Breeding queens.

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Queen Bee
Nov 8, 2008
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What are others thoughts on the closed population line breeding program,or the hybrid breeding program,pro's and cons of each.
Without an isolated mating site any breeding program is impossible.

AI requires a considerable degree of expertise and practise.

Is it possible in the uk to have an isolated breeding site today ?
There must be few areas left on the mainland(with decent summer temps) that is free from other apiary drones.
A closed population breeding program does not rely on total isolation,but yes there are still some quite isolated places.but this is not the question i'm asking.
Basically that is what I used to do though to a point I selected drone colonies too.

the colonies that superceded on the heather of course had the benefit of all the drones of the colonies that were there.

However there is a critical need for isloated matings.

Yes there are isolated places in the UK, lots more than most imagine as few cast their eyes north of the border or for that matter to the isles.

If a few of us got our imaginations working and tied in with some interesting people to the north some bloody progress could be made in this country before I die.

Breeding is a quagmire of a thousand must do categories.

I have studied the momentous amount of literature about breeding as I always wanted to breed my own colonies to what I thought would be beneficial to the bees. Anyway about breeding;

Crossbreeding Among Geographical Races.Hybrid vigour occurs in many cases when two geographical races are crossed without previous inbreeding. In crossbreeding not all the strains of two races create the same beneficial heterosis effect.
Selection of honey bees that are becoming resistant to parasitic mites is presently being investigated.

Selective breeding;This type of breeding has four essential components;
1. Stock selection;
there must bee identifiable differences among colonies that constitute the potential for parental population.

2. Genetic variability;
differences among individuals must be due to at least in part to genetic differences between queens and drones.

3. Controlled matings;
matings must be controlled when superior colonies are identified and reproductive progeny are raised.

4. Stock maintenance;
superior stocks must be maintained over time or they will have no value.

Cross Population Line Breeding.
From what I understand regarding line breeding is as follows.
The purpose of closed population breeding is to progressively improve a breeding population by selection while maintaining high brood viability and genetic variability.
This would mean that matings are controlled by II (Instrumental Insemination)
or allowing the Queen to mate in isolated area' where the selected drones will be.
Within line breeding there are three possible mating systems.
Queens; superior performing colonies are identified for the initial breeding. The daughters of the initial queen are assessed and used for further breeding. With this type of breeding you need at least 40-50 colonies.
Daughters; the next method is to use the daughters of the original queen to maintain at least 85% of the brood for 25 breeder colonies.
Drones; then its seamen from a number of selected drones from each breeder queen and then II daughters of the daughters.

Hybrid Breeding.
I have read somewhere that this type of breeding if carried out without experience and previous selection including cross-breeding is not so successful as line breeding.
With this type of breeding a new queen needs to be bought for breeding stock every two years.
Apart from what I have mentioned I would need to look up more information to try to give advice about breeding of any description.

What are others thoughts on the closed population line breeding program,or the hybrid breeding program,pro's and cons of each.

If I were asked a preference I would choose Line Breeding as this can be undertaken by most beeks if they put their minds to it.

I must agree with Poly Hive regarding the isolated breeding stations that could be utilised north of the boarder.

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I have so few hives (20) that I do not try programs.

It is hard job to get good queens in those hives. In crossings they tend to move towards average.

I don't accept superceded queens. My experience about them is bad. They are not selected queens. They are what ever.

I bye some queen from professional queen breeder and rear first generation from them. That is my program.
Finman do you find much difference between purchased queens and first generation ?

Is it your Drones fertilising them or are you miles from other beekeepers ?
Finman do you find much difference between purchased queens and first generation ?

Is it your Drones fertilising them or are you miles from other beekeepers ?

What I take care first is capacity of laying. In that meaning all genes have bought.

But there are allways bad and good edge of hives if you put them in line.

If the bought queens show weakness against chalkbrood, I do not take daughters from them. - As many have shown.
Thank you for your replies,got a couple of nice sheltered remote spots,so see how it goes,with some of those little carniolans.
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Carniolans?!!!!!! thought they were on the hit list LOL. II is the way to go as you know but selection of the parent lines is the critical factors, again as you know, this is where our genetisist should come in but he does'nt use forums. I guess if you are talking open mating, populate the area with your drones and move in the virgins or raise them on site. I know Sue Cobey reckons that one of the problems with closed matings is in the resultant queens and a very poor laying pattern and pepperpot brood, as for the genetics of this, thats into a different realm.

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