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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been thinking.
I know that selective breeding can be done by artificial insemination, getting the sperm from drones and inseminating the queen with a turkey baster ( yes that was an attempt at a joke )
On the serious side.
Is it possible, can this be done, to take a virgin queen, put it into a closed ventilated "NUC" box, with a select number of drones from the hive you want to breed from.
Will the queen mate with those drones?
You will have to forgive me, i have searched, not found anything like this, or even if it's possible.
Any advise, good, bad or indifferent would be greatly received.

Thank you.

Regards

Martin.
 

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Perhaps you could put the virgin queen and selected drones in a wind tunnel to provide the flying environment for controlled mating. That may be other factors such as cloud/tree/ground images (as seen by a virgin queen during her mating flight(s)), smells, atmospheric pressure, humidity, etc that would need to be controlled for optimal results.
 

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Perhaps you could put the virgin queen and selected drones in a wind tunnel to provide the flying environment for controlled mating. That may be other factors such as cloud/tree/ground images (as seen by a virgin queen during her mating flight(s)), smells, atmospheric pressure, humidity, etc that would need to be controlled for optimal results.
Don't forget the cost of flowers, an elegant dinner with wine and the cost of the rented nuc box. :D
 

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You could always try it .. if it works ( dont think it would ) but IF it did oh the stories you could tell how you proved the masses incorrect....
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ha, ha, Marigolds, Music and Meade, what a romantic mind picture, i remember a night like that, that was 26 years ago, now married 25 years, my God, what a fantastic time :) ( to the same Marigolds, Music, Meade Lovely Young Lady from 26 years ago, she hasn't changed a Jot )
Anyway, i digress.
Thank you all for your replies, i have been beekeeping for two to three years now, you know how your mind wanders from time to time, sitting here a couple of nights ago, after a fantastic July 4th weekend, nothing much to do, so i started drinking Bacardi & Coke and started thinking ( dangerous, i know ).
I'm too old, my fingers are too badly beaten, my eyes too blurred ( glasses not strong enough )to do the turkey baster method, (if there are any people here that that remark offends, sorry, but it is funny :) )
So. How would people like Brother Adam have done it, did he just let his queens go and mate, if so, she could have, would have mated with any old drone, therefore, there can be no such thing as a "pure" Buckfast queen bee.
If these are just ramblings of an old drunkard, sorry, ( not really :) ), or am i so far off the mark that there is no such thing as a true Russian, Buckfast, Italian, Carniolan, Caucasian, Queen etc.

Again, thank you all for the funny and serious answers, i really do appreciate it. ( Ha, wind tunnel )
 

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i was only just reading ABC/XYZ about a 3' mating chamber covered in a dome of reflective aluminum flooded with natural light. the queen is tethered and the drones focus on her in this featureless chamber. it said they were successful, but doesn't say how successful. fascinating but doesn't seem like a great way to go. (cite rossignol, royce and stringer, bee science 2:77-81, 1992)
 

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If you are serious about selective breeding (that is, you have a genetic goal in mind and you have bees with the traits you are looking for) I'd suggest reading Harry Laidlaw's book, Contemporary Queen Rearing, plan a breeding program, and making up some of the queen and drone shipping cages he shows in the photos. Figure on 25 drones per queen, and equal numbers of worker attendants and drones in the drone chamber.

Send a "dry run" off to Honeybee Insemination Service, 455 Carnica Way, Coupeville, Washington, 98239. Take notes on the timing of the shipments. When your timing is figured out, ship off the virgin queens and "lucky" drones and let Dr. Cobey and Dr. Lawrence do the deed. They are teaching classes this month and next (July and August) there on Whidbey Island, so it would be a great time to call and make arrangements. Have your nucs and your Laidlaw queen introduction cages ready upon return of your inseminated queens.

Incidentally, the 2-Day Intensive Class is $850.00 per person - limited to 2 or 3 people, the Advanced class is for fine-tuning your skills after you've been doing it a while, costs $430. Equipment rental is $200, applicable to purchase. There is even accomodation there on the island. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR THE SERIOUS BREEDER!!! www.honeybeeinsemination.com

Another great resource is Latshaw Apiaries, 4033 Castle Road, Alexandria, Ohio, 43001. Check out his website as well - www.latshawapiaries.com especially his "resources" pages.

Another address for Latshaw Apiaries is also listed as 6050 Harlem Road, New Albany, Ohio, 43054. It might be a good idea to call (614) 855-9065 before shipping.

I can say this - open breeding/drone flooding will very likely take a lot more years to achieve a genetic goal than will instrumental insemination. Also a big savings in years can be had by starting with excellent stock in the first place. I.I. also allows it to be done with far fewer bee resources than with drone flooding, as well as the advantage of your apiary associating with some of the best people in the business.

That aside, if you still prefer open mating - Ray Marler drops the right name - Brother Adam. Read his books, Beekeeping at Buckfast Abbey, Breeding the Honeybee, and In Search of the Best Strains of Honeybees. He'll put you on the right track for an open-mating program.

Wind tunnels? Well, if you are designing a robotic bee...but I don't think their mechanical endophallus is working as of yet. You might end up with a robodrone layer. (I hate when that happens!):scratch:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
My God, isn't a little education a fantastic thing !!!

Thank you all for your answers & input, plenty of food for thought, sad isn't it, the older you get the hungrier you get, as they say, youth is waited on the young, anyway, again i digress ( I'm good at that ).
I'm always trying to think of something new or different (a tinkerer), as Dominic said, it's all been tried.

Lots of fantastic information here, and plenty to read and follow up on.
Too many repliers, viewers to call out individually, so :-
Thank you all for a fun and very educational topic, i love this forum :applause:
 

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Been thinking.
Don't. Don't think, read. Learn something about how things work before you start fiddling around w/ such ideas. If what you thought of worked people would do it and would have been doing it for years. Sorry if that seems like me trying to stifle creativity. You have to know the rules before you can break them. You have to have something to work with before you can be constructively creative.

You might as well put a queen and some drones in a beaker and shake them up until the drones male parts pop out and hope that the queen gets some sperm on her that some how migrate inside her. Nah, I don't think I'll Post that, someone might get offended.
 
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