Question on Queen and drone genetics
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Spring, Texas
    Posts
    261

    Default Question on Queen and drone genetics

    I live out of Houston and we do have AHBs around. There are a lot of feral bees around me when I clean up looking at the different sizes and coloration.

    My bees seem to go hot and cold and wondered if the queen breeds with 20-30 drones how is their sperm stored?

    When the queen fertilizes an egg which drone deposit is used or all the sperm all mixed up with random selection?
    OR
    if she uses that particular area where you get a lot of the same drone's donation effecting the hives attitude?

    Would this cause months where you get bees that go really mean then when she moves to another drone's sperm you get gentle bees for a while?

    I have had some odd times this year with my bees not just being pissed one day but come out stinging after you smoke and crack the top for a month or two and have to double dress to work the bees. Is it the queen and a superseder or a bad Dad?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Wharton, Texas, USA
    Posts
    229

    Default

    I think the amount of drones they mate with is much lower. You should requeen I’ve got five hives like that out of my 50 and they are all from swarms or removals. I’m in Wharton so in your area I’ve been raising my own queens and they have all mated locally and produced calm bees.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,102

    Default Re: Question on Queen and drone genetics

    Hive temperament changes throughout the year. While genetics will help control the overall temperament, even the most docile bees can get pissy at times.
    Zone 5B

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Spring, Texas
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: Question on Queen and drone genetics

    Sounds like my wife from time to time too.

    I still wonder if some of these periods come from the drone genetics that cause these longer periods and just not a bad day in the bee yard. Get a bunch of aggressive bees that die off and replaced by another drone's genetics and calm down.

    I do not know what all the genetics are out here in Spring Texas just north of Houston. I got back into bees last year with some smaller darker queens and all sorts of bees in size and color. Now my queens are big yellow queens and the bees have a more standard size and color though a split I made from a big yellow queen gave me a small dark queen. I gave the two new hives to a friend and he says out of 20 hives these are both his two most pissy hives day in and out.

    I was cleaning up some stuff earlier in the year and had almost black honey bees coming in to help clean up. I know that there are a lot of feral bees around me.

    What do you requeen with? I have good producing honey bees, few hive beetles and very few mites. The remind me of my old bees growing up. Medium hot.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Powhatan, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    362

    Default Re: Question on Queen and drone genetics

    The individual drone sperm is not compartmentalized in the spermatheca. So it is more likely to be external conditions affecting their variable temperament during the seasons.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Wharton, Texas, USA
    Posts
    229

    Default

    I make my own queens now but there are some good local options.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,775

    Default Re: Question on Queen and drone genetics

    >My bees seem to go hot and cold and wondered if the queen breeds with 20-30 drones how is their sperm stored?

    In the spermatheca.

    >When the queen fertilizes an egg which drone deposit is used or all the sperm all mixed up with random selection?

    It is somewhat mixed and somewhat layered.

    >if she uses that particular area where you get a lot of the same drone's donation effecting the hives attitude?

    I have seen a colony change color over time (more lighter to more darker bees or visa versa), which would indicate some layering. But at the same time the colony is usually a mixture of colors all the time, which would indicate some mixing.

    >Would this cause months where you get bees that go really mean then when she moves to another drone's sperm you get gentle bees for a while?

    Maybe. But also the time of year and the avaiable forage can change it as well as being messed with by skunks etc.

    >I have had some odd times this year with my bees not just being pissed one day but come out stinging after you smoke and crack the top for a month or two and have to double dress to work the bees. Is it the queen and a superseder or a bad Dad?

    Sometimes it's a change in the weather that puts them in a bad mood.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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