Bad habit inheritance in bees

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Queen Bee
Nov 8, 2008
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Finland, Helsinki
Hive Type

Succesfull habits of natural bees are

1) Give stings to the enemy and protect your nest and winter stores
2) Swarm and exist (=popagation)

In beekeeping these are nasty habits. So tame the bee and select those who has depressed those two habits. In bee life that means gene error which a human can use for his own advantage.

Some years ago I byed 5 different races and I let them hybridize freely:

2 distant italian stocks

What I got? - Killerbees and nasty habits. Very swarmy and very stingy.
When I nursed my bees, I got more stings in one day more than in my past 10 years. In Autumn I got 170 stings in 3 days from one hive when I tried to take honey away.


So tame and non sting habits are gene error and it seems that in different stocks they may be different genes.

When the queen mates with 16 drones, at least part of genes will be healed in grossings and bees will act like natural succesfull bees: Fight and propagate!

So 50% + 50% is something else than suspected. It makes new habits which were not seen in original stocks.

The worst in the gang were black Elgon Monticola genes. It means that they are from Kenya Elgon mountains. Stingy bees had mostly black appearance.

It took several years to get rid of monticola genes even If I changed the queens. Monticola swarms lived propably in nearby empty rural buildings and sent their wild genes to my fine virgins.

Now I have only one nasty hive out of 30.

Is there a high % of monticola genes in the original Buckfast strain ?

It just goes to show how things can go wong fast in trying to breed better bees.

Get it wrong and lose a swarm and it can take many years to correct if you are doing open mating.
20 years ago we had in Finland a strong German Black genepool. Then Varroa destroyed German black almost totally.
Our German Blacks were not selected and no one breeded them. They were "old fashion" nasty bees which lived here and there.

After loosing German Black genepool beekeeping has been very calm hobby. Thanks to varroa. Varroa is my friend.

Carniolan took a place of German Blacks.
Get it wrong and lose a swarm and it can take many years to correct if you are doing open mating.

Yes, that's it exactly I have now.

I have got rid of aggressivenes of my bee stock but I am not sure what is the state of swarming habits.

Originally I started to breed chalk brood away. Not it is away but I have now new problems.

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