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isolation of queen mating site

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rourkie 

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hi I live in a sparsley inhabited region and have been looking for areas suitable for a queen mating site i have identified sites were there are no houses or population in diameter of five to six miles, how far do vigins travel on mating flights? and how far do drones travel?, these sites are mainly forestry commision land. your thoughts would be welcome. regards jim
 

Poly Hive 

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I would think FWIW you are on a winner.

However............... test the matter by setting out some mini nucs (for cheapness re bees) and hope the virgins DO NOT mate.

PH
 

beebreeder 

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Lucky you, there is not many places like that in the uk, are you planning to breed a specific strain and if so what are you raising
Kev
 

admin 

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Am I right in thinking that Like breed with like?
So if you are in an area and breed AMM and 90% of local bees are say Italian and Carny then the AMM queen will always hunt out AMM drones first so you will have a high chance of keeping a good line going?
:leaving:
 
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I understand drones can fly more than 5 or 6 miles to find a queen but I don't think you'll get many. It has also been shown that by encouraging drones of the type you want you will ensure the queens mate as intended.

The problems you may have will be lack of forage, especially if you leave the colonies there all year. Probably best to ship them to the site for the season only. You will also need to be careful about inbreeding. One of the signs of that is a pepperpot brood pattern. A solution might be to buy in the queens from elsewhere, either for the drone rearing colonies or for the breeder queens. Assuming of course you can find queens of the type you want.

I seem to recall you need several hundred colonies to avoid inbreeding, if you are doing it in isolation.

An alternative strategy would be to actually have two inbred lines, one for the drones and one for the breeder queens. These are then mated at a site isolated from either of the other two lines.
 

gavin 

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I seem to recall you need several hundred colonies to avoid inbreeding, if you are doing it in isolation.
I would say 'several' rather than several hundred. One queen will carry two versions of each gene in her cells, but also perhaps if you are lucky another 10 versions in the sperm in her spermatheca.

To take this further, her sons will carry only the two versions she has, but her daughters - if she raises enough - could carry all 12 in that example. So, to keep the diversity in the population you need several queens all raising drones. Restricting the drone parentage in any breeding programme is undesirable if the population really is isolated.

all the best

Gavin
 

beebreeder 

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Jim
The other thing is ar you surrounded by fairly high hills/mountains as height is the other thing that will keep out undesired drones, do you agree Gavin?
Kev
 

gavin 

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Hi Jim and Kev

Yes, high mountain ranges will help isolation, but in Jim's case I'm not sure that they are that high. There are beekeepers in his area, and some may be putting bees out in terrain without houses so you can't be sure that the sites are isolated. There is one commercial beekeeper working in Jim's area, and perhaps it is worth asking him if the sites Jim has in mind are really that isolated.

best wishes

Gavin
 

rourkie 

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hi sorry i have not replied to posts been away from computer for a few days,Kev i intend to breed amm bees. I live in dumfries and galloway one of the largest areas in scotland with a population of 68 people per square mile the ave for scotland is 168. I have found four areas suitable for queen mating sites all contain large areas of forest, i am aware of the bee farmer in my area he lives about thirty miles away from me. I will check with him next year. regards jim.
 

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