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A couple recent threads about laying workers and nothing but drone brood has me wondering....
Are drones from a laying worker any good?
Will they fly and mate with a queen?
If they do mate, is this detrimental to the lineage?

(I tried to search, but came up dry)
 

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I remember reading some where, that the reason they go Drone layers is to keep their genes in the gene pool, so I would guess they can mate
 

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Here is a link to a fairly comprehensive research project on the competitive ranking of LW drones vs larger drones developing from queen laid in large cells. My interpretation, the really dumbed down version, is that the larger drones intimidate the smaller ones into cruizing the less choice zones of the drone congregation areas. The larger drones decidedly get lucky more often! What a conundrum that is.:rolleyes: Maybe someone more competent with statistics could give us some generalitiess about the actual percentage handicap. Seems size does count!

https://www.google.ca/search?source....0j2......1....2j1..gws-wiz.....0.EKIz0fFbZAc
 

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Michael do you have a source for that? I haven't been able to find one
I have seen this "fact" repeated often by small cell theory types. Often with the claim that speed = better mating success

The work on the subject I can find suggests that small males mate less, and carry less sperm
Couvillon Et AL 2010 https://academic.oup.com/beheco/article/21/3/520/219340
" Small males obtained approximately half the number of matings of normal-sized males, and those small males that did mate also obtained only 61% of the paternity of normal-sized males, which matches well with data showing that they have only 63% as many spermatozoa"

Coelho 1996 https://www.researchgate.net/public...aracteristics_of_drones_in_relation_to_mating
"Koeniger ( I 985b) suggested that the fastest drone reaches the queen lirst and copulates with her. Since drones are larger and have a higher body temperature,one might expect them to be able to fly faster than workers. Hence, flight speed might provide the evolu-tionary driving force for drone size. Although this sce-nario is intuitively appealing, the data do not support it.Flight speed values for drones and workers were taken from Coelho (1991a), and kinetic energy was calculated for drones and workers from values of Mband V therein. Mean V for drones (5.28 r 0.i0 m/s) issignificantly lower than that of workers (5.85 t 0.08 m,/s) as measured by K-band radar lCoelho 1991a). The maximum speed ls similar for drones and workers, -8m/s.Because V is more strongly correlated with Tth than with body mass (Coelho i989) and drones have higher Tth (Coelho 1991a, 1991b), one would predict that they should be faster flyers than workers. The fact that this is not the case indicates that drones have not evolved large body size and high T,n simply as a meansof improving V"


Berg, Et Al 1997 https://www.apidologie.org/articles...1/Apidologie_0044-8435_1997_28_6_ART0011.html "Therefore, we hypothesize that the lessened reproductive success of smaller drones is caused mainly by a lower success rate in competition for access to the queen rather than reduced individual inefficiency during the copulatory process. Altogether the lower reproductive success of small drones fits well with the concept of costs and benefits. Smaller drones should have less reproductive success, which was demonstrated in our experiments. Otherwise drones should be selected for smaller weight, because these are presumed to be less costly to produce."

The long and short seems to be if a smaller drone was " better" nature would have selected for smaller drones as they would take less resources to produce. It seems to be more of KE issue... even if smaller was faster, the world record sprinter doesn't have a high probability of pushing threw a NFL defensive line.

Do you perhaps have any sources on queen/drone sizes in small cell hives? I haven't seen anything to suggest an effect one way or another?

edit
ha Frank posted while I was picking away at my post
 

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If smaller drones - in general terms - were more successful at competitive mating , then Evolution would have favoured that size over larger drones.

I'd also point out that the oft-quoted maxim that "all drones have the same DNA and are thus equal" is flawed. They may all have identical DNA, but when a sperm fertilises an ovum, it's not just the DNA which enters the egg, but a whole host of other sub-cellular components as well - what part they may or may not play upon subsequent development appears never to be considered.
LJ
 

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If smaller drones - in general terms - were more successful at competitive mating , then Evolution would have favoured that size over larger drones.

I'd also point out that the oft-quoted maxim that "all drones have the same DNA and are thus equal" is flawed. They may all have identical DNA, but when a sperm fertilises an ovum, it's not just the DNA which enters the egg, but a whole host of other sub-cellular components as well - what part they may or may not play upon subsequent development appears never to be considered.
LJ
There was some reference that, due to his lower mass, he is blown off sooner that a full size drone and deposits less semen. I dont know whether the queen is satisfied by the mating count or by the total volume of multiple matings; anyway there is some speculation that smaller drones could result in queens with lower number of lifetime lay potential.

This would perhaps have no effect in IV mating of II Queens since they typically are expected to have lower lifetime lay capacity anyway.
 

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Laying worker drones are raised in unnaturally small cells and are poorly fed, evidenced by the fact that in LW hives you will see a lot of dead larvae among the drone brood, the bees are stressed and feed them poorly a lot of them don't even make it to hatch.

Of the ones that do survive to hatching, just looking at them it is easy to see they are weak and poorly nourished. Can't quote a study to prove it but my own feeling is i doubt any of them have what it takes to achieve a mating.


As to the theory that queens or workers go drone layer to spread their genetics, no, I don't believe it. The hive itself is doomed, in evolutionary terms, spreading those genetics does not make sense. But in any case, drone laying queens or workers occur far more frequently in hives managed by humans, than in wild hives. It is normally caused by some mistake made by the beekeeper. Wild hives, pre varroa anyway, had a pretty much fail safe system for superseding the queen before she got too old. It is only since varroa that bees sometimes misjudge how near her end the queen is and sometimes fail to supersede her before she fails in winter when a succesful replacement cannot be made.

So drone laying queens or workers are an aberation, not a planned way to spread genetics. In my view anyway.
 

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>Michael do you have a source for that?

It's been a long time since I read the study and I don't have a name or a link, but it was a study on the reproductive advantages of AHB and one of those advantages was that the smaller drones from the AHB could fly faster and longer than larger drones.
 

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Smaller normal AHB drones probably have a different set of rules than an abnormally small drone.
 

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Plenty of studys to say they rear more drones, fly at better times to mate, and drift and fill up EHB colonys to the point EFB drone production is suppressed..causing the EFB hives to be drone holding hives for AHB.

I can't find anything to say their drones are smaller, or faster, or that their reproductive advantage is anything but DCA saturation. Its odd that a lot of people put positive traits of AHB on "cell size". But when you talk aggressiveness, swarming, or other negative traits.... that's all genetics.

Has any one found any thing that suggests natural comb bees make smaller drones and queens?

"all drones have the same DNA and are thus equal" is flawed. They may all have identical DNA
Maby I am misunderstanding your point? All the spermatozoa in a drone is the same do to being haploid. But each drone carries 1/2 of the queens genetics, 16 out of 32 chromosomes, leavening a lot of genetic variation between drones of the same queen..
 

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>Has any one found any thing that suggests natural comb bees make smaller drones and queens?

Drones, I may have seen something. Queens, no. And I doubt it. I read a study once about smaller drones mating with smaller queens and larger drones mating with larger queens. That was a long time ago. Why was only speculation. The genetic mapping of domestic and feral bees done by Sheppard and Delaney several years apart would indicate that feral bees don't mate that often with domestic and visa versa. It's hard to see much difference other than bee size.
 

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Yes, you are.
LJ
How? Meiosis separates diploid cells from the queen into haploid gametes. Each gamete has an equal chance of getting either one or the other chromosome from each diploid pair, which means a diploid parent with 16 pairs of chromosomes can produce 2^16 - 65,536 unique combinatorials of haploid gametes:

https://education.seattlepi.com/three-ways-genetic-diversity-occurs-during-meiosis-4546.html

And this doesn't even account for other natural processes such as crossing over.
 

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I'd also point out that the oft-quoted maxim that "all drones have the same DNA and are thus equal" is flawed. They may all have identical DNA, but when a sperm fertilises an ovum, it's not just the DNA which enters the egg, but a whole host of other sub-cellular components as well - what part they may or may not play upon subsequent development appears never to be considered.
LJ
A drone has half its mother's DNA, but not all drones have the exact same same half of the DNA. While a drone does not have a father, it does have a grandfather. A drone has 1/4 of its grandmother's DNA and 1/4 of its grandfather's DNA, so there are multiple combinations of DNA that all sibling drones could have.
 

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Which explains why we see both black and golden drones in the same hive. Which cannot be explained just by drift, differences can be seen in newly emerging drones not just flying ones.
 

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Hmm, well they are 1/2 the genetic equation, not sure why your concern.

However it is true the conversation has wandered, the original question was if LW drones are any good, and this has somehow been diverted to the comparative merits of normally raised AHB small cell drones vs normally raised EHB drones.
 
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