>>A well mated queen, with many well developed ovarioles, is equipped to lay an abundance of fertilized eggs well beyond its maximum lifespan.
Queen 'burnout' is likely caused by more than one issue.<<
I agree, that is what I have been saying. This argument about burnout in relation to meeting the pollinators needs to express growth is not a good argument
>>The limited number of sperm has more to do w/ how many eggs are laid than how many eggs a queen can lay.<<
Yes I agree, grump should be arguing poor matings and commercial queen rearing techniques rather than criticizing the breeding programs
That would be a sensible argument
I agree Ian. Did you notice he didn't define what he meant when I asked? Leastwise I didn't see an explanation.
Gents, there's a lot of biology involved with how well a queen can lay eggs and how well sperm can be stored.
Those are issues facing queen breeders and producers.
Because as you mentioned, "A well mated queen, with many well developed ovarioles, is equipped to lay an abundance of fertilized eggs well beyond its maximum lifespan."
Right, sort of.
Ian, I've read the studies. It's a problem. Quantity over quality.
That's why gurus like Flottum say, "Get the queens you want, don't settle for the ones you get."
Joe pointed out;
"The poultry industry encountered this dilemma probably 60 or so years ago. When selection efforts for high rate of laying were utilized efficiently, the number of eggs laid per year increased rapidly, to the point that the hen's body could not accommodate the productivity. "
Is that really the issue here? Are Californian queen breeders raising queens that out lay any other queen on the market? If so by how much?
and if this is a dilemma between intensity vs longevity, what laying targets are we trying to focus on here to maintain longevity?
I believe this whole notion of queen burn is mearly an impression that comes from commercial beekeeping practices. She is laying those eggs regardless if she is sitting in a grove of Almonds or a wind swept northern field of canola. Is she burning out or is she actually succumbing to other influencing factors?
There is a bit more involved than just how many eggs are laid. I agree, Ian, there are many factors. I was just sharing my experience with longevity and type of bee. It is not that queen producers are selecting for strains with fewer eggs, but rather strains that have higher populations. Beekeepers are paid on frame count for pollination. Package producers are paid by the pound of bees. They want strains that will get there fast. This prolific, early reproduction comes at a cost to the queen and a colony. In my experience, queens that are selected for high egg laying rates for prolonged periods tend to "wear out" more quickly. Again, not saying it is good or bad, just a management style preference.
Queens emerge with all of the eggs they will produce in their life time. Eggs then develop and mature in the ovarioles as they are needed. How many eggs develop in a days time is function of many factors, such as queen age, day length, nutrition, number of ovarioles in each ovary. Then there is the fertilization aspect. A queen stores a given amount of semen. Initially she releases upwards of 50 sperm cells per egg, then gradually less as she ages and depletes her sperm reserves until the probability of fertilization is so low she begins producing drone brood in worker cells. If she lives that long.
Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
Ian I wish I had a good concise answer to this question. I think it is a muddled area at best, but one that is getting some attention. If we could all agree on one type/style of bee that worked for every aspect of the industry it would sure make selection efforts a lot more focused!
Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
Im in the cattle business, and we develop breeding stock to suit our cattle buyers needs. Not everyone is looking for the same thing
This queen issue is no different, the breeders are developing a queen to suit the demands of intensive beekeeping practices. They are developing stock to perform exactly as the buyers intend them to perform, except the queen buyers here want the whole basket and their neighbors too. I would wager the performance of a queen 30 years ago wouldnt hold a candle to the queens produced today. I say that in certainty as 30 years ago there was a tenth of the disease, chemical and production pressure there is today. Count on your hand all the demands put on queens today and you will run out of fingers. If we get queens that perform the way we want them, and the only problem is that she doesnt last into the thrid year, you can say at least she made it into that second year for you.
A lot of talk about inferior stock being produced. I say its more so beekeepers not knowing what is actually happening in their hives to begin with
hey grump, chew on that one for a while!
There is no ccd only QCD. There are limits to how far livestock and/or bees can be pushed. If you like requeening every year, then keep playing the package bee and almond game. But don't get mad when you loose your backsides when the weather catches up to the california-south u.s. big ag practices of pollination bees. There are quite a few beekeepers that raise bees for their own business and for honey production.
No gold in california...If the weather is just right, it will push back this throw away practice/cycle. Best of luck up there in Canada, Ian...you're not too far off with the weather.
Is it such an alien concept to think that it's not about the barrel-pollination...and that some of us truely enjoy the good stuff that the bees bring back in from different nectar sources?
How much of this california almond practice-selection breeding has ruined strains of bees that have varying tongue lengths(bees able to gather nectar from different flowers than others).... Caucasian bee? Who wants a bee with a longer tongue when it glues up the hive with tons of propolis. If they work different types of flowers than the almond bees.... But those aren't pollination bees, are they?....
"What do you do with the almond bees when they need a home after the pollination? Throw them in packages with queens that are fit for the almond cycle(or some other big ag demand). "
With drought in California combined with a warm winter, combined with the cold weather stretching into the South...
the machine falls apart.
WLC have you noticed any differences in nectar sources being brought back, based on bee breed?...Tree blossom vs clover let's say.