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Hi, All! I just recently bought 2 queens from a reputable commercial bee farm.
When they arrived I was a bit surprised that they are so small in size. And since
the 7 attendants with her in the same queen cage are also regressed worker bees, I am
thinking that the reason for the queens to be smaller than the ones I grafted has to do with
their regressive size.
Anybody has this experience with the regressive bees before?
So my question is do regressive worker bees raised regressive queens too? Is this normal?
 

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Whatever size cell they are used to building is what size the bees will be.
 

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Mark,
A regressed worker is a forager that due to swarm or other conditions within the hive has reverted back to house bee activities. This phenomena is seen in cutouts where the queen escapes, and the house bees are vacuumed up. The returning foragers out of necessity regress to nurse bee. It should have no bearing on the regressed bees stature, or that of a queen they raised.
 

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Tenbears, I think the op is referring to small cell bees.
To the original poster, commercially produced queens are often caged as quickly as they begin laying. Often they still are small but will fill out in due time. I don't think it has anything to do with the cell size....especially if she came from a commercial producer.
Check them again in a couple of weeks....I think you'll be surprised at the difference.
 

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Mark,
A regressed worker is a forager that due to swarm or other conditions within the hive has reverted back to house bee activities. This phenomena is seen in cutouts where the queen escapes, and the house bees are vacuumed up. The returning foragers out of necessity regress to nurse bee. It should have no bearing on the regressed bees stature, or that of a queen they raised.
That's the way I understand the term. But I don't think that's how the OPer meant it. But I'm not sure. Which is why I asked.
 

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A regressed worker is a forager that due to swarm or other conditions within the hive has reverted back to house bee activities.
Whatever the traditional or scientific definition is, every mention of the term "regressed" I read on this and other forums refers to cell size and physically smaller bees. Perhaps general usage is changing the definition.

Wayne
 

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Yes, I can see that happening. It calls for clarification. Regression in size and regressed behavior.
 

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Is there **any** evidence that "regression" is a biological state. This screams Lamarckian (or Stalinist Lysenko) fallacy. By "regression" I am referring to the popular internet meme that bees may be conditioned to grow into smaller sizes. This is "the heritability of acquired traits" that people should of learned in 7th grade was an alternative to Darwinian evolution proposed by Lamarck (Giraffes stretching their necks). The theory is complete bunkum.

As a member of a biological community that has to contend with folklore and disbelief about the Darwinian principles, I am uncomfortable when "regression" is presented as an established fact based solely on the anecdotes of Internet Gurus.

I do not believe that acquired traits are heritable in any meaningful way. I have more than a century of scientific trials to back me up.
 

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JWC, what r u talking about?

All of my bee books are packed away to make room for remodeling. If I had access to them I would point to literature which refers bees regressing to do jobs normally done by younger bees.
 

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This screams Lamarckian (or Stalinist Lysenko) fallacy.
As unimaginable as you (and I) might find it, it is not uncommon for the small cell proponents to dredge up Lamarckian concepts to explain their 'theories'.
 

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I often talk about Lamarack. Badeaux used enlarged bees (by the use of stretched foundation for brood rearing) and the fact that _they_ drew comb that was larger than 'normal' as support for Lamarackian evolutionary theory.

There are all kinds of modern epigenetic observations that support _some_ of Lamarackian (heritable/aquired traits), and certainly the heritable nature of microbial gut (and other body) flora are somewhat Lamarackian.

The mechanism involved in the comb building (that the bee uses its own body as a guage for sizing things, and that enlarged comb will result in enlarged bees) is pretty easy to demonstrate.

Badeaux was actually a Lamarackain...and he led the way (as contemorarliy described by root) to enlarged bees.

Several times it has been suggested that we enlarge the race of honey - bees, by giving them larger cells; and some circumstances seem to indicate that something may be done in this direction, although I have little hope of any permanent enlargement in size, unless we combined with the idea of selecting the largest bees to propagate from, as given a few figures back. By making the cells smaller than ordinarily, we can get small bees with very little trouble; and I have seen a whole nucleus of bees so small is to be really laughable, just because the comb they were hatched from, was set at an angle so that one side was concave and the other convex. The small bees came from the concave side. Their light, active movements, as they sported in front of the hive, made them a pretty and amusing site for those fond of curiosities.
Root described worker comb as '5 cells within the inch'. To me (and my math), that's 5.08 and smaller.

In any case, anyone keeping up with epigeneitcs and microbial research on any level would be hard pressed to dismiss all aspects of Lamarackian evolution wholesale.
 

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Is there **any** evidence that "regression" is a biological state. This screams Lamarckian (or Stalinist Lysenko) fallacy. By "regression" I am referring to the popular internet meme that bees may be conditioned to grow into smaller sizes. This is "the heritability of acquired traits" that people should of learned in 7th grade was an alternative to Darwinian evolution proposed by Lamarck (Giraffes stretching their necks). The theory is complete bunkum.

As a member of a biological community that has to contend with folklore and disbelief about the Darwinian principles, I am uncomfortable when "regression" is presented as an established fact based solely on the anecdotes of Internet Gurus.

I do not believe that acquired traits are heritable in any meaningful way. I have more than a century of scientific trials to back me up.
"Regression", as far as reducing the size of the bees goes, has nothing to do with Lamarckism or Lysenkoism. I have not seen a single person claim that going small-cell will alter the bee's genetic markup. While I did not attempt "regression" to go small-cell or natural cell, those who did described a self-replicating system that is more cultural in nature than genetic. They claim that the bee's natural behavior is to make cells for brood that is roughly the same size as their own, and that brood will grow, to a certain extent, to the size the cell it's in will allow it to. Thus by artificially giving bees large cells, we bred bees that would then naturally continue to draw up cells of that size, and that future generations will continue to maintain this size. Eggs transferred into different colonies, however, would not inherit this size, but will adapt to the "culture" of its new host population.

Pretty much like higher education in the real world. Offspring of people who went to university are more likely to go to university themselves, while offspring of people who bailed out at high school are more likely to do so as well themselves. And while genes could influence how fit an individual is for higher education, if you take babies from both contexts and swap them, nurture will show to be a determining factor. Valorisation of education is not inherited, it is transmitted. Just because some acquired traits can be passed down from generation to generation does not mean that we are talking about Lamarckism. There's more to nature and behaviors than just genetics and inherited traits. Comparing regression of bees to small size and Lamarck's theories on how giraffes got their long necks is absurd.

The number of people who report having "regressed" their bees, and the extended period of time over which such reports extend and the lack of incentive to make it up is too great to simply broadly discredit them as charlatans.
 

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I've not heard any small cell advocates purport that there is any genetic change or genetics involved in regression or enlargement of worker bees other than people selecting for bigger bees may have had some effect. It's all about cell size which sets the body size and the body size that the bee measures the cell with. As to the original question, queens, especially those that are not currently laying, vary greatly in size because of many factors including their genetics, how well they were fed, and they current state (laying, virgin, banked...)

Frankly I find the whole epigenetics thing sounds VERY Lamarckian...
 
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