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newportbuzz 

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i had a though today while reading a book on queen rearing and breeding.
why arnt unmated queens ie drone layers used to produce the drones needed for selective breeding???
i would understand if it could be because there is no way for the drone layer to prove herself but in this case older queens who have run out of sperm but have proved themselves could be used
i would have thought that a drone laying queen could be kept going by runing her in a double brood box with a q excluder between box one and 2 with the queen in box one laying drones and emerging brood in box 2 to provide the workers to tend the drones then as the emerging brood hatched it is replaced with more emerging brood
i cant see how they could supercede her as the hive only has emerging worker brood and drone brood
please enlighten me
 

justme 

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Wish I could, good thought though. With a bit of luck someone else will come along with the answer:.) Or maybe it just never been thought of before????
 

mbc 

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Drones from a fertile queen seem to be healthier
 
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To produce drones for selective breeding one route is to obtain unmated queens of the chosen strain. The reason for this is they are a bit cheaper. These unmated queens can then be mated locally with any Tom, Dick or Harry drone as the drones the queens will subsequently produce will be from unfertilised eggs and therefore 100% of the chosen DNA. The workers she produces will be a mixture and these worker eggs would not of course be used for queen rearing. To produce the subsequent strain of queens then requires either a new load of unmated queens to mate with the drones produced by the first generation of queens or more usually a new breeder queen.

Unmated queens might work for a few weeks but then the colony would start to die out unless it was continually reinforced with frames of brood. Your two queen approach might work although it would need two entrances and seems over complicated as the drones from a mated queen will be of the correct DNA make up as mating does not alter drone DNA.
 
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drstitson 

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drone layers

i can see your point.

if a drone laying queen were placed in a "granny attic" above her old colony she could probably do as you say. may be useful if you have limited space but wish to maintain a good population of "known" drones.

However, as previous poster mentioned - any drones will be being produced from tired old DNA so may well be poorer quality themselves.

a new strong queen with genome "reset" by being the product of recent fertilisation is likely to be a better source of drones and as mentioned may be mated to any old stock for drone purposes.
 

Finman 

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When you breed animals and take descendant, you do not use to take them from parents which has something wrong.

"why arnt unmated queens ie drone layers used to produce the drones needed for selective breeding"

When you take drones or queens, the hive should first show its excellence. It the queen does not make workers, you do not know what it is.

What is special in drone layers that you want to use their drones. Makes no sence to me.
 

newportbuzz 

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hi two things
i think i got slightly misunderstood i would run a 2 brood box hive with only one queen the bottom box containing drone comb and the drone layer either old or unmated then stock then a queen excluder(so she doesnt lay in the worker sized comb and make mini drones)then the top brood chamber with emerging worker brood from other hives
and with regards the reasons for doing this for me it would be a way of operating a geneticly sucesfull mating in a otherwise unsutible area ie other strains in the area. by swamping the area with drones with the genetics that i want.
basicly i would use it to copy a good strain rather than selective breed from it..

but i wonder will the workers actually work with me on this??
 

newportbuzz 

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Drones from a fertile queen seem to be healthier
do you think this could be that usually a drone layer doesnt have enough workers to mainain the brood nest let alone feed the drones?
and in a fertile queen there would be plenty of workers to tend the drones
 

mbc 

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Hard to say
certainly when theres not enough nurses the drones will be first to be neglected but in large colonies where there is a healthy worker population if the queen turns into a drone layer the level of care the drone broods given is still patchy
interesting comment by drstitson about 'tired' dna . Older combinations of genes are more prone to mutations but arent drones diploid ?
 
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hi two things
the reasons for doing this for me it would be a way of operating a geneticly sucesfull mating in a otherwise unsutible area ie other strains in the area. by swamping the area with drones with the genetics that i want. QUOTE]

This will also happen if the queen is mated and if she is mated the colony will be self suporting. And as finman says if she is mated you have a better chance of checking whether you want her drones.

You seem to be over complicating things. Remember drones are layed from unfertilised eggs so are 100% the DNA of the queen.
 
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Hivemaker. 

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With regards to preserving an old queen for her drones,then yes you could keep her laying in say a super,or nuc box of drone comb, and adding frames of emerging worker brood ....same thing with a virgin induced to lay by treating with carbon dioxide. Remove the frames of drone larvae to other strong queenright colonys to raise.
 

drstitson 

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Drones

Drones are haploid. Unfertilised. So they get 50% of the Diploid Queen genome (1 half set of chromosome pairs) but of course are 100% related to her unlike workers and Queens who get 50% from Queen and 50% from a drone (100% of drone genome) and thus are only 50% related to your prized Queen.

Although accumulated mutations will pass down the generations whatever the age of the Queen, drones produced from an old Queen are more likely to have DNA damage that hasn't been repaired. The magic of gametogenesis and subsequent fertilisation will reset the molecular "clocks" for both Queen and Drone genomes alike but the chances of senescent queen gametes accumulating unhealthy mutation is greater so drones will likely inherit unhealthy genomes which may be less successful at their job.

Better to produce drones from healthy young randomly mated Queens of stock you value.
 

mbc 

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gametogenesis ? senescent ? over my head drstitson, what do they mean in laymans terms ?
 

Erichalfbee 

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In essence
The production of new eggs or sperm may produce healthier and more vigorous bees but the chances of an old queen with old eggs producing damaged genes is greater leading to less success in producing these same healthy vigorous offspring.
 

newportbuzz 

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surly you could get a close copy of true hive conditions by the addition of workers to bring the balance of worker/drone to where the drones would be brought up well and feed??
and use a unmated queen of a good line but unproven. to reduce the degradation in genetics in older dried up queens
(similar(not exactly just similar) conditions occur around swarming when using a queen excluder which confines the drones to the brood box anyway)
and as to why heres a example
"johnny has pure amm, lives in a town with 4 other keepers within 4 miles of him, they all have other strains. johnny cant get an out apairy which allows him to pure breed his stock so he does this with 4 hives so making sure that for every 1 foreign strain drone there are 10 of his so he can get close to pure mating.."
 

Hivemaker. 

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To have the drones well looked after, simply transfer the combs of drone brood to good strong well fed colonys....regards mating the pure line you desire, then you need a very isolated site....the kind where you could place lots of mating nuc's with no drones in them at all,..and hope none of the virgins get mated.
Or the other option is instrumental insemination.
 

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