Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

21 - 40 of 64 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,522 Posts
I am thinking that continuing deselection of the lesser desireable traits would always have to be maintained, as well as the positive selection, even after a satisfactory target was attained
correct, that's SOP with bees, you have to maintain the stock, think breed standards in other live stock. If you let up on selection pressure you lose ground, and with bees genetic recombination and mating habits it can happen fast. This is said to be what happen to John Kefuss' stock when his son took over the honey operation, let up on the selective breeding, wham mites wiped him out and he(the son) had to turn to treatments to attempt to rebuild..

Would inbreeding depression start to occur in this scenario without bringing in external genetics?
I was waiting for some to to grab this low hanging fruit...
if they have the isolation they think they have and take the loses they think they will it would certainly seem to be a problem..
getting all hives from a single source and expecting to come into spring with 16 or less hives doesn't seem like a wide enough genetic base.

50 queens is often given as the minimum needed for a closed population, Honestly I haven dug muck in to it as I am unlikely to have drone control over the mating of production queens in the near future.

could a stable population of desirable bees come to exist by then just letting said bees, bee bees
everything is possibly with bees... probability is a different matter...
we haven't seen it happen yet.... not in Gotland, not in Avignon, not in Le Mans, not in the Arnot Forest

the flip side is we have repeatably seen human directed selective breeding create commercially viably mite resistant stocks...

I wonder if the limited genetic diversity found in commercially available bees has what it takes
US commercial bees are much more deverce then feral bees, or the native subspecies the were originally derived from do to all the moving, mixing and crossing.

Even just removing the bottom 10% repeatedly would move the needle over time in a closed system.
the US is a closed system with no (ok very little) new genetics in, in this system the "bottom" 40% are removed yearly, are we making breeding progress? are the losses getting less every year?

Theoretically the lower half of the average survivors died while the better half survived.
At this distribution survival is chance, flip a coin. There performance is statistical the same, small sample size you will have outliers do to resulistion issues that smoothout with larger numbers.


What it takes to shift/maintain a trait in bees is well known and well documented. Just because mites have shown up doesn't change the rules
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,042 Posts
Discussion Starter #22 (Edited)
I find this PDF of interest in terms of "breeding bees on a small scale" which is applicable here.

The ref is courtesy of little_john:
http://bibba.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Breeding-honeybees-on-a-small-scale-Dorian-Pritchard.pdf
The paper starts:
According to Ruttner, you need a minimum of 40 colonies to breed bees successfully.
However, with an open mating system I find you can manage with a tenth of that number, just four........
A very good read as for me.
I already am interested in trying wing morphometry to identify the make up of my survivor bees - been reading up.
Seems a doable project at home.
The paper also refers to wing morphometry as one of the tools used for the backyard bee selection.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,104 Posts
Careful with the wing morphometry. Because it has been used as an identifier, there is some evidence that people have been breeding for wing morphometry, which in the great genetic melting pot of the modern honeybee, has less and less to do with the rest of the bee, as it once did in pure strains.

Wing morphometry was once used as an identifier of africanised bees but has become increasingly unreliable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
I read somewhere recently that due to commercial breeders supplying the majority of queens, we’ve lost like 80% of genetic diversity over the last 20 years. I’ll have to try to find it again.

I guess I don’t have any proof, but I would say that our bees have been evolving and changing due to selection pressure. It’s just a question of what is being selected for. Since the bulk of bees are bred by grafting in huge quantities for commercial beekeepers, the selection pressure is whatever they choose to proliferate. The bees are ‘evolving’ to fit the beekeeping practices of these beekeepers, which might not fit the goals of small, stationary, northern beekeepers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,042 Posts
Discussion Starter #25 (Edited)
Careful with the wing morphometry....
Understanding that.
Really, more interested in the patterns on hand (whatever they are) vs. trying to link to some subspecies.
Here and now trying to find some underlying ancestry is useless, pretty much.

Practically speaking I may not have time (wish was retired!).
Theoretically I want to check it out (got a scanner and the software to do it).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,042 Posts
Discussion Starter #26
....small, stationary, northern beekeepers.
I have a very strong hunch - "small, stationary, northern beekeepers" are interested in bees like mine.
Hobbyists get tired of buying bees annually.
Too bad, I don't have enough of them to sell.
Need to figure out how raise more of these!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
I have a very strong hunch - "small, stationary, northern beekeepers" are interested in bees like mine.
Hobbyists get tired of buying bees annually.
Too bad, I don't have enough of them to sell.
Need to figure out how raise more of these!
I thought you only had 1 of your 14 hives survive winter?

Raising lots of bees is easy if you have survival. I made 8 nucs from one overwintered hive last weekend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
459 Posts
thats the easy part. when you get around a hundred similar colonies and control over 2-3+ square miles you might start getting somewhere (dependant on location). and even then when you move them hard to say what happens. stock from some pretty well known names as stated above have crashed horribly on a regular basis within their own operation and even worse when taken to other locales. from about '99 to maybe '07 think the michigan project had inseminated something in neighborhood of 60 crosses of survivor stock. in the end there were just under 20 untreated best of the best breeders left. theres some reasons usda only kept 3 of those to add to the mix for release to public
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,522 Posts
I have a very strong hunch - "small, stationary, northern beekeepers" are interested in bees like mine
I think you are overestimating the quality of you lone survivor that hasn't made a 2nd winter
compare that to my breeder this year...
Started the hive as a swarm in 2016 (meaning they been local sense at least 2015). I have never re queened it but I am sure they took care of things(I didn't used to mark).. Survives just fine on a split and 2 OA treatments a year . Genital, calm on the comb, productive

kind a "tale of 2 beekeepers" as we both went into winter with about 20...

I read somewhere recently that due to commercial breeders supplying the majority of queens, we’ve lost like 80% of genetic diversity over the last 20 years.
HARPUR etal (2012) "We found that managed honey bees actually have higher levels of genetic diversity compared with their progenitors in East and West Europe, providing an unusual example whereby human management increases genetic diversity by promoting admixture."
https://www.researchgate.net/public...genetic_diversity_of_honey_bees_via_admixture

I find you can manage with a tenth of that number, just four
The writer is out there...
you can't "breed" unless you control the drone stock and queen stock https://gsejournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12711-019-0518-y
You can practice stock selection and change you hives traits, a little any way
my old yellow and back bees example..
say I like back queens as I feel there colonlys are more winter hardy.. its a simple thing to just pinch every yellow virgin and I have nothing but black queens in my hives. I have accomplished my goal threw stock selection, but I haven't bred anything and will likely keep seeing yellow virgins emerge in mating nucs

If I II black virgins to black drones, or have a Iso yard where I only alow black drones, now I am breeding
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8-9DgXcrfI
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,042 Posts
Discussion Starter #30 (Edited)
I think you are overestimating the quality of you lone survivor that hasn't made a 2nd winter
compare that to my breeder this year...
Started the hive as a swarm in 2016 (meaning they been local sense at least 2015). I have never re queened it but I am sure they took care of things(I didn't used to mark).. Survives just fine on a split and 2 OA treatments a year . Genital, calm on the comb, productive..
So you really don't know how old was your oldest queen.
:)

Really, the multi-year surviving queen is not necessary (nice to have for sure, but not necessary).
Most anyone of the experts recommend new queens replacements every year anyway.

While a lone, per-annually surviving queen is nice to have (to breed from for as long as possible), it is the lines and the populations where the useful traits survive.
So, essentially I sacrificed my old queens by clumsy drone generation.
I have been pushing drones out for 3 seasons now.
(will try to save the old queen this season, not kill by the drone program again).

As far as people wanting the bees - I tell like it is and not drawing pretty pictures.
You will want PPE with these bees, NOT Italians by any means.
Honey productivity was very good for my needs (not like "meat producing" zombie bees last year - what a nightmare that was).
People have asked me since there is interest in such things.
Too bad I have nothing to sell - hence the modifications I want to try - grade the units based on mite-counts (instead of flying blind) and re-queen captured swarms without even "testing" them (since I know by now what will be the likely testing outcome - dead).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,042 Posts
Discussion Starter #31
I thought you only had 1 of your 14 hives survive winter?

Raising lots of bees is easy if you have survival. I made 8 nucs from one overwintered hive last weekend.
Only one.
Making the bees has not been a problem.
Reliably having the bees to over-winter was.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,042 Posts
Discussion Starter #32
I find you can manage with a tenth of that number, just four
The writer is out there...
Well, this published scientist in genetics must know something.
No?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
I think you are overestimating the quality of you lone survivor that hasn't made a 2nd winter
I would tend to agree. 1 out of 14 isn't really anything special. Seems more lucky than consistent.

Most hobbyists don't actually mind treating with things like formic, thymol and oxalic, if it means their bees will live. I had been very consistently overwintering over 80% of my hives with minimal treatments (based on testing), and sold plenty of nucs. People just want bees that will survive under management conditions that can be explained to them, even if it includes the 'soft' treatments. Unfortunately, my survival has plummeted in the last couple years, which I am working on correcting (I think one factor was my genetics became 'watered down' as I open mated my queens generation after generation)


In regards to the genetic diversity:
Interesting. I'll have to read more about that. There are, of course, a number of different things to compare and figure out which are meaningful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Only one.
Making the bees has not been a problem.
Reliably having the bees to over-winter was.
Exactly my point. Once you have surviving bees, making nucs is easy.
Survivability is also probably what interests people in your bees. I assume you can't/wouldn't want to compete on price with pkgs and commercial nucs (some of which are cheaper than packages this year), so the reason people are interested in your bees is that they expect they will overwinter better. If you can't show them that you are capable of overwintering bees better than average, they won't really expect they will be able to. I suspect they will be less enthralled to get your bees, especially if their other traits are bad (mean). If my bees are going to die, I'd much rather have pleasant bees for a summer than mean ones.
So, yeah, I think everyone is chasing the good 'ol days when 90% of bees survived winter without any work. Some people are attempting to do that without any treatments. Others are trying to do that with minimal treatments. Others are willing to dump as many chemicals in the hive as it takes. At the bottom of it is that people just want to be able to enjoy beekeeping without watching their bees die every winter and shelling out hundreds of dollars each spring to start over. If you can plausibly provide that to people, they are willing to pay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,042 Posts
Discussion Starter #35 (Edited)

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,522 Posts
This is about a particular line that survived three years off treatments
That's some creative accounting given we are talking about a single colony that is less the a year old and the so called "line" of a few hives has been out crossed in
package bee infested suburbia
mabey you should look into a carrier in marketing

quick back of the napkin sketch, come this spring after all the out crossing the genetics will be from almost all "package bee infested suburbia"
odds are that one hive...doesn't have it...

its likely out there in the yard of the guy who has a few thousand hives .. who bought $500 TF breeder queens to infuse their stock with resistance.
or its there with the people out there with 3,4,5 year old TF queens they are grafting off.. TF operations(VP/Latshaw, lunden etc) who's sold breeder queens to other outfits that are pumping 10s of thousands of daughters in to the system.

but some how that one hive you have left is some sort of gold mine and people want it's genetics cause it's alive 10 months TF?
your fooling your self my friend
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,750 Posts
For example:

Richard Odemer, Reproductive capacity of varroa destructor in four different honey bee subspecies, Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, Volume 27, Issue 1, January 2020, Pages 247-250, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2019.09.002

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1319562X19301640?via=ihub

Quote: "For the F2 generation of the surviving population from Gotland however, we had expected a different outcome. The Gotland bees have developed an apparent reduced mite reproductive success trait that is either inheritable from paternal, maternal or both sides in the F1 generation (Locke, 2016b). Our results provide evidence that this trait seems to fade out by further generational change, once more making the colonies susceptible to Varroosis."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,750 Posts
The survival of the Gotland population was likely to be at least partly genetically determined. Indeed, colonies originating in Gotland that were translocated to Germany still showed lower colony sizes and lower infestation levels than the local A. m. carnica colonies (Schnell, 2007), despite the different environment. The Gotland population comprised 20 to 30 colonies in 2015 (Locke, 2016). It is still monitored for research purposes, although it is not used commercially. Due to the increasing density of non- resistant colonies in the surrounding environment, the experimental population recently experienced increasing infestation levels and, from 2017 onwards, it was treated as a precautionary measure in order to decrease the risk of losing a stock of such scientific importance (Dietemann and Locke, 2019). Although it is not known whether this population would have perished without these treatments, the unusual increase in infestation rates raises a question concerning the long-term resilience of populations that have been through such a severe bottleneck.

Three decades of selecting honey bees that survive infestations by the parasitic mite Varroa destructor: outcomes, limitations and strategy
Guichard Matthieua1, Dietemann Vincenta, Neuditschko Markusa, Dainat Benjamin
https://doi.org/10.20944/preprints202003.0044.v1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,976 Posts
The survival of the Gotland population was likely to be at least partly genetically determined. Indeed, colonies originating in Gotland that were translocated to Germany still showed lower colony sizes and lower infestation levels than the local A. m. carnica colonies (Schnell, 2007), despite the different environment. The Gotland population comprised 20 to 30 colonies in 2015 (Locke, 2016). It is still monitored for research purposes, although it is not used commercially. Due to the increasing density of non- resistant colonies in the surrounding environment, the experimental population recently experienced increasing infestation levels and, from 2017 onwards, it was treated as a precautionary measure in order to decrease the risk of losing a stock of such scientific importance (Dietemann and Locke, 2019). Although it is not known whether this population would have perished without these treatments, the unusual increase in infestation rates raises a question concerning the long-term resilience of populations that have been through such a severe bottleneck.

Three decades of selecting honey bees that survive infestations by the parasitic mite Varroa destructor: outcomes, limitations and strategy
Guichard Matthieua1, Dietemann Vincenta, Neuditschko Markusa, Dainat Benjamin
https://doi.org/10.20944/preprints202003.0044.v1
Thanks!
This is what I like about BeeSource, preprints one month old and here it is!

So,

Kefuss treats, Gotland bees are treated,

getting lonely...
 
21 - 40 of 64 Posts
Top