Bee Lineage Question
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  1. #1
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    Jul 2012
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    Default Bee Lineage Question

    Relatively inexperienced keeper here with a question about bee lineage, and I apologize ahead of time if this question is long winded. Our start in keeping was a hive of bees taken from a downed tree 3 years ago. These girls have wintered in the armpit of the Snowbelt in Northwestern PA, are very docile to work with, and very productive. Seeing as I have had a variety of people ranging from the state inspector to local keepers expressing interest in acquiring queens from this hive, I am very interested in keeping this line going.

    My brother in law is the local swarm remover, and I occasionally will have the opportunity to get a swarm if I want. So my question is, would introducing swarm hives into my yard affect the bee line that I want to keep going?

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Bee Lineage Question

    No more so than anything else. When her queen daughters go out on their respective mating flights you're automatically going to be introducing genes from a non-direct lineage source. Every time there's another generation of queens mated only 1/2 of her respective genes that are in that queen will continue on. By the 4th generation only 1/16 of her genes will be there and it drops like a stone after that. Not sure if this qualifies as keeping the line going. Keep in mind her drones will be reproducing with any queens you've got too but cleanly controlling the lines isn't really feasible with honeybees. Her genes will be in the respective apiary mix, but where only God knows.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  4. #3
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    Hollywood, MD
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    Default Re: Bee Lineage Question

    Sort of, D Coates. As long as the current queen lives she will continue to propagate. Any queen that she lays will continue the line, and once mated will reduce the DNA by half, as you said. But if Greg were to raise a bunch of queens from this one even with other hives present, every queen would have half of the genetic makeup of the current hive.

  5. #4
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    Apr 2009
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    Stilwell, KS
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    Default Re: Bee Lineage Question

    What happens when a queen mates with a drone that is her own offspring?
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Bee Lineage Question

    That can't happen. By the time she can lay a drone egg she can no longer mate.
    Sometimes the lights all shining on me
    Other times I can barely see. -The Grateful Dead

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Bee Lineage Question

    OK that was a stupid question. I guess I missed the talk about the birds and the bees.
    Honey Badger Don't Care ಠ_ಠ ~=[,,_,,]:3

  8. #7
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    Jul 2013
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    Cullman, Alabama, USA
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    1,240

    Default Re: Bee Lineage Question

    I am pretty new at this too. I have the luxury of 3 locations, about 15 miles north & south of "home".
    the crazy bees all go to one yard. any hive demonstrating crazy tendencies get moved there, all drone brood is killed until it can be moved. not practical or perfect, but do what you can)
    Line "A" is at one yard, Line "B" is at another yard. I move nuc's from "A" to "B" for queen development & breeding. I keep the "crazy bees" because , except for being a little defensive, and known hive robbers, they have some good qualities too.
    I do not kill drones from from my gentle hives, but celebrate their appearance!
    Good Luck with your bees! CE
    Started summer of 2013, just another new guy, tinkering with bees.

  9. #8
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    Jul 2012
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    Corry, PA
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    Default Re: Bee Lineage Question

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    That can't happen. By the time she can lay a drone egg she can no longer mate.
    This may be along the lines of what I am asking about. Seeing as the hive I have is pretty well isolated from other bees (that I can tell), any splits I make from the hive would likely mate with drones from the main line queen. Would it be a bad idea to bring a swarm hive into the yard?

  10. #9
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    Feb 2014
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    Clinton, Iowa
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    Default Re: Bee Lineage Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_L View Post
    This may be along the lines of what I am asking about. Seeing as the hive I have is pretty well isolated from other bees (that I can tell), any splits I make from the hive would likely mate with drones from the main line queen. Would it be a bad idea to bring a swarm hive into the yard?
    There are more bees around than you know, I'm sure.

  11. #10
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    Sacramento, California
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    Default Re: Bee Lineage Question

    A better question would be what happens when one of her daughters mates with a drone she laid. I believe this would tend to reinforce her genetics. Of course that drone would be only one of the 10 to 20 she mated with. This also brings up the question of how many of the drones she mates with will be 'brother' drones. Unfortunately this is very hard to determine and is largely guesswork.

  12. #11
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    charleston, wv, usa
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    Default Re: Bee Lineage Question

    There are "drone congregation areas" where drones from around the area hang out.
    The guy I got my bees from has yards in the surrounding areas of his main yard to buffer the introduction of stray genetics.
    "SERENITY is realizing that the bees know what they are doing, even when you don't..."--thenance007

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Bee Lineage Question

    Double post
    Last edited by HIVE+; 05-19-2015 at 10:21 AM. Reason: double post
    "SERENITY is realizing that the bees know what they are doing, even when you don't..."--thenance007

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Bee Lineage Question

    Quote Originally Posted by HIVE+ View Post
    There are "drone congregation areas" where drones from around the area hang out.
    The guy I got my bees from has yards in the surrounding areas of his main yard to buffer the introduction of stray genetics.
    How does one know where the DCA's are? How does one know which DCA a specific queen is going to visit? Unless you live on an island or you're doing artificial insemination you've got very little control over who a queen mates with. Keeping a line pure is genetically impossible unless you're inbreeding it and that creates a whole new set of issues.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Bee Lineage Question

    No to mention that a queen will fly far away specifically to avoid mating with her own drones which tend to be in the closer DCAs.
    --shinbone
    (1975-1980, and now since 2011; maintain about 10 hives; Zone 5b; 15" rain; 5500')

  16. #15
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    Corry, PA
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    Default Re: Bee Lineage Question

    So would you more experienced keepers introduce caught swarms into your yard, or avoid them to keep the current strain going?

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Bee Lineage Question

    I don't know all the details, just what he said. To clarify, he raises and sells about a hundred nucs a year with AI queens, so genetics will vary, but if he populated his outyards (that take 50 mile loop to service) with known genetics and sells bees to neighbors, then he has some insulation in the center. Not foolproof.
    "SERENITY is realizing that the bees know what they are doing, even when you don't..."--thenance007

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Bee Lineage Question

    Quote Originally Posted by shinbone View Post
    No to mention that a queen will fly far away specifically to avoid mating with her own drones which tend to be in the closer DCAs.
    No they won't.
    The DCA is "the spot". If it were possible to fly to another, those drones would congregate as well, forming a new "spot". But it doesn't matter, they aren't her drones anyway, she's 4 or 5 days old.
    If they can catch her, they can breed with her, establishing just the first of many criteria in a successful genetic line.
    The recombinant genetic lines (yes, plural) of the laying queen will all have variance that effectively prevents inbreeding beyond naturally occurring similarities, making them more similar to second or third (and further) cousins than brother/sister, much like the very common breeding of Hampshires with Yorkshires for market hogs, or Morgans with Thoroughbreds to get the original Quarterhorses.
    "Russian" bees are "Russian bees" specifically because of the limited gene pool in which they originally bred. The same goes for any other subspecies. This gives them an advantage in some geographic areas as opposed to others.

  19. #18
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    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
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    Default Re: Bee Lineage Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_L View Post
    Relatively inexperienced keeper here with a question about bee lineage, and I apologize ahead of time if this question is long winded. Our start in keeping was a hive of bees taken from a downed tree 3 years ago. These girls have wintered in the armpit of the Snowbelt in Northwestern PA, are very docile to work with, and very productive. Seeing as I have had a variety of people ranging from the state inspector to local keepers expressing interest in acquiring queens from this hive, I am very interested in keeping this line going.

    My brother in law is the local swarm remover, and I occasionally will have the opportunity to get a swarm if I want. So my question is, would introducing swarm hives into my yard affect the bee line that I want to keep going?
    The same sort of thing goes for chickens also. We replenish our stock from the original 25 we purchased about four years ago. No three legged chickens yet.

    To answer your question; It may be the reason your current bees are so good or it may even improve them. How far was the bee tree from the current location of the hive you are asking about? A local swarm may be related.
    Congrats on your good luck.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Bee Lineage Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_L View Post
    So would you more experienced keepers introduce caught swarms into your yard, or avoid them to keep the current strain going?
    When I catch a swarm I bring it home and check it after a week. If the hive is doing well and has a laying queen I move it to my apiary and move on. If the new hive gets drones out for any queens I've got, great. My hives are all mutts. I buy queens here and there to add additional genes but I don't worry with one strain or specific queen over another. Poor performing or mean queens get pinched or die out over winter otherwise I merely hope they survive and pay their way with honey, wax, and pollen.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Bee Lineage Question

    Quote Originally Posted by HIVE+ View Post
    I don't know all the details, just what he said. To clarify, he raises and sells about a hundred nucs a year with AI queens, so genetics will vary, but if he populated his outyards (that take 50 mile loop to service) with known genetics and sells bees to neighbors, then he has some insulation in the center. Not foolproof.
    No worries. If he's trying to get substantially more money for his nucs claiming he's got a certain genetic line I'd be wary. As you pointed out, it's not foolproof.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

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