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Thread: Drone genetics.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Greengage's Avatar
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    Default Drone genetics.

    I know im aleways out of my depth when it comes to genetics, But I was at a talk last night on pests and diseases and the chat came up about a project in Cork Irealand, to identify the different sex alleles in drones , so that in the future Irish beekeepers can select for sex alleles to improve the genetic viability of their honeybee stocks. The aim is to eventually have a nationwide data base covering all of Ireland so that if a beekeeper needs to introduce new genetics into their stocks then they can select from the database to improve the overall bee-health in their bees. it would appear from my understanding that there are a lot of drones flying about who are fireing blanks due to diseases (Viral) caused by high varrora loads. Anyway have a read I would be curious to know what you people think.
    http://www.irishbeekeeping.ie/index....search-project

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    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    GG
    I think this project is complete nonsense and I kept getting my facebook posts on the subject deleted when I pointed out the reasons why.
    A single queen which mates with a reasonable number of drones could potentially carry every known sex allele in her spermatheca. There are thought to be around 18-20 sex alleles although I read a fairly recent paper which claimed that there are more.
    The idea that there will be a restricted number of sex alleles in the open mating Irish bee population when we allow imports and have several thousand beekeepers is ridiculous.
    The idea that the distribution of sex alleles is static and is information which can be maintained on a data base is also daft.
    Andrew Abrahams has kept a population of just 60 colonies on Colonsay with new new arrivals for over 30 years and when his bees were surveyed recently he had lost no sex alleles at all from his limited island population in the previous survey 10 years prior.

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    Senior Member Greengage's Avatar
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    Someone better tell CIT Cork as they already have a Phd student in place and there is 20K being collected from beekeepers to further the study actually they need 15K as they have some and a target audience for the remainder.. There is too much politics for me and people trying to lay their stamp on beekeeping for their own reasons. Interesting what you say ill research more and see what I come up with. But as they say on Dragons Den.
    For this reason I am out (See Jons post above.)
    Last edited by Greengage; 14-09-2016 at 10:24 PM.

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    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Too much politics is exactly the problem with this project. All politics and erroneous science and assumptions.
    Even if the funding is raised there is absolutely nothing to be learned as we already know the answer which is: The island of Ireland has a well distributed and full compliment of sex alleles in its honeybee population.

    You don't need 20k to work that out as we have thousands of bee colonies and continuous imports onto the island so there is no way sex alleles are being lost.

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    Senior Member Greengage's Avatar
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    I dont think I should be hanging out with you people on here, yous will only get me in more trouble than I already am in.
    very interesting chats though. thanks for the info, ill see what happens when I propose we give no money.

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    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    I think I have already been blackballed for questioning the logic (or lack of it) behind this project.

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    Senior Member Greengage's Avatar
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    This project is published on the FIBKA web site and the impression is given that it is a FIBKA project, it even uses FIBKA Bee health officers email address to promote it. I checked out Tom Seeleys research on A survivor population of wild colonies of European honeybees in the northeastern United States: investigating its genetic structure. it appears if my understanding is correct to have been derived from a few surviving queens from this he said there are sufficient diversity to maintain populations into the future. http://link.springer.com/article/10....592-015-0355-0
    He will be in Tullamore Co Offaly this Sunday for a chat if people are interested. So where are they going with this reserach in Cork. I think I will contact my local FIBKA council rep and see whats going on. No point in flushing good money down the drain if it could be channeled elsewhere.
    If I remember correctly the discussion at NIHBS conferance last year in Athlone the chap from the dept of Ag said that future funding would only be considered if it included a significent scientific element and there only two large groups like FIBKA or NIHBS who are recogonised could have support from them or access to fundiing. Someone is going on a solo run here, I sense a schism or good row brewing.

  8. #8

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    Some things have a ring of truth though
    I've had to replace many more queens this year just not good doers
    Chalk brood showed up and those queens were replaced
    Last year blue queens had some issues good few replaced
    Year before green queens were better (still got one thats v.g.)
    I think it could be drone related but not to do with sex allels
    This winter I'm making sure to get varroa by vapourising not drizzling the nucs
    And next year I'll put drone comb in the best hives to stop drones being raised in sub optimal positions where they are vulnerable

    I might be a victim of apophenia lol!
    The study might be a victim of this taken from Wikipedia

    Overfitting

    In*statistics*and*machine learning, apophenia is an example of what is known as*overfitting. Overfitting occurs when a statistical model fits the noise rather than the signal. The model overfits the particular data or observations rather than fitting a generalizable pattern in a general population.




    Sent from my LIFETAB_S1034X using Tapatalk

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    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    I rear several hundred queens every year and I requeen my own stock with the same grafted stock as the queens I am selling.
    I am not seeing problems with mating either this year or last year.
    There was a 4 week period of bad weather this year between 10 June and 7 July where very few queens mated but most of them did mate eventually and I only saw a couple of drone layers.
    I heard a while back that one of the major beekeepers in Cork who had 70% losses had skipped the autumn mite treatment last year so that is a more likely explanation for the losses rather than any talk about inbreeding.

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    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greengage View Post
    He will be in Tullamore Co Offaly this Sunday for a chat if people are interested.
    It's Randy Oliver who is coming to Tollamore not Tom Seeley

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