Well this might change things! - Page 2
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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
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    2,628

    Default Re: Well this might change things!

    I was hiking up a trail near where one of the commercial beek's keeps her mating nucleus colonies. I counted 44 small mating nuc's. In a nearby gulch, I heard a loud buzzing. I hurried over thinking it was a swarm. WRONG! It was a DCA in a full-speed, all-out mating orgy. I sat on the side of the hill and witnessed well over a thousand drone comets perhaps 2,000, some passed as close as 3 feet from my face, in about 2 hours. It was still in full spree when I left. That's a lot more than 13 matings per queen! 44X13=572, so I suppose the average was over 26 per queen, no stretch of the imagination 50 per queen - entirely possible.

    And that's assuming that all of them were mating on the same day...fairly unlikely, although commercials may be fairly adept at keeping the queen rearing schedule and conditions pretty consistent. Is this news? No - old news, many queen rearing specialists have been saying "in the neighborhood of 50 drones" for quite some time. 77 is a new high number for any research paper I've heard, but I remember hearing 55 quite some time ago. Practical experience tells me the maximum is probably a bit higher.

    Drones from different colonies will most likely have different traits and "specialties" that their female offspring display. This helps out a colony with a well-mated queen mother in that there are a variety of "specialist" bees when the colony meets varying conditions. Bees with a long proboscis can find nectar in flowers that are too deep for a bee with a short proboscis. Bees that venture out a long distance to gather water, propolis, nectar and pollen might really help out in drought conditions. Highly energetic bees that fly very fast and make a lot of trips in a day can take maximum advantage of short, intense blooms, especially early in the season. Slower bees might help keep the hive warmer. Variety is generally a helpful thing.

    Drones from the same drone mother (or from "sister" queens ((whether full sister, 3/4 sister, or half-sister)) from related colonies) will still have a different mix of the genetics from the same (or related) mother(s). Perhaps a bit less total variety, but still plenty of variety for the survival of a colony. We're talking millions of variations, perhaps billions.

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  3. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    53,922

    Default Re: Well this might change things!

    I've typically heard "up to 40" so "up to 50" isn't that far from that. It's not that hard to test since all the sperm from one drone are identical. Some DNA testing should give a very accurate count.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    764

    Default Re: Well this might change things!

    Quote Originally Posted by sunkool View Post
    I have been studying bees for some time now. I have read countless books, read hundreds of web pages, watched hundreds of hours of videos. Never once did I hear or read up to 50 drones. The average seems to be 13.
    ok mathematically up to 50 allows an average of 13 Would be a few with 3 or 5 or none they may not find any drones. or drones find them i guess point of view is also at play here.

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    764

    Default Re: Well this might change things!

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    Forgot to mention ...

    In that paper: https://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0199124 evidence is presented that workers select specific larvae (assuming that they have a choice in the matter, and are not just limited to one or two which remain viable) from which to raise queens when faced with an emergency queenless situation.

    If this is indeed significant, then it does not bode too well for any method of queen-rearing which involves humans making larval selections.
    LJ
    This has been my opinion for a couple decades, the bees choose, as it should be. Some eggs would be good pollen carriers, some good propolizers, some good winter bees , and some good queens. If you graft 100s some will be great queens. It is "possible", but with the bees choosing it will be "probable"
    GG

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,474

    Default Re: Well this might change things!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gray Goose View Post
    This has been my opinion for a couple decades, the bees choose, as it should be. Some eggs would be good pollen carriers, some good propolizers, some good winter bees , and some good queens. If you graft 100s some will be great queens. It is "possible", but with the bees choosing it will be "probable"
    GG
    As a matter of fact, the grafting itself might have a part of the messing normal processes.
    With bees, we don't want the "mono-culture" - but the grafting kind of like feels as if producing mono-culture queens.

    Moreover, I will share soon my results of cell size observations for the 2019 samples.
    In general the natural combs have sections of cells with different sizes.

    Now - did anyone bother testing the genetics of the bee cohorts coming out of those different cell regions?
    Are they the same? Are they not the same? Does it matter?
    Pretty sure - no one ever bothered - probably did not even cross their minds.
    (because you know - for most all researchers the cells are the same 5.4mm standard foundation-based - the researchers don't know any better - why should I trust these findings?)
    Back to the mono-culture queens since the human-picking the particular larvae for grafting really has no real rhyme or reason (let us call it an "art").
    Last edited by GregV; 11-13-2019 at 08:04 PM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

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