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Thread: The Biology of Mating by Juliana Rangel (NHS lecture).

  1. #11
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    That's the issue though. I see the clustering in my apiaries on a regular basis but I can't of course be certain where the actual mating has taken place.

    The clustering is not something you read about in standard descriptions of mating behaviour.

  2. #12
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    I Googled the name and place of the first of the breeding stations mentioned in the methods of the paper. Here is the Google Translate version:

    https://translate.google.co.uk/trans...ml&prev=search

    Click on 'All quotations' and it shows some details of the services offered and the quality of the queens produced.

    Interesting. What's 'Weisel'?

  3. #13
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    OK Weisel is queen bee. That is very cheap if these are mated queens.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by gavin View Post
    OK Weisel is queen bee. That is very cheap if these are mated queens.
    I expect that is what they charge per virgin queen taken to the station for mating.

  5. #15
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    Still not bad price if these gains in trait scores can be made. Probably subsidised though?

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    That's the issue though. I see the clustering in my apiaries on a regular basis but I can't of course be certain where the actual mating has taken place.

    The clustering is not something you read about in standard descriptions of mating behaviour.
    Well I would be more likely to take your word for it regards AVM Jon than some of the stuff I find on the web.

    Mostly its just people repeating something they read which was again somebody quoting (misquoting) Dave Cushman
    Who was recounting Beowulf Cooper

    I find it's mostly claimed as an Amm trait and that people in pretty hybridised areas who have "discovered" local Amm still claim it

    I don't know myself but I'm pretty sure if bees have Varroa we can say they are hybrids to some degree
    If we accept AVM in those populations then we can't also believe its the mechanism for pure Amm populations in the midst of a hybridised area

    I know you are not in that boat and I don't want to give offence to people breeding Amm type bees in difficult areas
    But I also would not feel right about accepting claims that AVM is a characteristic of Black Bees or Amm without real evidence

    One researcher asked if perpetual motion COULD be possible said

    "Well if you told me a dog caused traffic chaos in New York I would say unlikely.
    If you told me an escaped tiger caused traffic chaos it would be more unlikely and I would need to know which zoo
    If you told me a Stegosaurus caused traffic chaos in New York I wouldn't believe you unless I saw it too"

  7. #17
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    You can see some strange things in New York.




    Hmmn. That's a bit big.

    What about that V in AVM. Queens don't fly very far anyway - usually 2-3km according to Ruttner and Ruttner 1966. About a third of flights last just 3-10 mins according to the paper Prakel quoted in this thread. It is the drones that wander further.

  8. #18
    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gavin View Post
    What about that V in AVM. Queens don't fly very far anyway - usually 2-3km according to Ruttner and Ruttner 1966. About a third of flights last just 3-10 mins according to the paper Prakel quoted in this thread. It is the drones that wander further.

    I assume that you're refering to drones drifting to other hives (is that what they do or is there an aspect of migration involved?). With regard to the actual mating flights of drones and queens, the Koeniger's research demonstrates that on average the drones stay closer to home than the queens, as described here:

    Mating Biology of Honeybees by G. Koeniger (National Honey Show 2014).

    https://youtu.be/cI26DLS2CyM

    ---------------------------

    While I'm still not entirely sold on what's happening in the AVM scenarios described by Jon and others (or whether it would even be the healthiest option for the long term population in a natural environment) I do try to keep a partially open mind so here's an early reference -some of which is quite forward thinking considering the date. But there's a lot of background context, not least the general lack of knowledge (mind, Phillips probably knew more about bees than most of us!). Although the author was certainly using improved ligustica it was still in the time period when 'black' bees were common in the US.

    PHENOMENA IN MATING.

    In from five to ten days after the emerging of the young queen
    from the queen cell, she leaves the colony for her mating flight. The
    first flights of a queen from the hive are very short, and, like young
    workers, she flies in circles near the entrance, as if fixing the location.
    Several such flights may be taken before she really takes a long one.
    Finally, however, she leaves the entrance and flies in ever-increasing
    circles upward, and, if there are drones in the apiary or near by, she
    is usually mated. The height to which she flies and the distance from
    the hive at which she meets the drone depend entirely on circum-
    stances; it may be near at hand or even a couple of miles away. This
    is a matter very difficult of observation, naturally, but the mating has
    often been observed by chance. It is a very simple matter to see the
    first circles of the virgin on leaving the hive entrance, and if drones
    are plentiful it is not hard to see that many of them start after her.
    Anyone can verify so much; the rest depends on chance observations......

    .......SELECTION OF DRONES.

    The selection of drones is one of the things in which the vast
    majority of bee keepers are notoriously careless. Queen breeders
    will select a breeding queen with great care and allow her progeny to
    mate with drones from any hive in the apiary, and just as long as this
    is done there can be no advance in the types. Drones should not be
    allowed to fly except from colonies where the queens are prolific and
    the bees good workers, and just as much care should be exercised in
    the choice of colonies for the production of drones as for breeding.

    THE REARING OF QUEEN BEES by EF Phillips 1905.

    https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rc...lLCTUYs0OT3ZmQ
    Last edited by prakel; 23-11-2015 at 10:52 AM.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Drone Ranger View Post
    I find it's mostly claimed as an Amm trait ....

    I know you are not in that boat.....
    I'm not in that boat - and that is one of the main gripes I have about the Beo Cooper writings promoted by Bibba.
    I see that stuff as anti science as the claims are always prefaced with 'in my view' 'over the years I have noted' etc.
    There is no attempt at all to reference anything.

    What I have seen may well occur in some or all of the other mellifera subspecies and I have no vested interest in claiming it is exclusive to Amm.
    The AvM is just one of many claims made as exclusive to Amm.
    Amm is also supposed to store pollen differently from other subspecies.
    Amm workers are supposed to live longer than workers from other subspecies.
    This is repeated all over bibba literature including the brand new website but no evidence is provided.
    I removed all this type of claim from the NIHBS website when they asked me to take over as webmaster.
    I remember deleting an unreferenced statement that Amm has more resistance to the foulbrood diseases than other subspecies.
    Nice thought though!
    Last edited by Jon; 23-11-2015 at 10:50 AM.

  10. #20

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    Hi Jon
    There are enough good features of well bred Amm to make them attractive without the more dubious claims
    Some strains will be way better than others and that's the case for all the types of honey bee


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