Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees - Page 5
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  1. #81
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Americans have been in a hurry since the pilgrims arrived. The Europeans farmed with oxen. They were too slow for us. We used horses (2 1/2 times faster). But that wasn't fast enough so we invented tractors and bigger tractors and thrashing machines and combines until we were plowing, not just an acre a day (the amount a team of oxen can plow in a day) but now we can plow 100 acres a day with a 10 bottom plow... some of the modern tractors are 900 horse power...

    Yes the attitude spills over into beekeeping...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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  3. #82
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    May 2012
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Don't forget about natural attrition of stored sperm, I'm betting there's a % loss of viability every few months etc...

  4. #83
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    I spotted a different source of the "several" sperm released with each egg, and the reference was to Dr. John Harbo, 1977

    ...typically 5 to 7 sperm are released as the egg passes through the oviducts...

    but the exact study is not cited. Anyone down in Dr. Harbo's area know him? Probably published in an entomological journal, apidologie, or proceedings of a society? I'd love to read more of his work, and Otto Mackinson's, and several others.

    JRG13 - Yeah, and the queens we replace twice a year probably didn't get enough royal jelly as a larva, got bumped as a pupa, didn't mate with enough boys, their daughters weren't bringing in much pollen, and then the sperm they did get goes bad in the tank, too!

  5. #84
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    Nov 2014
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    In my research on the net I found this study dedicated to the issue at hand.

    "Queen age did not affect sperm use (r= 0.334, n= 7, p= 0.464) (see Figure 4); both the young (≤ 6 months) and old (≥ 18 months) queen groups had a median of three sperm per egg.[…] Overall, queens seemed to be very economic in using their sperm supply to fertilize eggs; an overall median of only three sperm per egg was found. None of the queens had a median over ten sperm per egg, however individual queens varied significantly in their sperm use (Kruskal-Wallis test, H= 93.873, df= 6, p<0.001) (see Figure 3). For example, queen 9, 10, and 17 used a median of two sperm per egg, while queen 18 used a median of nine sperm per egg. […] It would also be very interesting to run a separate experiment looking at the effect of this factor in which queens would be introduced and followed throughout their settling to see if sperm use really does decrease as the queen becomes more comfortable in the colony and as the colony has more related individuals and is less likely to reject her.[…] This method could also be used to see if sperm use patterns have any hereditary components and if related queens use a similar number of sperm per egg. If this is the case, it would be extremely useful to beekeepers to be able to breed queens who use the fewest number of sperm possible without laying patchy brood (as workers remove any eggs that have been mistakenly unfertilized). This would lengthen queens' lifetimes and reduce the need for queen replacement, which costs keepers precious time and money."

    in Sperm Use During Egg Fertilization in the Honeybee (Apis Mellifera), Maria Rubinsky, 2010.

  6. #85

    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    I'm not sure if the spermatheca remains receptive after initial mating or the first few weeks of the queens life.
    Answer:

    Quote Originally Posted by JSL View Post
    Queens can be re-inseminated. Harbo and perhaps others looked at this.
    Im still eager to know more about this. Is it really possible after initial mating and first weeks of queens life?
    What I do know, is that
    - freemated queens are very tricky to inseminate, if it is possible at all to get the tube in
    - queens can be inseminated several times, if done with one days interval

  7. #86
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    ceredigion (yes, its a county in West Wales UK)
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by mbc View Post
    I was hoping for anything a bit more authoritative?
    Super! I think that's comprehensively answered the "how many sperm per egg" question, thanks guys

  8. #87
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    May 2009
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    Canterbry, UK
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo Gomes View Post
    "....This method could also be used to see if sperm use patterns have any hereditary components and if related queens use a similar number of sperm per egg. If this is the case, it would be extremely useful to beekeepers to be able to breed queens who use the fewest number of sperm possible without laying patchy brood (as workers remove any eggs that have been mistakenly unfertilized). This would lengthen queens' lifetimes and reduce the need for queen replacement, which costs keepers precious time and money."
    Possibly. I think the assumption that more economical queens are an improvement over less is dubious without further work. In many natural features there is a spread between two extremes (or something multifactorial) going on for a sound reason - because it aids the population. Can we be sure that, for example, there is not a competition locating fittest sperm going on?

    Mike (UK)
    Last edited by mike bispham; 12-27-2014 at 10:53 AM.
    The race isn't always to the swift, nor the fight to the strong, but that's the way to bet

  9. #88
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    Apr 2011
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    Jacksonville, NC
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Can we be sure that, for example, there is not a competition locating fittest sperm going on?
    Good point Mike.
    I think that the more we look at the issue, the more it becomes evident that a competition does exist.
    Baer talks about such potential mechanisms, namely sperm competition and cryptic female choice.
    http://www.apidologie.org/articles/a...5/02/M4072.pdf

  10. #89
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Good thinking you both bring to the table.
    Apis maximus do you know if this line of research (sperm competition and cryptic female choice) had latest developments?

  11. #90
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    Apr 2011
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    Jacksonville, NC
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    Default Re: Honeybee Genetics and Breeding Bees

    Quote Originally Posted by Eduardo Gomes View Post
    ... do you know if this line of research (sperm competition and cryptic female choice) had latest developments?
    No, I don't. I am sure though that they are ongoing.
    But I would love to be a fly on the wall at a nice, amicable dinner table with the Koenigers, Harbo, Tarpy...and maybe a few others for good measure...discussing and debating topics like this and listening to their findings and observations, that never get to be published.

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