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How do you stop inbreeding?

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jimbeekeeper 

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Hi

Given that our "hobby" is a "dying art!" and in many instances you might be the only keeper of bees within the flying range of your bees, how do your queens mate with other drones that are not of the same gene pool?

Are we creating inbreed "yokal" bees?

Jim:spam:

PS Please note the use of "..." over the words Hobby and Dying Art. I belive that beekeeping is on a revival wave.
 
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Hivemaker. 

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Unlikely to happen,but not impossible if you live on an island and only have a couple of hives. The ammount of imported bee's are also allways adding to the genetic gene pool as well.
 

Poly Hive 

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It is a danger on Shetland but I am committed to sending up some Queens this year.

I will not accept that our art is dying either thanks.

PH
 

Hivemaker. 

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I agree poly hive, far from dying i would say,in fact there are more people going in for beekeeping in the last few years than ever,or for a lot of years.
 

jimbeekeeper 

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I will not accept that our art is dying either thanks.

PH
Chill out PH, I could not agree more that beekeeping is on its way up, but you have to admit it is not up in there with the likes of football, Nintendo or even darts for a hobby (or even profession).

As a recent starter to beekeeping (now 3 years) I would like to think I am at the fore front of a revival of beekeeping.
 
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Hivemaker. 

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Even in a closed colony breeding program,it is estimated its time before much inbreeding would occur will be in the region of twenty years,using different genetic lines within the program,and II.
 

mrDoe 

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Professor Francis Ratnieks did some research a few years ago in Derbyshire to ascertain the number of colonies required in a closed population to maintain a good genetic stock without inbreeding. If my memory serves me correctly I think the number of colonies needed was about 36.

The trouble with buying in queens is they are often related to each other if sourced from the same breeder, or the strain of bee is not compatible to your local stocks. I'd much rather, either work initially from within a local feral population, rearing queens in an open breeding program, that you then cull down to your best few, or if there are a number of beekeepers in an area try to set up a remote breeding station and collectively rear some queens. IMO the latter should be driven by the local association, but all too rarely is unfortunately!

That said, in my situation, with lots of local beekeepers with just a few hives into which some of them put bought queens, and with a very poor background feral population (if any), I either breed my own queens, open mating them and selecting the best, or make increase by division if I don’t have the time or weather for queen rearing.



Peter
Cambridge UK
 
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Finman 

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The trouble with buying in queens is ....

I'd much rather, either work initially from within a local feral population, rearing queens in an open breeding program,
That is not bee breeding! That is Lazy man's summer.

To bye anothres' queens mean that you take advantage from anothers' work.

My opinion is that those "ferals" come from most miserable beekeepers which do not take care their hives but let they hives escape year after year.
 
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victor meldrew 

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INBREEDING?
Take the incidence of varroa (please)!
Varroa is now endemic in the british isles, varroa is transported around on the bodies of bees !, ergo no colonies are that remote as to be isolated from varroa carrying bees :(.
Drone congregation areas are frequented by drones from hives miles apart, add the fact that the Queen is programmed to be promiscuous in order to ensure inbreeding is rare :)..
John
 

Poly Hive 

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Actually John, the Shetland bees are or were last year still varroa free and the beekeeper up there is in a right cleft stick. His brood patterns are getting worse, and he knows full well he needs fresh blood but also he is concerned at getting the dreaded V.

As for chill out. Get real Jim. some of my comments may seem abrupt but that is because I am posting on the run as I pass through the office snatching a coffe on the way to the next job in my rather long day.

Finman I stand by my comment that a colony made Q- reacts to that in minutes.

I am still trying to work out how a qless colony can possibly succeed on the heather. Beats me. And I worked the heather for many years.

PH
 

Hivemaker. 

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And on the heather the colonys have to be strong,and the bee mortality rate is very very high,plus if using thin foundation in the supers,they are not likely to even draw the wax.plus the bee's have usually passed the main swarming stage,and cutting down on brood production,so what is the point?
 

Finman 

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Finman I stand by my comment that a colony made Q- reacts to that in minutes.
But what is the problem?

If you play with queen rearing you just note that they react. It is not problem to me when I kill or change the queen. Every time when you open the hive, they react and stop almost working.

When I move the hives to outer pastures, bees do not work that day.
 

mrDoe 

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That is not bee breeding! That is Lazy man's summer.

To bye anothres' queens mean that you take advantage from anothers' work.

My opinion is that those "ferals" come from most miserable beekeepers which do not take care their hives but let they hives escape year after year.

Hi Finman

I disagree. Maybe my post did not convey that working with a feral population is not always possible, especially as you point out if there are many other beekeepers in your area or few feral colonies, although I thought I'd made that clear. I know of several beeks in the USA doing just that, and there are warre beeks in Europe who expound the idea of only making increase via swarms.

One could also counter argue that your buying in queens was lazy, but I'd never make that claim myself!

I'm not 100% against buying in queens though, what I'm wary of is suggesting to beginners they should buy in lots of queens from different breeders without highlighting some of the associated issues, like hybrid vigor giving way to nasty bees, or the close genetic relation between queens sourced from one breeder (particularly in the USA) There are other issues as well, such as spreading diseases and parasites.



Best regards


Peter
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Hi Finman

I disagree.
I had feral like colonies around me 25 years. I have nothing good to say about them. Then varroa killed those "let nature handle it" colonies.

It is hard work to keep yard on the level that

* all queen lays 2 stores
* they are calm
* nice to handle
* non swarming
* disease resistance quite good
* proper reactions for winter
* productive
* not react every bad weather and stop laying....

In nature bee stock needs opposite features:

* sting enemy, fly after, keep man running!
* swarm = reproduce
* dont be too big colony
*
 
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mrDoe 

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No, it is "commercial intelligence".

I bye 3 queen and raise myself 50 queens.
Hi Finman


How soon after buying them in do you start breeding from them?

I breed from my best 2 or 3 queens. I've never bought in any bees myself but I know many who have, who rave about them and then regret it the following year once their "exotics" interbreed with their other colonies and apiary temperament starts to nose dive.

I decide on what to breed from by initially assessing my annual hive records and then doing wing morphometry on the likely candidates to identify the most AMM-ish. That?s IF I have the time AND favorable weather.

Yes, I could buy in alternative breeding stock, and initially even get higher yields, but that?s not my bag thanks! I'm not a professional beekeeper getting my sole income from hive harvests, purely out of interest, are you?



Best regards


Peter
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Hivemaker. 

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Some inbreeding can be desirable to fix certain genetic traits,these queens then become the breeders.
 

Finman 

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How soon after buying them in do you start breeding from them?
Mostly in same summer. But if they are bad, I cast them away.

I breed from my best 2 or 3 queens. I've never bought in any bees myself but I know many who have, who rave about them and then regret it the following year once their "exotics" interbreed with their other colonies and apiary temperament starts to nose dive.
I have went couple of times into a trap when I have believed that my stock is good. Only way to reviele it out is bye couple of queens and compare what are they like.

It has happened some times that byed queens are the worst in my apiary.
Sometimes I meet spended queens.

! I'm not a professional beekeeper getting my sole income from hive harvests, purely out of interest, are you?
I am hobbiest. I have mostly had 15 hives and now I have about 20.

Number is so small that often it is bad to find a good mother queen.
I know that if professional beekeeper has 200 or 500 hives, he has better opportunity to find good mother queens. They they do hard work to keep thier queens good.

But in most cases professional queens are not better than I have.
I must try what they are. I have no way to reviele it out.

But this makes beekeeping living hobby. It is miserable job if every year system is the same. I like adventures.

I have studied biology and genetics in university. I know about theory too.
 

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