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Thread: Drone genetics.

  1. #21
    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Drone Ranger View Post
    Hi Jon
    Didn't make it to the end sorry
    Did clip this though

    We learned at the BIBBA conference from Jacob Kahn that bees seem to be making a deliberate selection when choosing a larva to develop into a queen.......

    Kahn's observations made me wonder if we should develop queen rearing systems that afforded the bees some degree of choice rather than foisting our chosen grafts onto them. It would not surprise me if they were capable of making better choices than us. I just choose the larvae that seem to be about the right size so it would not be difficult for the bees to make a better fist of it than me.
    Echos of the Moritz 'Royal Families' paper:

    Rare royal families in honeybees, Apis mellifera 2005; Moritz et al
    https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rc...33178914,d.bGs

    The idea of allowing some degree of self selection is quite alluring and I have given it a fair bit of thought over the last couple of years but I've yet to work out a fair compromise between allowing them to choose for themselves and having easily managable cells to use -I reckon that the Miller method probably comes the closest and we have revisited the method a couple of times this year but for anyone working on a large scale I can't see it ever being a practical option.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    If the least frequent sub families are more likely to be chosen as potential queens I wonder what happens with the typical grafting process where the grafts are offered to a cell raising colony which is unrelated to the queen the grafts were taken from.

  3. #23
    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    If the least frequent sub families are more likely to be chosen as potential queens I wonder what happens with the typical grafting process where the grafts are offered to a cell raising colony which is unrelated to the queen the grafts were taken from.
    It would be interesting to know if totally unrelated bees, given free choice of larvae from a few combs, would still choose larvae from the same sub families as it's suggested that the related bees would preferentially target.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    My guess would be that they would show no preference - but who knows until some serious research is carried out. As DR suggested above there may be factors in play which favor the selection of the least common patrilines but that is not going to happen if the grafts are offered to an unrelated cell starter colony.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by prakel View Post
    -I reckon that the Miller method probably comes the closest and we have revisited the method a couple of times this year but for anyone working on a large scale I can't see it ever being a practical option.
    Snelgrove board, but don't do a second door switch and just harvest the extra queen cells ?

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    Last edited by The Drone Ranger; 20-09-2016 at 11:48 PM.

  6. #26
    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    As DR suggested above there may be factors in play which favor the selection of the least common patrilines but that is not going to happen if the grafts are offered to an unrelated cell starter colony.
    This was the point that Steve Rose was making in the old post that DR quoted and something which, since reading the Moritz paper, I find hard to totally ignore. Even if the grafts are given to related bees they're still likely to accept all of them irrespective of sub-family (or whatever percentage the operator usually averages) because of the state the receiving bees have been put in and the simple fact that the cells have already been started.

    If this is truly a major selection tool used in nature then there are a lot of as yet unasked questions.

  7. #27
    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Drone Ranger View Post
    Snelgrove board, but don't do a second door switch and just harvest the extra queen cells ?
    The stumbling block for me has been getting cells which are easily accessible; the Miller method is probably the extreme limit of my patience, cutting totally random cells from assorted combs would be a step too far! As for lifting md brood chambers onto the top of hives and then opening and closing doors....
    Last edited by prakel; 21-09-2016 at 08:09 AM.

  8. #28
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    That Moritz paper provides a strong justification for grafting. If you are interested in selecting better bees then naturally produced queen cells may be of genotypes very rare in the colony, ie daughter cells are possibly not like the mother colony. If you are grafting then there is a greater likelihood that your new queen cells are of a genotype that is representative of the colony from which they came. So you are more likely to get daughters that continue to have the characteristics shown in the mother colony.

  9. #29
    Senior Member prakel's Avatar
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    Pretty much the same conclusion can be reached from the description of Kahn's observations.

    Presumably the use of drone saturation techniques could also be used to control these minor subfamilies. I suppose it depends to some extent whether we want to guide the bees or follow them -and we're all going to have our own perfectly valid reasons for doing one or the other.

  10. #30

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    That's worth thinking about maybe grafting can be better
    Simple methods like snelgrove boards are good if you want a new queen from each of your hives
    Grafting can tempt you into raising a lot of queens from one favourite hive
    You don't really know how that will turn out till the following season
    I think it might be best to graft with a few mother queens to hedge your bets
    I suppose if we left it all up to the bees we might be back to the days of hives unable to deal with wax moth and carbolic cloths


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