Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees
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  1. #1
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    Default Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    I came across this Youtube by
    Dean Stiglitz - Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees - Philadelphia, 2/9/2014
    And thought it was very well done and informative so I'm posting a link here for anyone who might be interested.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqNjbwCQB4Q
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Thank you I enjoyed that video.
    Stephen 40+ hives. 6th year. Treat. Germany.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    This presentation helped me understand the feedback that I received about starting to breed for queens. It also explained why Rusty was having his problems with VSH in Florida.

    Thanks Ray

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    I was just watching this video and I have a disagreement with a statement that Dean makes at the 5:35 time mark. He stated that "Queens and workers are genetically identical". I have a problem with that statement. The workers are made up of half of the queen's 32 genes and all of their particular father drone's 16 genes, giving each worker a total of 32 genes, and not every worker has the same drone father, and no workers have the same drone father as what their queen mother had (although they do all have the same drone grandfather). Therefore, I think that the Queen is not genetically identical to her worker daughters. Does anyone out there have any thoughts, insights, or comments on this?
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  6. #5
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    I especially liked the chart and commentary at the 6:30 time mark through the 7:55 time mark. To me, this sums up honeybee genetics in a nutshell. As Dean said, this is the key to understanding honeybee genetics.
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  7. #6
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    I was just watching this video and I have a disagreement with a statement that Dean makes at the 5:35 time mark. He stated that "Queens and workers are genetically identical". I have a problem with that statement.
    Lets look at that statement from a slightly different perspective.

    The virgin queen was just another run-of-the-mill worker larva before that larva was selected to be fed additional royal jelly (to enable that larva to develop into a virgin queen). Since she got all her genes as just a run-of-the-mill larva, it seems as though there can be a reasonable basis for Dean's assertion. The genes that 'that' virgin has are no different than those of a bunch of workers that were raised at the same time as that virgin was.
    Graham
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  8. #7
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    I agree Graham, in a generalized way, yes they are similar, but to say they are identical seems a bit of a stretch. That virgin you mention, does not have the same drone father genes that say 80 to 95 percent or so of her sisters that are raised to be worker bees. They are close, yes, but not identical, in my way of thinking about it.
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  9. #8
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    I was just watching this video and I have a disagreement with a statement that Dean makes at the 5:35 time mark. He stated that "Queens and workers are genetically identical". I have a problem with that statement. The workers are made up of half of the queen's 32 genes and all of their particular father drone's 16 genes, giving each worker a total of 32 genes, and not every worker has the same drone father, and no workers have the same drone father as what their queen mother had (although they do all have the same drone grandfather). Therefore, I think that the Queen is not genetically identical to her worker daughters. Does anyone out there have any thoughts, insights, or comments on this?
    Someone just cleared me up on this in a private message. The focus of Dean's discussion at the time was diploid/haploid genes, and he was absolutely right of course, there is no difference between the queen and the workers, but there is a difference between the drones as compared to both the queen and the workers. Now I got it!
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  10. #9
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    I agree Graham, in a generalized way, yes they are similar, but to say they are identical seems a bit of a stretch. That virgin you mention, does not have the same drone father genes that say 80 to 95 percent or so of her sisters that are raised to be worker bees
    No, but she does have the same father as the 5 to 20% of worker sisters that come from the same father. So, if you pull out the queen, and a worker sister that came from the same drone father, they will be identical in every way. The point being, there is nothing genetically different between a queen, and a worker, at the time the fertilized egg is placed in a cell. The difference happens later, due to how that particular cell is tended, compared to others of the exact same genetic makeup.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    All good comments, thanks to you all for helping straighten out my way of thinking. I think I'm good now, at least for the moment!
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  12. #11
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Not quite right, same drone father doesn't mean identical, have to remember recombination during meiosis when the queen is producing eggs

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by grozzie2 View Post
    So, if you pull out the queen, and a worker sister that came from the same drone father, they will be identical in every way.
    Please see the comment by JRG13. The statement above is technically not correct.
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  14. #13
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    Not quite right, same drone father doesn't mean identical, have to remember recombination during meiosis when the queen is producing eggs
    Yes, every individual is unique. For bees a 50% combination of those genes held by the mother (of which the mother herself only used half) and 50% the fathers genes (of which he used all)[1]. No two individuals are the same.

    However, that doesn't mean traits can't be passed on...

    Mike (UK)

    [1] I think that's right, but if its askew the point remains.... It probably means half-sisters are a bit genetically closer than i.e. human half sisters are.
    The race isn't always to the swift, nor the fight to the strong, but that's the way to bet

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    I'm glad this has been helpful.

    Remember that 2 workers that 'share a father' are fathered by sperm that is identical...all the sperm in a given drone is identical.

    If you want to put this into a more familiar perspective, it is the queen that produces the drone that is the 'father'. The drones are the sperm racing to be the first (or 20th in the case of bees) to reach the egg.
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    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Yes, thank you Dean for allowing this video to be posted publicly!
    It seems to me that the drone side of the mating is more important, or at least as important as the queen side. I think it a mistake that many queen breeders that I've run into over the years, only pay attention to the queen side of the equation. Not all breeders, but quite a few.
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  17. #16
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Read this book and your perception may change on may things. Genomic Imprinting for one.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/026...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I found it to be a most excellent book, aside from the childish illustrations and slightly strange dialogue at the end of each chapter.

    Quite easy to understand if you have any basic biology experience. It's made me decide to get II equipment sooner rather than later.

    Drones from my Mountain line of VSH Carnie hybrids



    Drone from a Pol-Line strain



    Allele's passed to offspring from the drones go through spermatogenesis and the results can be quite different, or have different expression than if the same allele was passed to offspring from the queen.
    Last edited by Lauri; 11-27-2014 at 08:38 PM.
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Lauri, does this book focus on the bee genetics or just genetics in general?
    So do you think that II will help control the bee genetics better than the open mated queens?

    I have notice that the pol-line bees have a bigger dark band at the ends compared to the regular Italian bees.
    You notice that too?
    Last edited by beepro; 11-27-2014 at 09:00 PM.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Genetics in general, but it touches on may aspects you will find fascinating.

    II will help allow me to choose my crosses, help me get to a higher standard of my own choosing, develop more custom or more unique lines & I will then be more likely to be able to replicate with a higher rate of reliability. I'll see just what genes need to come from the drones and which are better inherited from the queens. It will take me a couple years of trials, but I am looking forward to doing the work.

    I've spent many years breeding animals and some plants so I've come to trust my 'selection skills'. II will just allow me to actually implement those selections.
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    What unusual drones huh Lauri?
    I got drones just like that, two toned and striped, back 8 years ago or so when all season long I crossed back and forth between Carni's and ITA's. It was really something to me back then, so I imagine you have enjoyed seeing that as well. It was quite educational for me. The drones can help show the trueness of the strain of bee, at least to some extent.
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  21. #20
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    I.I. has many advantages over open mating. It allows the breeder to be highly selective of both drone and queen colonies when choosing trait combinations to begin a base bloodline of a stock, eliminating many undesired traits from the very get-go (only open-mating in an area devoid of feral bees, such as Brother Adam had at Dartmoor allows this same level of control) I.I. allows back-crossing, selfing, and many other techniques as well.

    Breeding in sufficient quantity, I.I. tends to improve a bloodline every generation, where open-mating has to wait for "luck of the draw", of which never (zero progress toward a genetic goal) is a subset of, and therefore an actual possibility for the open-mating schemes (tough not very likely).

    Generally, faster progress toward a genetic goal can be made with fewer total colonies using I.I. than using more colonies using open-mating, but that does depend on the numbers used in each, and could be skewed greatly either way simply by starting one group with better stock than the other.

    Also, on the topic of books - look for Dr. Ernesto Guzman-Novoa's book, Elemental Genetics and Breeding for the Honeybee, available at www.ontariobee.com/outreach/manuals-books-dvds or through Paul Kelly, University of Guelph, Honeybee Research Centre, School of Environmental Sciences, 50 Stone Road East, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, NIG 2W1.

    Another good one for beginners to genetics is Introducing Genetrics by Steve Jones and Borin Van Loon, a fun cartoonish book that starts with Mendel, advances through the years and personalities involved, through Watson and Crick, and on to some more current foundations in genetics. Bees are, of course, a bit different with haplodiploidy and perhaps some thelytoky being expressed, but this little book gives a decent bit of background.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 11-27-2014 at 10:02 PM.

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