I think we're barking up the wrong tree, - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    My point being, if most of our stocks are hopelessly hybridized, where exactly do we get this putative genetic diversity if not from some reproductively isolated stocks/ferals?
    I don't even get the expression "hopelessly hybridized". What do you mean by that? Anyway, diversity also comes from recombination, which is high in honeybee. Are you suggesting that the population of honeybees in USA lacks diversity and the only way to remedy that is to bring in stock from Europe? Because this is simply not supported by the literature which suggest a highly variable and diverse population. Which is certainly large enough to not be in a genetic bottleneck in any case.

    PLB

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  3. #42
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    The term hybrid is very often misused

    Hybrids are formed by cross-fertilization between differ-ent strains, races or species of plants or animals. Joseph Koelreuter (1733–1806) recorded that some tobacco hybrids exceeded their parents in growth vigour. A century later, in 1876, Charles Darwin systematically characterized growth patterns in more than 60 plant species and concluded that “the crossed plants when fully grown were plainly taller and more vigorous than the self-fertilised ones.” It is now well known that hybrid plants, such as maize, or hybrid animals, such as some dogs, grow more vigorously and adaptively than their parents

    Chen, Z. J. (2013). Genomic and epigenetic insights into the molecular bases of heterosis. Nature Reviews Genetics.

  4. #43
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    By 'hopelessly hybridized' I mean that even with all the 'diversity', we still don't have resistant bees.

    You can get hybrid vigor by crossing different strains. But, if all you have are hybrids to begin with, the point is moot.

    As for what the literature is saying...

    I haven't seen one single allele identified that has anything to do with Honeybee productivity or resistance. Just markers.

    What diversity are we describing, mitochondrial haplotypes? That's not going to do the trick either.

    Frankly, I am addressing Delaplane's main point.

    In plain English, the only thing that he can be referring to is how many drones a queen mates with.

    I am using the term 'hybrid' correctly. I don't think that I actually had 'Italian' Honeybees either.

    Maybe I should call them 'mutts'?

    The rest is too hypothetical. No evidence.

  5. #44
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    You can get hybrid vigor by crossing different strains. But, if all you have are hybrids to begin with, the point is moot.
    I see, you are proposing that hybrid vigor might be exploited to produce a more vigorous bee. This route was tried, of course. They began with hybridized bees of course, as there were no pure bred bees in the USA by the 1940s. What they did was to inbreed stocks to create sufficient divergence that when the divergent lines were crossed, hybrid vigor would be expressed.

    This was based upon success breeding corn lines. The goal was to produce bees that built up rapidly and had large populations, ultimately to bee great honey producers. According to some, the project was a success. But it was complicated, difficult, and the bees lost the hybrid effect in a short while.

    It is widely known that queens sold these days get superseded in less than one year on average so any trait that depended on having a F1 hybrid cross queen in the hive would require annual requeening, which most beekeepers do not do. They would also be expensive. Queens are already at $25-30. You have to produce a lot of honey to make that investment back.

    Back in the 1980s, I raised queen bees for sale. I never requeened colonies. I figured if they replaced the queen successfully then I didn't need to worry about it. I only used queens for making new colonies, splits.

    On the other hand, I worked for a queen breeder who requeened every single colony in April with new queens he had raised. But this was to get the high egg laying rate of a new queen, which translated into pounds of bees for sale.

    I think the goal for most of us is to have bees that don't require heavy inputs, heavy maintenance costs. That means they would have to have the right stuff and be able to pass it on to the next generation. This is central this whole thread.

    The black bee was brought here by the Europeans in the 1600s. It was replaced by the Italian in the 1800s. In the 20th century most of the Americas was converted to African bees, and they are infiltrating the bees of the US as we speak. What happens next?

    PLB

  6. #45
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    It is widely known that queens sold these days get superseded in less than one year on average
    This is spectacularly different to what is expected of a queens lifespan in the UK. Why do people still buy them, or would any queen supercede this early on average under your typical conditions?

    It could have something to do with the hibridised nature of the bees. Willie Robson in his book, Reflections on Beekeeping, has a passage on why he thinks imported queens often repeatedly supercede in his native Northumbria, which goes along the lines of the 'tenuous "hive mind"' (surely Seeley's work validates the hive mind concept?)attempting to assimilate with the background bee population by repeated outcrossing to give themselves the best chance of long term survival in the harsh conditions.
    Perhaps your colonies with short lived queens are just confused and wish to send out virgins to catch some successful genes from the possibly fictitious stable population of drones in the area.

  7. #46
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    The average queen lasts 6 months here in the U.S. .

    You're effectively renting queens for about $5 a month.

  8. #47
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    The average queen lasts 6 months here in the U.S. .
    Good grief, WLC. You are just pulling this stuff out of a hat now.

    PLB

  9. #48
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    It could have something to do with the hibridised nature of the bees. Willie Robson in his book, Reflections on Beekeeping, has a passage on why he thinks imported queens often repeatedly supercede in his native Northumbria, which goes along the lines of the 'tenuous "hive mind"' (surely Seeley's work validates the hive mind concept?)
    Why queens are superseded the first year is a major mystery. A lot of people would like to be there when this one is figured out. It is not at all clear if supersedure is initiated by the bees in response to their dissatisfaction with the queen --or-- it is initiated by the queen herself in response to her own perception that she needs to raise a daughter and step aside. This of course is what is always done in bumble bees: the queen only lives one summer, dedicates herself to raising daughters for the next season.

    As far as the hive mind is concerned, again I question whether the collection of a set of behaviors, no matter how amazing, can be called "a mind". We don't really know what a mind is in ourselves, so it is not wise to ascribe it to other species, especially insects. Now, it may be that our own minds are mechanical assemblages of electrical impulses and routine responses. But we have the sense that there is something there (our selves). You could call that sense of self "the mind", and we cannot really know if other mammals have it, let alone insects colonies.

  10. #49
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    No Peter.

    I'm serious. Delaney got the 6 month figure from so and so, etc. .

    They average only 6 months.

    Don't shoot the messenger now.

  11. #50
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    So and so etc?
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  12. #51
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    So and so etc?
    That means look up Delaney's work on queens for the citation.

  13. #52
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Wouldn't a bit less vaguery in your posts be more helpful?

    If there is something you want to show him, find it and show it to him, to demand he does your work is rude.

    Also if you could write your posts a bit more clearly, 1/2 of them are to muddled to be understood.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  14. #53
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by peterloringborst View Post
    I think the goal for most of us is to have bees that don't require heavy inputs, heavy maintenance costs. That means they would have to have the right stuff and be able to pass it on to the next generation. This is central this whole thread.
    Often times exceptional queens do not make the best "breeder" queens as their offspring do not exhibit similar characteristics. Developing lines using progeny testing seems to be the best approach, but is slow and cumbersome.

    One of the proposed methods of the Page and Laidlaw closed population model was to use mixed semen to inseminate the queens. When I first read this, it immediately appealed to me. By using mixed semen, variation is theoretically reduced on the male side and variation in performance and production could more easily be attributed to the queen side. An additional benefit that I see is that queens serve as a living genetic reservoir.
    Breeder Queens & Honey Bee Nutritional Supplements
    www.latshawapiaries.com

  15. #54
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    OT:

    I could always email PLB if necessary. But, he's pretty good at chasing down a paper.

  16. #55
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    can hybridization be measured?
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #56
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    can hybridization be measured?
    Yes, they use markers like SSRs. However, no one has really been able to identify alleles that indicate productivity, resistance, etc. .

    So, we don't know which alleles for which traits are out there.

    It's been 8 years since the Honeybee Genome Consortium published it's first build by the way.

  18. #57
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    would it be possible to express hybridization as a quantity? like the number of different lines and the corresponding percentages?
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  19. #58
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    squarepeg:

    Remember some of those papers we've discussed on ferals?

  20. #59
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    sure. but the pie charts are revealing the distribution in the meta population. it would nice if they took it further to the colony level and were able to express the relative hybridization of a given colony. that metric might be useful if it correlates strongly with other colony parameters.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  21. #60
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    Default Re: I think we're barking up the wrong tree,

    They look like rectangular tables with two colors in different proportions filling in the height. STRUCTURE bar plots.

    That's how hybridization data for nuclear markers is commonly represented.

    Unfortunately, they aren't actual alleles.

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