PS. If you google Thomas Rueppel you will find a picture with him and Br. Adam, some 30 years ago...
PS. If you google Thomas Rueppel you will find a picture with him and Br. Adam, some 30 years ago...
Last edited by Hunajavelho; 12-21-2019 at 12:02 PM.
Rueppel's queens are tested in big commersial apiaries by beekeepers like Ivan Curic, who runs the apiaries organically and has about 2000 hives. The drone mother is usually selected out of 100 sister queens.
Last edited by Hunajavelho; 12-21-2019 at 12:07 PM. Reason: typing errors
I did at one time look into Queens from Ontario, the paper work and delays at the boarder were a bit of a turn off. Doable but with some delays and some extra effort. The effort is not a big deal, but I am not into keeping queens in a cages any longer than necessary.
I guess it is not a problem or is it eliminated by selection in the first crosses... I do not know...
By recovery, I mean that, they write that the colonies are strong after they have been treated and remain strong through the following year and tthat the colonies seem to suffer very little from varroa related viruses.
An interesting detail about the Takab93 Iranian line (a.m.meda) is according to Rueppel was very hard to get strong hives into winter as they in the pure form and the first crosses would stop brood rearing as early as end of july in Germany. This is a trait that they have wanted to improve in the buckfast bees and been able to keep in this line, now they stop brood rearing in september wich helps them to do the varroa treatment early. The trait is also very heritable so that is why the Iranian line is used as drone lines on many mating stations at the moment. Both Jungels and Rueppel struggled with temper and nervousness in the beginning.
B154 is the breeder of that year
B158 is her mother
B120 is the mother of the queens of the drone hives ( in this case 8 hives, headed by sister queens, insemination done year 2017)
B120 has been used for breeding and maybe some 30 daughters was raised. From these 30 hives 8 outstanding hives were selected to serve as dronehives.
I have not been avoiding your question, but I am afraid I am a bit out of my depth in evaluating pedigrees.
It appears that the last year that Thomas Rueppel utilized Eglon stock was 2006:
If I read this properly, it appears there is Eglon stock in the pedigree of B106(TR):
Thank you for your reply. While researching Mr. Erik Österlund's involvement with the Buckfast breeding program, I came across this presentation he gave to the 1999 Apimondia. In it he said, "When we stop using new races in a Buckfast type of breeding it is even still more important then before to avoid close inbreeding. Close inbreeding is our biggest enemy destroying what we have achieved. With inbreeding you loose a lot of the genetic varieties, and further progress becomes less possible and less probable. But in rare instances, especially when you just have crossed two very different strains or races, it can be a tool to help you get more predictable results in the following generations."
It is an excellent read, and addresses many of the concepts we have been discussing, particularly the role of 'Mother' and 'Father' colonies in a close-mated paradigm:
He is using monticola Elgon, but monticola is not only Erik Österlund. There are other breeders using it too.
I am curious to find the exact breeder originating from Erik Österlund. Is Elgon in the pedigree referring to the place Mount Elgon, or to the Trademark of Erik Österlund and his friends??
The list of breeders (beekeepers) in down of the page on the left side of each breeder queen.
E106 list is E:
Eugen Neuhauser (A)
PN: Horst Preissl & Johannes Neuburger (A)
TR: Thomas Rueppel (D)
I cannot be sure, but I think we are getting closer. The lineage of B106(TR) has OL(PN) which is described as a first generation descendant of 'Old Lady'- described as an, "import Afrique du Sud Old Lady TR personal comm - pure original Old Lady..."
It may be coincidental, but Erik Österlund and his team nicknamed their Landrover 'Old Lady' when looking for Monticola:
Thus he observes that, “… where the honeybee is concerned Nature uses every possible means of preventing inbreeding.” [p. 22]
He notes, “The term ‘Inbreeding’ refers to matings of close relatives within the limits of the breeding line, or in a wider sense within a strain or ecotype.” [p. 54]
So why does Nature use such extraordinary measures to avoid inbreeding?
Brother Adam explains, “Inbreeding leads to an intensification of small mutations and unavoidably to loss of vigor.” [p. 44]
He goes on to note, “As practical experience shows over and over again the most serious result of inbreeding is the progressive loss of stamina.” [p. 22]
He further warns, “Inbreeding… can have a disastrous effect on longevity.” [p. 59]
Yet despite these admonitions, inbreeding is routinely (and often successfully) employed in animal husbandry (and more recently in European Honeybees) for the primary purpose of fixing specific traits.
If for example one considers selection for inherent varroa resistance mechanisms, Mr. Tom Glenn explains it thus, "Given enough time and in the absence of chemical treatment, European bees would probably become adapted to Varroa by natural selection, as the Asian honeybee has. The goal of the bee breeder is to accelerate this process through artificial selection. This is done by identifying the bees with the desired characteristics and controlling their mating to accumulate these traits in a 'closed population'. Closed population breeding programs have long been used with great success in the breeding of dogs, cattle, and other livestock. It has only been relatively recently that the mating biology, genetics, and techniques in artificial (instrumental) insemination of bees have been worked out so as to make possible, sustainable closed population breeding programs."
He further notes, "Genetic consistency and genetic diversity are opposite ends of a spectrum. One necessarily gives up diversity in trade for "fixing" any trait in an individual, a colony, or a population."
However, Brother Adam urges extreme caution with this approach. He notes, “… where it is deemed necessary to apply intensive inbreeding with the corresponding control of mating, high loss of brood and all the other drawbacks are unavoidable … a confirmation that we can use inbreeding only exceptionally.” [p. 48]
Said more directly, in his book 'In Search of the Best Strains of Bees' he warns, “A progressive loss of vigour, as uniformity increases, precludes any far-reaching or revolutionary improvement in the bee by this mode of approach.” [p. 18]
Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!
Last edited by Litsinger; 12-24-2019 at 05:34 PM.
"We're trying to ensure the failure of modern beekeeping by focusing too much on single traits; by ignoring the elements of Wildness; and by constantly treating the bees. The biggest mistake of all is to continue viewing mites and other "pests" as enemies that must be destroyed, instead of allies and teachers that are trying to show us a path to a better future. The more virulent a parasite is, the more powerful a tool it can be for improving stocks and practice in the future. All the boring and soul-destroying work of counting mites on sticky boards, killing brood with liquid nitrogen, watching bees groom each other, and measuring brood hormone levels---all done in thousands of replications---will someday be seen as a colossal waste of time when we finally learn to let the Varroa mites do these things for us. My own methods of propagating, selecting and breeding bees, worked out through many years of trial and error, are really just an attempt to establish and utilize Horizontal breeding with honeybees---to create a productive system that preserves and enhances the elements of Wildness. My results are not perfect, but they have enabled me to continue making a living from bees without much stress, and have a positive outlook for the future. I have no doubt that many other beekeepers could easily achieve these same results, and then surpass them."--Kirk Webster, What's missing from the current discussion and work related to bees that's preventing us from making good progress.
Last edited by JWChesnut; 12-25-2019 at 04:36 PM.
I always liked kirk's wheat example of breeding. You basically let all the wheat out there do its thing all the time and then picked the best seed to plant. I realize the argument of nature breeding to average and allowing bad traits, allows bad traits to put downward pressure on the good traits. However, what a good trait or a bad trait means in one situation could mean something different in a different situation. Seems to me that a middle of the road goal that keeps good and bad around might actually be the safer route in the big picture as nature is not static and who knows what will be needed and when.
The safest route in my mind (being uneducated) seems to be to bring everything that I get access to into my apiary and then to get what use I can from the bees that survive being in my apiary (with little help from me except maybe to recognize bad drought or such and sugar feeding) and making small effort to increase from the ones I like best.
Even with small numbers of hives, if they live, this seems safest in my mind. This keeps me from getting to thinking that I am smart enough to muddle through what are important traits and what are not. Let the bees prove what is important to them and then pick the ones that give me closer to what is also important to me from that pool.
I hunted rabbits with my beagle and thought that was a good way with dogs (that need humans to survive) to have been bred but think with bees that can be tame or wild, that more of a wind pollination with lots of traits works better for low input bee keeping bees.
I like keeping up with the other avenues then my current thoughts so I can compare my thoughts and re-evaluate till I myself am no longer around for it to matter to me.
Merry Christmas- thank you for your detailed and helpful post. I particularly appreciated the assessment parameters you outline in your 'Whole Bee' write-up. I certainly can appreciate that, "The genetic combinations that lead to success are almost infinitely complex. The combinational analysis of what makes a gentle, productive, healthy bee is beyond our comprehension. But observing success is not beyond our comprehension."
As you note, "Look at the big picture of health and good instincts. Not single traits." This seems in my very humble view to be a great guiding precept for our selection efforts.
Regarding mite virulence as a selection tool, MSL recently posted a talk that Mr. Kirk Webster gave at this year's Apimondia in which he articulates the same premise:
That said, I have no experience in the realm of bee improvement nor the benefit of years of observing the increasing virulence of varroa mites since their arrival in the US.
Thank you again for your helpful post- I sincerely appreciate you contributing.
Last edited by Litsinger; 12-25-2019 at 09:19 PM.
Merry Christmas! Thank you for the great post.
In many ways I have patterned my current approach on yours based on the success you have had.
While I am ever-prepared for collapse, these precepts seem to have served me well thus far.
Also, I too really enjoy and appreciate reading about different approaches to beekeeping and hope to always have the opportunity to find common ground and maintain a spirit of goodwill and an open mind when listening and talking about something we all enjoy and derive satisfaction from.
I sincerely hope that this year to come is full of good health and abundance for you and your family.
too funny, given his search for natural local resistant stock failed him, and his success only changed when he bought bees that had been selected by such measures(USDA Russian).. as he detailed in his 2019 Apimondia speechAll the boring and soul-destroying work of counting mites on sticky boards, killing brood with liquid nitrogen, watching bees groom each other, and measuring brood hormone levels---all done in thousands of replications---will someday be seen as a colossal waste of time
Notably Sam Comfort's speech in Apimondia 2019 says he owns his success (at start, KTBHs in a norther clime)to the same stock (he got to hand pick breeders from Webster).
Treating for resistanceWhat's missing from the current discussion and work related to bees that's preventing us from making good progress.
selection pressure, grafting, mite counts, knocking down mite bombs and lowering over mite all pressure so that resistant lines and more importantly there drones can prosper.
An unnatural level of drone production means an unnatural level of mite production witch means to do the most good we may need to do a little evil to saturate and propagate, IPM
Economically viable beekeeping
that means honey and pollination, yes you can make bees, and make queens TF
but can that stock turn a profit to your customers if run as TF ?
that's the rub, reputability of results
Its not a bad example at all, more or less how swarm beekeeping worked as the small hives gave them a chance to hit reproduction age in summer instead of waiting till springI always liked kirk's wheat example of breeding. You basically let all the wheat out there do its thing all the time and then picked the best seed to plant.
in the wheat example the human only alows "the best" that lived to its reproductive cycle to reproduce. and the poor and advrage are culled
Every "superior" wheat plant produces 50 seeds to be used next year. So your propagating for the top 2% of your stock !
but bees(in big hives) hit thier reproductive cycle in the spring, so to follow the wheat example you need to pick the best of what lived till spring (to reproduction age) and cull the rest.
Last edited by msl; 12-26-2019 at 12:47 PM.
Brother Adam used inbreeding as a tool to fix traits.
When we look at the many words Brother Adam used to write about the dangers of inbreeding it is good to remember, that in the beginning, buckfast bees were not welcomed by leading scientists and beekeeping associations in his homeland Germany. They supported carnica as the only race in Germany.
There has been furious fights between pure breeding carnica group and buckfast beekeepers in Germany.
Carnica is a, successfull, school example of pure breeding. Race breeding was (is?) a red flag to the carnica group. Germany is a tightly populated country, there is no room for angry bees. In the beginning lots of misunderstandings about the buckfast breeding system and its possible effects on pure carnica.