When should I be concerned with Queen Inbreeding:
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    131

    Default When should I be concerned with Queen Inbreeding:

    Hi All,

    I started my bee keeping with a package and a nuc. In the next season i purchased 2 local breed northern queens most likely from the same BQ. Subsequently I purchased a Carny from CA. Early in it's 2nd season one of the purchased queens went drone layer even though she started the season with a great pattern. I have expanded to about 15 colonies trying to use swarm cells from the best colonies when available.

    In the meant time I'm getting concerned that some of the queens seem to be failing earlier than I would have thought. I have a hive currently that was doing great but now I'm seeing little bullets pop up on the newest freshly drawn frames in a shotgun pattern. Some frames have none but the ones they just drew out and she laid almost look laying worker drone sized.

    This was actually a hive I relocated last summer for mating after making the splits. Most of the other open mate in my yard.

    How long can you open mate in the parent yard before you start seeing issues with the queens? Is it a genetic issue or is it more likely that they didn't mate well?

    Thanks for your assistance!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,514

    Default Re: When should I be concerned with Queen Inbreeding:

    There are lots of beekeepers in our area, so I think you have access to a wide variety of genetics for open mating.

    New beekeepers starting out with packages or spring nucs sold by local bee suppliers bring a flood of new genetics each season.

    You and I are probably separated by maybe, at most, two or three mating flight distances. There are several dozens of beekeepers in our area. And you are also nearer than I am to some commercial nuc-raising yards.

    It may be more likely to be poor mating conditions, due to timing (during queen development in her natal hive, and/or chilly weather) lack of drones, and the perpetual problem of virus-laden neighboring hives due to uncontrolled varroa. I have read that some viral diseases can be passed to queens venereally, shortening their lives.

    I am making a conscious (though somewhat inconvenient) attempt to make increase later than being prompted simply by the timing demanded by swarm control. I like my queens raised on the fat of the locust flow. This year is a bust for that, though, so I am shifting to the basswood flow.

    Nancy

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,007

    Default Re: When should I be concerned with Queen Inbreeding:

    Queens get VD? I suppose it was bound to happen, but I am disappointed nonetheless.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,550

    Default Re: When should I be concerned with Queen Inbreeding:

    When you see shotgun brood you probably have an inbreeding prolem.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: When should I be concerned with Queen Inbreeding:

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    When you see shotgun brood you probably have an inbreeding prolem.
    Shotgun brood across what % of your hives would indicate inbreeding in your opinion?
    Zone 7a - 1650ft

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,577

    Default Re: When should I be concerned with Queen Inbreeding:

    "shotgun brood" consisting of empty or relaid cells amongst normal capped worker brood is a different situation than when the normal capped worker brood is dotted with bullet nosed drone brood. First round of brood on combs that had crystallized honey and pockets of pollen can make it impossible to throw a nice pattern by even the finest queen. It would be nice to see what things look starting from a frame of well drawn empty comb.

    My first rounds of brood in the spring sometimes dont pattern so well. When they start drawing out fresh comb and the queen gets organized, things change.

    I think it would be hard to find a place so isolated in that area that inbreeding is noticeable. It would be a breeders delight to find such a spot!
    Frank

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    131

    Default

    So 2 weeks ago i was in to remove the swarm cells for the 3rd or 4th week. Saw the scattred bullets and decided to crush and move on. Wasnt able to locate her however so i returned last week to do the deed. I found small patterns of her laying all fresh eggs and hardly any mature larva or capped brood. Her laying was on most frames in 2 boxes but only in small softball pattern. I honestly thought it might have been LW so I was looking for multiple eggs but found none. I did notice that some were laid sloppily not in the center of the cell. I then located her and removed her as there were capped cells. Im worried the cells might not be viable if she is inbred. Im thinking they may be just following her around and removing her eggs since the lack of mature or capped brood. Just really strange.

    Could them trying to slimm her down to swarm cause some of her issues?

    I did an experiment with her that was probably a dumb idea. I have a hive thats at the edge of LW as i did a sgb method 2 and the virgin never made it back. They were absent of any brood for 2 or 3 weeks, no LW yet however, so I took 2 frames of eggs and uncapped from above the sgb and brought it down. I then had my dud queen from the hive above in a cage and did a test acceptance at the entrance. Then let her march in and she did so with no resistance. I'm now regretted that decision almost immediatly. I wanted them to make some cells with the injected queen but also was concerned they would go LW prior to her coming back. My plan is to see what she has done and then give her the thumb. Ill then newspaper combine the old queen from above the sgb after 4 hours. Let me know your thoughts..

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