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Thread: Honeybee races - nature or nurture?

  1. #21
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    One major cause of aggression in honeybees is heterosis ie hybrid vigour when two subspecies are crossed. ie you could cross two very gentle lines of bees and get very aggressive offspring. It's not just as straightforward as bees having aggressive genes or not. Most bee behaviours seem to be polygenic anyway so fixing traits is no simple matter.

  2. #22
    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDM View Post
    LOL, intensive training and sensory deprivation techniques.
    That's what I thought.

    Will stick with real beekeeping myself, might be easier.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDM View Post
    ...
    Until we can produce drone free production hives that cant inflict our preferences on the bees. ...
    How does that sentence end (or begin), SDM?

    Quote Originally Posted by SDM View Post
    ...
    Now if I have similar swarm season next year to this, I'll have to find a different solution. ...
    What was your swarm season like this year; what was your solution to it; and why would you need a different solution next year?

    I'm just curious ...
    Kitta

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by prakel View Post
    How do you confine them?
    Firstly to Prakel, apologies I thought you were joking with your question but it wasn't clear.
    It's their aggression that must be confined to the hive not the bees. I expect to be able to stand alongside the hive and not be stung and not followed more than a few ft after an inspection.
    Basically so that they don't pose a threat to anyone(other than me)
    Last edited by SDM; 04-08-2015 at 07:59 AM.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mellifera Crofter View Post
    How does that sentence end (or begin), SDM?



    What was your swarm season like this year; what was your solution to it; and why would you need a different solution next year?

    I'm just curious ...
    Kitta
    Sorry I can't backspace. I double tapped space after bees(when it should have been comma, space) and the full stop and following capital was inserted automatically.
    So, comma after "bees" followed by a lower case w in"when"
    I'll stick to typing on a real keyboard from now on.

    My swarm season was busy ! I wanted to make increase this year so spoke to a couple of pest controllers and after loosing drone layers and merging ones known to be from the same source I gained 11 colonies, 4 of which seem unlikely to ever fill a brood box, one won't fill a nuc.
    But I'm still going to.give them homes and let them Bee for the reasons mentioned.
    My solution this year was to use spare kit, but I don't have space for another 4 unproductive hives in my garden. So next year I hope to get permission from Natural resources Wales to give them semi permanent homes in the forest if I take as many. If I can't rehome them, I'll just have to stop.collecting as many.

  6. #26
    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDM View Post
    next year I hope to get permission from Natural resources Wales to give them semi permanent homes in the forest if I take as many. If I can't rehome them, I'll just have to stop.collecting as many.
    Hi, are you thinking along the lines of allowing them to establish unmanaged nests if you get permission for forest locations or will you manage them as you do your other colonies?

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by prakel View Post
    Hi, are you thinking along the lines of allowing them to establish unmanaged nests if you get permission for forest locations or will you manage them as you do your other colonies?
    Basically unmanaged, but with the option of a vaping them with OA crystals each winter since they can usually deal with other problems if their Varroa load isn't too high. So assisted, but not managed.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Mellifera Crofter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDM View Post
    Sorry I can't backspace. I double tapped space after bees(when it should have been comma, space) and the full stop and following capital was inserted automatically.
    So, comma after "bees" followed by a lower case w in"when" ...
    I'm trying to get my head round your sentence. So it should read:

    Until we can produce drone-free production hives that can't inflict our preferences on the bees when selecting qualities, we should all think twice (once for ourselves and once for the species before we dispose of undesirable traits).
    I'm still confused! I suppose you're trying to say we should be careful how we breed honey bees so as not to breed out traits that, although undesirable to us, might actually be essential for the honey bees' future?

    Kitta

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    I watched the Jamie Ellis video and it tied in with a course I had been doing on Futurelearn.com

    Epigenetics is a more recent understanding of how genes work

    Because the science is complex a simple view could be that the DNA string for all the honey bees is the same
    In that long string the coding for colour, hygienic behaviour ,resistance ,temper and everything else is flexible
    Epigenetics describes the method by which different chemical switches turn on or off sections of the genetic code

    The differences we see in the bees temper colour can be fixed, but nothing in the bees gnome is actually changed
    All that has happened is some sections are activated others are not and some other sections are flipped from one role to a different one

    The result is that some things like colour are reasonably easily fixed in a population (Mendelian rules apply)
    Some other things are very hard to fix because they act on several sites in the DNA string (many switches have to be turned on/off)

    The thing that this points to is that short of mutations, breeding better behaviour ,less propolis etc does not mean we have lost anything it's all still there in every honey bee ---- Good news

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