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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My questions is as follows-

Say I am raising VSH Queens for nucs or for sale. Say I am raising 20-40 at a time. What do I need in the way of drone colonies to be able to honestly say that they are pure vsh? What if I use drone colonys that are 1/2 VSH paired with a pure VSH breeder. Could I say that the byproduct is pure VSH if it exhibits the VSH trait?

I lied awake last night thinking about this. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Kingfisher
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
I forgot to add that I have the following options for a queen mating yard-
Yard in city, no idea about colonies in the area.
Yard with multiple possible areas to set drone colonies. But lots of other hives in the area
Yard with one or two possible areas to set drone colonies. But not other many hives in the area.

Kingfisher
 

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Your question prompted me to do a search. I have some V-queens that are supposed to be doing some flights this week. Do a search for "Drone area" in this section of the forum and you will find a plethora of information to use in developing your strategy.

Here are two interesting articles on the subject of drones and DCAs.
apis-uk/newsletters04 and
apis-uk/newsletters04
about 3/4 the way down the page for both.

Armed with this knowledge from the above articles, I'd say claiming a "pure" anything with open mated queen is a stretch to say the least:no: (though some ads in the magazines infer it!!!).

Now of course the queen herself would be "pure", if she is the daughter of a breeder queen of known breeding (AI); her female offspring however would not be "pure" anything. Her Drones however would be!

Open mated (insert the breeding name here) queens would be more accurate.

It would appear the only way to assure the claim of a "pure" VSH-VSH cross is AI or an isolated island breeding environment.

Now this research is several year old so their might be a more recent study to depend on. It changed the way I understood DCA's and queen mating

RKR
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
OK, here is my question- What if I called them Open Mated VSH queens and the drone colonies I have out there are 50 50? What if I tested them all for the VSH trait before I sold them. Would that help?

Kingfisher
 

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I should have read it through. I am planing on getting a VSH breeder. So if I have a lot of drones they (the workers) will be mostly VSH.

Kingfisher
In my opinion (which means very, very little) if you stated "could be mostly VSH" in stead of "will be mostly VSH", you would be dead on.

From the above articles it would appear that there are so many drones, from so many colonies out there in a single DCA, that claiming anything more than 50% is pure conjecture. It really depends on what direction your VQs fly. Over time, with your pure VSH drones out there doing their thing, you would get more and more VSH in the area gene pool, but that would take quite a awhile to build up.

OK, here is my question- What if I called them Open Mated VSH queens and the drone colonies I have out there are 50 50? What if I tested them all for the VSH trait before I sold them. Would that help?

Kingfisher
The drone colonies would be better thatn 50/50 VSH. They would be throwing pure VSH drones if the queen in them is the daughter of a VSH-VSH breeder. Remember drones have no father, they are "copies" of the queen.

Would that help? Help what exactly/ Saleability?
Yes, a tested, open mated, VSH would be a desirable item to have.

My I ask why you want "pure" VSH offspring from your production queens? Last thing I researched said that VSH is not completely desirable for production bees in it's pure form.
RKR
 

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check out the Russian Queen Breeders Assoc. website. Their guidelines for their mating yards, drone mother hives, etc are fairly detailed and must be followed by the members. I think it specifed X-number of drone hives to X-number of mating hives, with the drone hive set on all 4 sides of the mating yard at specific distances, of course this is no guarantee that queen will mate with a Russian drone, however with drone hives at all 4 sides of the mating yard I would think you increase your chances of your queen mating with the proper drone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I am a Highschooler trying to make some money with the bees. I want to sell nucs, cells, and a few queens. I have plenty of crosses that are survivor and buckfast. I want something that will sell relatively easy, be hygienic, and produce honey. I have always been under the impression that mixes will not sell as well. What do you recommend?

Mike aka Kingfisher
 

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I have always been under the impression that mixes will not sell as well. What do you recommend?

Mike aka Kingfisher
As I explained before, every open mated queen out there has offspring of mixed origin. That is the variable. You can control the queen side of the genetics, but short of AI or an island you just can't control the drone side with absolute certainty. If mixes are bad then the bees in your hives are "bad". They sell just fine. Any queen you get from a queen breeder will be just that, a queen with a mix of semen in her.
Did you read the articles?
Since every open mated queen has a mix of drone semen you will be offering the same genetic quality as most others that sell bees locally. You will however be beefing up the queens contribution by starting with VSH-VSH eggs. Thus you will have open mated VSH queens which are not a bad things at all.
Google "Hybrid vigor". Now I got in way over my head once in a phone conversation with a queen breeder (AdamF). There is way more to bee breeding than say, beef cattle or hog breeding. They have a unique way of mixing genetic information search "allele". If you want to blow your mind try understanding that on the first try!!
In my opinion, you will have a superior product if you do your part in the rearing process.
Read the articles and do searches, study the VSH trait more. If you do, you will realize that selling someone a well reared, VSH x open mated hive is defiantly not a disservice to any customer. I have exactly that type queen coming this June.
RKR
 

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rkr has covered the topic well, but I would add this:

I know a lot of people that sell nucs by combining a bought queen with a few frames of bees from their own hives. This is called "value added" and is a fair way to make money.

Raising your own queens and selling them, if you don't know how, is called: "ripping people off."

There aren't many "pure bred" bees in the USA, and they are rare elsewhere. Line bred or inbred bees aren't really a good thing per se, unless great care is taken to use multiple lines of high quality. This is what the Russian Breeders do, and most reputable bee breeders do.

It's not that much different from dogs in that you can get mutts any day of the week. Some are decent dogs, some are dumb as a post.

Buying purebred dogs is risky. Some are overly inbred and sickly, but that isn't because it's wrong to breed dogs. It's because they were wrongly bred.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I read the articles. Thanks. Our drones are a drop in the bucket.

I have experience raising queens.

I have also memorized the fact that a poorly raised queen from good stock is worse than a carefully raised queen from OK stock.

Kingfisher
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I read your article in ABJ. I am definitely looking forward to the next issue.

I forgot to ad in the last post the reason why I said that about mix bees is that down here "pure" Italians (IIIItalians in east texas dialect) are the king. At least in our local club. Some people I know will faint if they entertain the though of using anything else.

So from what y'all have said, when I see a Italian or Carnolian queen in ABJ, it may not be a straight bred queen.

Kingfisher
 
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