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Thread: Q rearing by numbers

  1. #21

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    [QUOTE=gavin;29758]> Not something that endears me to a retailer.

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  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by prakel View Post
    This is one which might deserve some further discussion. Back during the winter 'Duncan' who's a man who knows a bit about queen rearing posted a comment about limiting the number of drones per queen to maximize their vitality which really, when you think about it, is exactly what we do with our selected breeder queen (on the daughter line); keep her ticking over but not working to her maximum output.
    Very interested in the "further discussion".
    Meanwhile I'd been inclined, before I put up the questions, to add super-depth wired (worker) foundation hoping the bees will create about half a brood-frame of extra brood beneath this, and graft from all 5 queens to keep the genetic spread. With only 5 Amm colonies this year (more coming later), this seemed a pragmatic way forward rather than select queens either for queens or for drones. What do you think?

  3. #23
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Everyone worries about inbreeding but you will find that the problem is the opposite, drones from other subspecies somehow getting into the mix.
    Finding an isolated spot and setting up as many drone colonies as possible in the area is probably the best strategy.
    Re the number of drones per queen issue raised by Prakel, the key factor there is going to be nutrition. A colony with access to good forage including a wide range of pollens will sustain a healthy population including a large drone population. When times are hard the drones are the first to suffer.

  4. #24
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    Andrew on colonsay says inbreeding hasn't been a problem so far for his bees, and his are a very small and isolated population which has had more genetic scrutiny by top scientists than any others I know of, makes me think that inbreeding is only a problem with II or in extreme cases of low bases and isolation.
    +1 for the mini pluses and overwintering, some of mine are at the point of needing extra space already, I intend to pop my new boxes on them next week and give them a feed to help draw the foundation, it will be a nice novelty doing the first round of queen rearing without taxing the production colonies for bees
    're. Drone production, I'm a great believer in allowing colonies to maintain their own (hopefully optimum!) balance of bees so I don't add special drone foundation frames, but do allow space in a couple of frames in each hive for them to build freestyle and they usually build this out as drone comb at this time of year.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Andrew on colonsay says inbreeding hasn't been a problem so far for his bees
    And he only works around 60-80 colonies.

    I also think that the risk of inbreeding is over hyped although it is not a good idea to keep losing variation from within the population.
    Dropping in a frame between two drawn frames at the right time is a good way to get drone comb drawn.

    [ATTACH=CONFIG]2239[/ATTACH ] frame-natural drawn comb fishing line.jpg shallow with drone brood.jpg comb-fishing line.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    Everyone worries about inbreeding but you will find that the problem is the opposite, drones from other subspecies somehow getting into the mix.
    Finding an isolated spot and setting up as many drone colonies as possible in the area is probably the best strategy.
    The area is remote: no known honey bees within 10 miles or wild colonies (last beekeeper left 15 years ago) so hoping for pure mating may within the apiary stock. One queen was superseded last September and (using wing morphometry) mating seems to be true to type. So fingers crossed! In the short term, we'll have a restricted genetic mix but with more queens due this Summer from Colonsay and, we hope, some exchange of stock down the line with other breeders, the apiaries could be safe for the future.

  7. #27

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    Thanks mbc ... have been persuaded and will certainly try some MiniPlus nucs ... along with some frames left have-filled with foundation to encourage drone building/laying.
    Glad to hear your MPs are bursting with bees already. Weather sunny and warm this last week so buildup should speed up in that astonishing way it can in Spring if the weather is half decent.
    Last edited by Kate Atchley; 08-04-2015 at 11:53 AM.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kate Atchley View Post
    The area is remote: no known honey bees within 10 miles or wild colonies (last beekeeper left 15 years ago) so hoping for pure mating may within the apiary stock. One queen was superseded last September and (using wing morphometry) mating seems to be true to type.
    Kate. Wing morphometry cannot tell you if a colony is Amm. It can only tell you if it isn't.
    A colony with bees with a non Amm wing pattern is definitely not Amm but a colony with perfect wing patterns is not necessarily Amm.
    Did you read the Moritz paper? It explains the fallacy and the selection artifact very well.

  9. #29

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    I haven't read the Moritz paper (have you a link or will I find it on SBAi? ). As the bees are from Colonsay and the wings show no sign that they are NOT Amm, or different from before, then then must have mated fairly pure. Jim McCulloch saw the plots and thought so but I accept that wing morphometry has its limitations. Which other tests are you using to verify?

  10. #30
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Kate.
    Third paper down on this list.
    The others are worth reading as well if you are interested in bee breeding and genetics.

    http://nihbs.org/honeybee-informatio...-bee-breeding/

    Other than the physical look of the bees the way to go is DNA.
    I have samples in with a student at LIT carrying out a genetic survey of Irish bees and I hope to get some results back shortly.
    Wing morphometry has become engrained in Bibba culture but it really does tell you next to nothing about the genetic make up of your bees.

    One you have used wing morphometry as a selection tool it invalidates the technique in subsequent generations as all you are doing is selecting for wing pattern. After a few generations of this all your samples will have a near perfect wing pattern irrespective of what you started with.
    You are not selecting for the rest of the genetics so it is completely erroneous to conclude that a sample which has 90% of the wings in the Amm quadrant is definitely more Amm than a sample which has 60%
    I have given up arguing with the bibba diehards as they are like alcoholics with the wing scanning. Just can't give it up even though it is not a useful process.
    Last edited by Jon; 08-04-2015 at 11:21 PM.

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