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Considering that any queen can mate with up to 20 different drones, how can someone say that a queen raised by that queen/hive is the same race? There's huge genetic diversity there.

Also, other than the black European bees, how can people tell the different races apart?

If anyone can post photos of the different races I would appreciate it. I have both carnioloans and Italians and really can't tell the difference
 

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Pooh Bear
Unless a queen is instrimentaly inseminated you will have a smatering of whats out there. But that is a good thing. I think the lack of diversity in blood lines in our bees today is part of their lack of resistance to the many problems they have to face. Just my 2 cents worth :)
BillS
 

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Sub Species! The only Race is the Human race. Many breeders who advertise a specific sub species of Apis flood the area with their drones in the belief that their queens will be bred by drones with traits representative of a given sub species. Queens that emerge with traits that fall outside the specified traits of the targeted sub spices, are either not sold as sub species specific, or destroyed. The reality of life today is that when we buy a sub species specific queen, we are buying traits, not sub species! As unless the queen is from foundation stock, and artificially inseminated no one can guarantee her linage to be true. There is simply no place remote enough in the us to ensure genetic purity.
 

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kind of like clover honey. not pure clover but has the general taste. the more isolated queen area the easier they can control the breeding stock.
 

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Considering that any queen can mate with up to 20 different drones, how can someone say that a queen raised by that queen/hive is the same race? There's huge genetic diversity there.
I don't think there is a huge genetic diversity. Italian bees are ubiquitous in north America. When you open breed, more than likely your queen will mate with Italian drones. So no matter what kind of bees you start with, you will soon have Italians.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Interestingly enough Mann Lake describes them as races of bees not sub-species. Can't say that I speak with great confidence on that matter so TenBears may well be correct
https://www.mannlakeltd.com/newsletter/races-honeybees.pdf

Thinking of the different bees along character traits and not necessarily looks, size RTC is helpful. Even within one colony, there seems to be amazing diversity in the workers produced: some darker and some lighter than others. I'm curious about the Buckfast bees, are they common over here (northeast USA)?
 

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I just got a couple started from Ferguson in Canada. They are doing well, building well for coming winter. Looking forward to seeing them and the differences in the spring. (fingers crossed) G
 

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This is only partially true. In my area I only see the carnis and Italians drones.
The Cordovan queens that I keep is all open mated with the 90% carnis drones out there.
Some queen daughters here are mutt Italians, carnisXItalians, reddish chocolate Cordovan, and golden CordovanXItalians.
You can only get the many queen version if you live in an area saturated with the many drone diversity.
If I keep a bee compatible with the carnis then it will be some special bees here. I'm not sure which bee type is compatible with the
carnis yet. So far the pure Cordovan queen will give off some pure Cordovan daughters when I graft them. Things get more interesting
in the F3 generation queens.

3 queen version:
 

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Interestingly enough Mann Lake describes them as races of bees not sub-species. Can't say that I speak with great confidence on that matter so TenBears may well be correct
I would bet he is! As well as being the person who introduces me to beekeeping he was one of my professors when I was taking agg. classes in college. He taught Genetics!

Brush hog, weed eater, dremel tool, all common names to describe specific items. in reality a brush hog is a brand of rotary mower a dremel too is a brand of moto tool and a weed eater is a brand of line trimmer. However many believe they are the name of the tool. just because they use them as such don't make it true.

Whats worse is if enough morons use it long enough the dictionary will change their meaning.
 

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Pooh Bea
Unless a queen is instrimentaly inseminated you will have a smatering of whats out there. But that is a good thing. I think the lack of diversity in blood lines in our bees today is part of their lack of resistance to the many problems they have to face. Just my 2 cents worth :)
BillS
How do you know if the sperm donors are not mutt themselves? Do they do genetics test on the sperm donors? The drone could have come from a mixed queen or worker.
 

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Roberto - You are correct. Drone pedigees are an aspect to which breeders pay careful attention.

A breeding program usually implies controlled matings. Open mating in an area practically devoid of bees gives a small degree of control - the mating population is essentially closed, but exactly who mates with whom is not controlled. Elimination of drones with undesired traits (drone de-selection) is one of the controls such a program has, another is selection of breeder queens. Progress is usually fairly slow in such a program, although an increased degree of selectivity, for traits that show up in a percentage (as opposed to traits that show up as an on-off switch) can speed up the expression of a trait more rapidly.

Instrumental Insemination of honeybees offers a larger set of choices for mating program designs.

Inbred-hybrid breeding programs have the primary goal of establishing inbred lines, then out-crossing the lines with other bloodlines. Inbreeding can expose a trait that is present, but may not be apparent - a hidden trait. Inbreeding is largely not beneficial to a population, but it sometimes causes a valuable trait to be expressed. This can be a valuable attribute from which to breed.

Circular mating programs have the advantages of temporarily delaying inbreeding while studying, comparing, or contrasting different groups, subsequent generations, etc., and of allowing a strong degree of selection for a particular trait. This can render rapid progress. The disadvantage is that this tends toward fewer bloodlines, and a plateau is reached somewhat sooner.

Large-scale breeding with mass selection is a scheme that is compatible with both open-mating and I.I. programs. It has many advantages, one of the biggest being the retention of as many sex alleles in the breeding population as possible. This helps reduce a condition known as "shot brood". The retention of sex alleles is related to mutation rate (essentially negligible in small breeding programs) and number of colonies in the program. The concern for breeders is how many generations can occur in a certain-sized closed breeding population before an economically damaging reduction of brood viability is displayed.

I.I. also allows many choices in the use of the drone's sperm. More than one queen can be inseminated with the sperm of a single drone (SDI - Single Drone Inseminated), sperm from many, many drones, even the entire drone population, can be mixed ("homogenized") and all the queens are given abnatural variability of mating to essentially the entire poopulation of drones. This isolates the study to the variations of the female bloodlines. Many other schemes are possible.

Incidentally - "race" and "subspecies" are essentially interchangeable terms to breeders.
 

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Incidentally, there are a very few exceptions to what TenBears says about remote breeding areas in the USA.

One is being used by Washington State University as a breeding ground for the New World Carniolan project. Miles of wheat, nowhere for bees except the hives they brought in.

The middle of Nevada is being used - there is a queen producer out there, but not fully-used. There are areas out there that don't see many bees. A beek' could take mating nuc's out there and he'd pretty much have to provide the drones, and a crop of flowering plants!

So, what he is saying is true - you are buying traits to add to your stock, then evaluating who's best, breeding from them, re-iterate the process, etc.

Brother Adam leveled the playing field mathematically with "the Rule of the Golden Mean". Take a per-colony average of the last 10 years honey production. Next year, drop the earliest year, and take a per-colony average the most recent 10 years, including this year and the most recent 9 of the previous ten. Did the per-colony average go up? If so, either you are improving as a beekeeper, your bees have gotten better, or both.

Math-phobic? When you always have excess bees, excess honey, and are short on supply of good help, then your Golden Mean has probably increased.
 

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>Considering that any queen can mate with up to 20 different drones, how can someone say that a queen raised by that queen/hive is the same race?

You can say whatever you like. You can even deceive yourself into believing it. But obviously all the bees in North America are mutts.
 
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