Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,313 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So What are the signs you need to ad some new genetics in your bee yards?
Where I am at there are no other bee keepers and I never seen a honey bee other then mine.
Mine seem to be doing well and this is my 5th spring and I have not bought bees in 3 years.
My bees come from to different sources.
Thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,796 Posts
The most obvious sign, I would think, is that your bees fail to thrive and make surplus for you. Maybe others can contribute ideas for signs that while they are thriving, they could be producing greater surplus.

I try to remember and remind others that our honey bees are not natives. Where I am concentrating my immediate efforts is not in genetics but in the environment - adding forage opportunities and the like. As I add things I try to choose things that are beneficial for both native pollinators and honey bees. In particular I am trying to add forage opportunities for times when there are not present bountiful resources.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,064 Posts
Genetics can be a fun thing to ponder on. At some point everyone is concerned about it. Simply put there are lots of diff things to look for as far as the need for new genetics. One of the most important ones is Queen Failures. If you are having lots of queen failures it is a good clue at times. You see the bees will supersede the queen anytime they feel there is a problem with her, physical, or other. So if she's laying diploid drone eggs constantly the brood pattern is very bad or non existant and only standard drone is available in hive in good quantity this is a case of inbreeding, queen had to mate with a brother. Other problems are weak bees - constantly getting problems with nosemea , etc.

In my view of things, you should always bring in new genetics from diff sources once in a while. Maybe not every year, but every couple years at least and make sure they have good drone populations. It's one sure fire way of making sure that the genetics aren't getting too weak..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,400 Posts
Glock: How far are you from Clarence. I did a cut out and got a swarm from there last year. unless they came from you, you have other bees in the hood. if you ever want to check for bees take a super full of wet frames two miles from your apiary and watch it for a day, this time of year bees will find it in a few hours.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,978 Posts
I can't add much to this, but if you were to move all your hives out of your area and then put out a frame of nectar or honey I'm pretty sure it wouldn't take long before you saw bees coming in. There may not be a ton, but I would put money on it that there are some. I think you would have to have no bees in something like more than 50 square miles to have no other drones for mating. The queens fly a couple miles when mating (maybe further), and the drones flight to a DCA could be two miles (maybe further). A circle with a radius of 4 miles would be 50 square miles.

Of course, I could be completely wrong, take it for what it is worth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
408 Posts
I can't add much to this, but if you were to move all your hives out of your area and then put out a frame of nectar or honey I'm pretty sure it wouldn't take long before you saw bees coming in. There may not be a ton, but I would put money on it that there are some. I think you would have to have no bees in something like more than 50 square miles to have no other drones for mating. The queens fly a couple miles when mating (maybe further), and the drones flight to a DCA could be two miles (maybe further). A circle with a radius of 4 miles would be 50 square miles.

Of course, I could be completely wrong, take it for what it is worth.
You could read Brother Adam and start playing around with different stock. I tried some Yugo queens last year, they make it through winter in a nucs, the second generation queens are laying great but are still making queen cells at a good clip 5-6 per hive. Very non-aggressive, queens are dark and tend to be hard to find.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
535 Posts
I've often wondered the same thing. There are two bee trees close to me that I know of. There are no other beekeepers around me that I know of. One hive at the neighbors is the only surviver of my original bees. All the rest of my queens can trace back to one queen.

I have two queens that will be 4 this year and full even brood combs are a common sight so I don't think I have a problem.
I've read somewhere that with inbred queens you'll get lots of shotgun holes in your brood frames but I have no actual experience in this.
I'm getting enough hives I've started some outyards. I plan on bringing nucs that are born and bred there back home and vice versa.

My big fear is that I'll introduce some inferior genetics. I'm treatment free and I'm yet to lose a hive over winter. I'm sure I will someday.

Perhaps I'll leave the bees in the outyard a couple years to see how they do.
Woody Roberts
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,604 Posts
Mine seem to be doing well and this is my 5th spring and I have not bought bees in 3 years.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

I agree 100% with sqkcrk. They're probably out there, you just don't know about them. If your bees are doing well there's no need to bring in new stock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
I am staying at a Motel between Conway and Myrtle Beach along Rt 501. I seriously doubt that there are any managed colonies around here, though there could be some in someone's back yard. Walking over to the grocery store a cpl blocks away I walked past a patch of clover maybe 4 time the size of a card table. Ten or 20 honeybees were foraging on that clover. Honeybees are out there even if we don't see them.

Inbreeding results in unviable eggs. You'd have to keep a limited number of honeybee colonies on an island far from shore for a number of years before that would happen. Glock, your location is not as remote as you might think.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,208 Posts
If you like what gene expression your bees have I would work with them. One thing is the genetic make up and another is expression thereof.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,313 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Glock: How far are you from Clarence. I did a cut out and got a swarm from there last year. unless they came from you, you have other bees in the hood. if you ever want to check for bees take a super full of wet frames two miles from your apiary and watch it for a day, this time of year bees will find it in a few hours.
I actually live in Clarence {snow shoe town ship} on Birch Run rd.
I asked the bee inspector last year if there where any other beekeepers in snow shoe town ship and he said no.
I had only 2 swarms out of my nucs last year and I caught them so I do not think they where my bees.:)
I sure am glad to here there is other bees in these parts hoping to build strong healthy bees and I'm well on my way.:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
Live ones are the strongest and healthiest ones. I figure if I can keep them alive genetics is the least of my worries. But that's just me.

As far as your inspector is concerned, "as far as I know" should have been part of the reply. I can't tell you how many beekeepers I came across after I stopped Inspecting. Beekeepers who had been there for some time unbeknownsed to me, the Inspector.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
13,203 Posts
if you ever want to check for bees take a super full of wet frames two miles from your apiary and watch it for a day, this time of year bees will find it in a few hours.
That is a great test.
I think genetics is something the queen breeders need to worry about because they are selling specific features. Just kill off the bees you don't like and you will be left with the ones you do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,400 Posts
I asked the bee inspector last year if there where any other beekeepers in snow shoe town ship and he said no.
You can not always rely on what the inspector says. Many beekeepers do not get inspected, as many do not register their apiaries. For so many years Pa. has had few inspectors to cover the entire state that even requested inspections fell upon deaf ears. I do extracting of honey for people If I do not personally know them I want to know that they have been inspected. you would not believe the number of people who look puzzled when I ask when the last time they were inspected. Quite frequently the response is "I did not know there was such a thing".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,978 Posts
As far as your inspector is concerned, "as far as I know" should have been part of the reply. I can't tell you how many beekeepers I came across after I stopped Inspecting. Beekeepers who had been there for some time unbeknownsed to me, the Inspector.
There are only something like 6 or 8 inspectors in the state of Virginia. No way they see a quarter of the hives here. My guess is the other states are the same.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top