding project, even with as few as 25 drone colonies. The technique improves drastically with more drone colonies (and less feral colonies), but so does the amount of work. You have to keep the "bad" drones out.

    One more thing to mention - start with the best bees you can get. It takes several decades of dedicated work to improve a stock with open mating & drone flooding, whereas controlled matings using Instrumental Insemination (I.I.) makes genetic progress toward a goal every round, up to 4 generations a year, and is much faster.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 01-11-2014 at 03:25 PM.

  16. #36

    Default Re: Would drone confinement help?

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    Have you seen any CO2 systems cheaper than $180 US dollars? I can get that price from Harbor Freight Tools here in California - a 20 US Gallon bottle tank ($98) and a regulator ($79).
    IMG_3538.JPG

    My CO2 bottle is from a company which sells and maintains all kinds of pressurized gas bottles. This small bottle, maybe 1/2 litre, was obviously going of the market, they sold the used bottles with 10€. The regulator was maybe 50€, but it is not very good, it is very sensitive to adjust and even if you adjust it correctly, it tends to slow down and suddenly your queen is kicking again... The gas is going through a used baby food glass jar with some water on bottom.
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Raplamaa, Estonia, Europe
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Would drone confinement help?

    Kari also has a picasaweb gallery. There are some pictures of his device and some videos of collecting semen and inseminating queens.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/112336832527150868076/Mehi

    Regards,
    Peter

  18. #38

    Default Re: Would drone confinement help?

    Quote Originally Posted by pihlpet View Post
    Kari also has a picasaweb gallery. There are some pictures of his device and some videos of collecting semen and inseminating queens.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/112336832527150868076/Mehi

    Regards,
    Peter
    Great Pihlpet to remember this! There are some very close up videos too. Did Kari make a device for you?
    Last edited by Juhani Lunden; 01-12-2014 at 08:45 AM.
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Ft. Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    602

    Default Re: Would drone confinement help?

    Yeeesh, sure wouldn't want to be one of his virgin queens. Yikes!

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Raplamaa, Estonia, Europe
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Would drone confinement help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    Great Pihlpet to remember this! There are some very close up videos too. Did Kari make a device for you?
    Well, good question, actually my device is copied from him though im using his handles, perforated stinghook and some smaller parts. So the answer is that he made some details of the device for me.

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