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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Spermatogenesis is an interesting topic unto itself, but I wouldn't put much stock into it. That being said, you will find certain combinations of drone mothers and queen mothers probably out performing others but whose to say it's the effect of spermatogenesis or just simply better hybridity matching. You can look at mito types, haplotypes etc... but in the end you have to build your breeding/heterotic groups and map out the best combinations. Dean hit some great points on starting with stable lines. II would capitalize on that nicely as well, great tool for trait integration and creating know hybrids/crosses. I've spent the last two years putting together potential breeding pools, still have some work to do, but I'm excited about the ride it's about to take me.

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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    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.
    I'm not sure I'm understanding this statement. Spermatogenesis in the honeybee is quite a bit different than in most of nature. The process doesn't produce 4 sperm cells from a single germ cell (like it does in regular haploid systems)...it produces a single sperm cell and a single polar body. This appears well hardcoded into the honeybee, even diploid drone sperm is diploid.
    The real differentiation from the original germ cell happens when the mother of the drone produces the egg...not when the drone produces the sperm (which is only during the pupal phase). Different drones from the same queen will be as different as different sperm from the same human.
    There may well be something I don't understand here (or don't know about), but I'm not seeing how/why alleles passed to offspring frmo the drones going through spermatogenesis has any effect on expression..
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  4. #23
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    I'm not a fan of II. I obviously understand its usefulness (or I understand it's obvious usefulness), but I tend to see this as a forest/trees problem, and I also see some real dangers.

    Focusing on narrow lines and hard artificial selection is opposite of the bees reproductive nature. What has led to their long term success (most of which without humans), is their nature. Population level selection that holds traits in reserve for many generations due to multiple matings, massive inbreeding after die off events...massive outmating in times of plenty.

    I can see II (as well as simply buying stock) as a way to begin breeding, but soon, I think that one must let things develop on a popluation level, and let some dirt into the system.

    The other real danger I see (or at least imagine) is that clearly the drones are competing to mate with the queen. Eyesight, sense of smell, speed, agility, ..probably even manners, all go into deciding who the queen mates with (along with luck as well). Is this race to the queen really an unimportant step in the process? Is the inevitable result of II that the resulting drones are less competitive in the mating game when given the chance? Is that a result that leads us where we want to go?
    deknow
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  5. #24
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    Eyesight, sense of smell, speed, agility, ..probably even manners, all go into deciding who the queen mates with (along with luck as well). Is this race to the queen really an unimportant step in the process? Is the inevitable result of II that the resulting drones are less competitive in the mating game when given the chance? Is that a result that leads us where we want to go?
    Very good insights deknow, IMO.
    Has anyone made ​​longitudinal experimental studies over several generations to evaluate these aspects?
    What is the impact of II in the following generations? Are we doing God's role of an uninformed and naive way?
    Are we run exactly where?

  6. #25
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Once the II breeding lines are established, most of the resulting daughters will be open mated at a different location for production queens. Hybrid vigor is very important, I agree. My locations are quite remote and I should still have some decent control over the drone quality. I'm fortunate in Washington State not to be near any other apiaries and have quality gentle feral drones, all from survivor stock in higher elevation locations.

    Like Jeff, I've been putting together potential breeding pools the last couple years and have some great overwintered stock to work with. Several queens now going into their third winter. I have a good stock of Glenn descendants from my original II queens purchased in 2011 and acquired feral genetics from wilderness areas near Mt. Rainier.

    I also brought in some new VSH lines from VP Queens this spring (USDA based stock). Since I like my lines and want to enhance them, not change them, I bought virgins from Adam. They got mated here for an immediate cross with my current lines. They will provide me with pure drones for crossing in 2015. VP gets their USDA stock in somewhat of a raw form, then evaluates, tests the lines, selects from them and makes crosses using their experience. I will take that work and continue with it here at my place for a local, Northern flavor to the line.

    But back to those coming 4 year old queens I've got cookin in the hives under the rain and snow.
    How much epigenetic influence will now be contributed from a 4 year old breeder queen? All these queens have at least one or two generations of daughters on the place, also overwintered & evaluated for long term performance under different conditions and their interesting traits. I suppose the first question would be, what conditions have they been repeadly exposed in the course of four years and how could that influence the development of their future offspring?

    A couple that come to mind right away are:

    I have a LOT of colonies in one location and the bees have to work harder to bring in adequate stores. They are less likely to swarm, because they don't get a huge influx of feed all at once. I also use custom frames to influence them to store feed slightly differently. How will years of no swarming impulse effect future behavior?

    With so much competition from other hives, are they flying in cooler weather? Flying longer distance? Flying earlier and later than most? How long before they develop a slightly longer tongue to take advantage of different & previously unavailable nectar sources? Is that even possible? As long as robbing is not being encouraged as a trait, a person could push that for years to see what develops. It's hard not to notice the darker bees are the ones I see in the dead of winter out foraging when temps are barely favorable & rain is not too hard.


    Another thing daughters may be exposed to, is a short slight cooling of queen cells from the time I take them out of the cell builder and transfer them into the incubator. Sometimes slightly cooled again, as I place cells in mating nucs. Of course I am careful not to let them actually chill, but temps do fluctuate slightly for a short amount of time during their gestation period. I commonly have a disposable hand warmer in my pocket along with my cells to be placed. Or a warmer in an insulated lunch box along with the cells.

    What effect may several generations of that slight temp variation have on future generations? I can control the hatch rate of my queens by a full day with one or two degrees of incubator variation ether way. WIth a gestation as short as 16 days, every minute, every degree - counts.

    How will my recipes for supplimental feed effect actual development? You all know I use a lot of cider vinegar, electrolytes & vitamins in my recipes.
    Will the added acidity and added nutrients eventually stimulate changes? Most people know nutrition has a direct effect on the size of the creature in question. Generally, the better the nutrition, the larger the critter (Reaches full size potential). Sometimes the harsher the enviroment (Alaskan wildlife for example) the larger the critter.

    So all the talk of cell size and smaller regressed bees VS larger cell size and larger bees actually misguided by the lack of consideration for nutritional supplimentation in a mono cultured environment? Are bees large in size because of good nutrition, able to keep mite populations in balance more naturally without problems on larger cell size such as 5.4 foundation? VS bees that are only large because they were forced onto large cell foundation, but are slightly nutritionally deprived and therefore not able to tolerate mites as well? Is cell size unjustly credited/blamed for mite tolerance, when in actuality it may have nothing to do with the size, but the nutrition factor?

    One thing my bees are Not exposed to, are many of the pressures commercial bees have to endure. I have No commercial crop exposures, no migratory stresses, virtually no or low treatments. No antibiotics. Is that good or bad? Is the ability to handle those stresses inherited? My stock is healthier because of this lack of exposure, but if daughters are placed under that kind of stress, how will they respond?

    Same goes for VSH traits. If my stock is secluded and not exposed to recurrent mite infestations from outside sources, will they loose the VSH expression if it not constantly being needed?
    My stock is healthier because of low mite counts, but when daughters are exposed to colonies with high mite pressures, how will they respond?

    My Carnie hybrids are well suited for a broodless period for several months during winter. How would they respond to a California climate?

    This book talks about experiments with fruit flies when environmental exposures were involved and in some cases, the changes they were able to bring out, then establish quite quickly in the genetic memory and produce even without the continued outside influence. Not changing the DNA, but changing the way it's expressed. Exposing genes that were previously masked or turned off.

    I'm no scientist, but do find it fairly understandable. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to rear queens, but there can be a LOT more to it if you choose to dig deeper, be observant, be creative. And although I consider my stock to be somewhat proven, they were only proven to the extent of my own conditions. Now, with some are scattered around the country, feedback will be helpful. IF the beekeepers that own them have enough experience to make use of their potential.
    While most will be happy if they overwinter well and have good productivity & longevity, I'd like to know exactly what the pressures were in their location and how the bees ultimately responded.

    I love the fact the bees can reproduce & come to sexual maturity so quicky.
    In a single season, I can get a couple generations to overwinter & evaluate long before I do any grafting in any sort of volume from the original breeder queen. With the longevity I am getting, its almost like looking into the future a couple years and still having grandma around long enough to actually use.









    Some of you guys on Beesource are highly educated & I appreciate your input. I'm not to your caliber, but still can pursue progress at my own level. I probably know just enough to make me dangerous . I'd like to look into some online genetic/biology courses in my 'spare time'. The more I learn about it, the more specific I become when it comes to selection and reliable replication. At least tip the scales from pure luck to some sort of control over results.

    If anyone is running experiments, I might like to be involved with your project in my neck of the woods and give you some feed back. I've got about 200 hives (Equivelent to double deeps),run about 180 mating nucs and have enjoyed nearly 100% overwintering success the last couple years. Enough resources to devote a few to some good research, other than my own.
    Last edited by Lauri; 11-28-2014 at 03:02 PM.
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  7. #26
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    I haven't had a chance to watch Dean's presentation, but thought that I would pass along that I found Ernesto Guzman's Elemental Genetics and Breeding for the Honey Bee to be worthwhile introduction to honeybee genetics and breeding.

    You can purchase it through the OBA here:

    http://www.ontariobee.com/outreach/manuals-books-dvds
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by zhiv9 View Post

    You can purchase it through the OBA here:

    http://www.ontariobee.com/outreach/manuals-books-dvds
    It's sold out.
    Lauri Miller.
    Carniolan Hybrids. Glenn, Latshaw & Wild lines.

  9. #28
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauri View Post
    It's sold out.
    Sorry about that. I picked it up at queen rearing course this summer and quite enjoyed it. Unfortunately, i don't think it is available anywhere else.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  10. #29
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Yes, the bee genetics is an interesting subject indeed. I'm watching you tube vids on this subject on my
    spare time. At the same time I'm doing my little selection experiments while expanding my hive numbers.
    While we are thinking about this subject there are many experiments already being done
    of what we are trying to accomplish. Here is an interesting read http://dencor.ca/BCBBA/index8db2.html?page_id=17
    when I did a search. I'm sure the II way will help to speed up on your queen selection process at least to eliminate the
    virgin mating flight schedule so she will not get lost. I wonder if once a 2nd year queen became a drone layer will II help her to become a
    worker layer again? This way I will not have to kill her because she is not flying again to mate. As in any tools use it wisely on a positive outcome
    will benefit a lot.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  11. #30
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    No such thing as a biological free lunch. Best conform to nature rather than try to force it a certain direction.

  12. #31
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo Gomes View Post
    Very good insights deknow, IMO.
    Has anyone made ​​longitudinal experimental studies over several generations to evaluate these aspects?
    What is the impact of II in the following generations? Are we doing God's role of an uninformed and naive way?
    Are we run exactly where?
    Dr. Susan Cobey did a paper summarizing many studies on I.I. vs. N.M. (Naturally Mated) queens. It is available on her website, www.honeybeeinsemination.com

    I do not recall if the paper covers later generations of bees after the first. I do know that the paper has many clues to the factors making I.I. viable, enumerating many common errors in the processes. It is highly recommended reading for those considering it.

    I do know that many have had bad experiences with improperly inseminated queens or queens shipped with far too much banking / transit time affecting their performance quite negatively.

    Even still, the superceding queen a single generation after the I.I. queen is positively affected by her mother's genetics, especially if she (and daddy) were well-chosen for their environment, in many cases probably worth the investment of the poor-performing I.I. mother.

    I agree with deknow that the competition of suitor drones is a helpful factor, as anyone familiar with evolutionary forces probably would. I do think that the single-generation "boost" that one selective mating using I.I. gives to a bloodline can be far more beneficial than the "drone skills" lost on a single drone father's contribution had that mating been natural. Another thing to remember is that queens Inseminated in the lab often go out and mate as well. Breeders have no problem with that! Any severely undesireable traits are eliminated the following generation.

    Usually, an entire colony's drones have their semen harvested - around 200 drones - the semen is allowed to mix by diffusion for 24 hours, then is concentrated in a centrifuge, where I assume it mixes further. This reduces deknow's complaint somewhat - the competition between brother drones is accounted for.

    Another method is often utilized, a good number of drones from similar and/or dissimilar colonies with but a few common traits are harvested for male germplasm, so drones with some common trait, but many unlike each other, are represented in the dose administered to the queen. More drones are represented in germplasm dose than have ever been observed in nature mating a single queen! So the only part of deknow's complaint is that some of the would-be "loser" drones that wouldn't have gotten to mate naturally do show up in a very genetically diverse hive of the resulting I.I. queens.

    This is why I design my mating program to include both I.I. and N.M queens, and why I spend a lot of time testing & observing breeder colonies, both male and female.

    Perhaps the biggest advantage is the ability of the geneticist/breeder to almost ensure the expression of double-recessive traits that might be lost on naturally-mated bees. This is a highly unlikely occurrence in nature, and quite valuable to the beekeeper. Many might-fighting traits are recessive, some double-recessive.

    Beepro - I hadn't thought about trying to re-inseminate an old queen, perhaps worth a try?
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 11-28-2014 at 09:59 PM.

  13. #32
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    KC maybe the next time I have one I can send her to you
    for this experiment, eh? But she has to be a valuable queen 1st.
    If she is a breeder queen it is even more interesting to see
    what is the outcome. If it is a prolific production queen then
    she might be able to head the colony for another year or 2. Or
    just let her lay more good drones to saturate the entire DCA. The value
    has to justify the work put in otherwise just forget it.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  14. #33
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    i may give that a try while I'm up there at U. C. Davis under her direction. If that goes well, that would be very cool. If donig I.I. at home, that saves the price of a queen at least once, perhaps more.

  15. #34
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    i may give that a try while I'm up there at U. C. Davis under her direction.
    I thought that she left UC Davis in 2012? Last I knew she's at Washington State. Are you saying that she's offering an II class in 2015 at UC Davis?
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  16. #35
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post

    Focusing on narrow lines and hard artificial selection is opposite of the bees reproductive nature.
    Don't you think there's more to bee breeding using II that what is quoted above? That to me seems to do a huge disservice to breeders who are constantly evaluating stock, making tweaks, and managing diversity to achieve a broad spectrum of traits.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  17. #36
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    Dr. Susan Cobey did a paper summarizing many studies on I.I. vs. N.M. (Naturally Mated) queens. It is available on her website, www.honeybeeinsemination.com
    I do not recall if the paper covers later generations of bees after the first.
    Thank you for referring to this article. I've been reading with some attention the article by Dr . Susan Cobey , one of the leading experts in II, and as much as I understand these studies are not longitudinal , ie, do not evaluate the effect of II over several generations. This fundamental issue continues , it seems to me , without being evaluated.

    Take this opportunity to mention an interesting excerpt of Dr. Susan Cobey's article , which raises questions , not being fundamentals, deserve our best attention : "However, beekeeping pratices designed to reduce labor, increase efficiency and provide convenience in scheduling, often provide suboptimal conditions for queen development and sperm storage in the spermatheca." (p.405).

  18. #37
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    I once got a very good laying queen that turned drone layer. Could of save her
    with II if I have the right equipments and know how. If Sue is doing a class at UCD o II then
    I would like to join too. Any infos you can provide on her schedule, KC?
    On queen selection you don't have to narrow down on a specific trait but try to broaden your
    selection on multiple good traits to keep and enhance. II will shorten the breeding process within
    a season or 2.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  19. #38
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo Gomes View Post
    Take this opportunity to mention an interesting excerpt of Dr. Susan Cobey's article , which raises questions , not being fundamentals, deserve our best attention : "However, beekeeping pratices designed to reduce labor, increase efficiency and provide convenience in scheduling, often provide suboptimal conditions for queen development and sperm storage in the spermatheca." (p.405).
    Can you tell us where we can read this Eduardo?

    Thanks,

    Mike (UK)
    The race isn't always to the swift, nor the fight to the strong, but that's the way to bet

  20. #39
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees


  21. #40
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Reading the paragraph posted by Eduardo, out of the context, one can interpret that Cobey is somehow tilting towards the idea that II has a lot of possible shortcomings...as one can see though, in her own words, in the same paragraph, she says: "The unfounded reputation for poor performance of IIQs has been difficult to dispel"...."although the scientific community has repeatedly demonstrated their equal and sometimes higher performance compared to NMQs."

    Reading the whole thing though is critical...But yes, "cutting corners"...especially when it comes to precise protocols, techniques, scheduling, etc., has its own consequences.

    Back to the whole paragraph:

    "The data presented in Table I overwhelmingly demonstrates that instrumental insemination is a reliable and practical technique.
    However, beekeeping practices designed to reduce labor, increase efficiency and provide convenience in scheduling, often provide suboptimal conditions for queen development and sperm storage in the spermatheca. The reported lower performance levels of IIQs can probably be attributed to such factors. With the ability to control mating, IIQs generally have been selected for superior genotypes, which may mask the possible disadvantages of instrumental insemination concerning their performance. The unfounded reputation for poor performance of IIQs has been difficult to dispel, although the scientific community has repeatedly demonstrated their equal and sometimes higher performance compared to NMQs."

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