Striving for racial purity in bees a pointless, counter productive, seriously bad idea?

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mbc 

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As I believe the BeeBase database is never checked (or so I understand) , I would think it is junk. But how badly wrong is anyone's guess.
Back in my day it was up to each sbi to keep beebase up to speed in their area, I don't think any sbi has enough leeway from their usual duties to make the records perfect for their patch, as with much in beekeeping, a work in progress.
 

mbc 

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According to the chap on the video drones go to the closest drone congregation area, but the queen doesn't. I don't know what the evidence for that is.
There's a section on this in Larry Connor's bee sex essentials, it's lent out so I've not got it to hand but the conclusions are based on some pretty thorough experiments and research, at least on their bees somewhere in the US, I'd love it if someone could do similar work here with our native bees because I've a hunch there'd be differences, I'd put money on our drones flying further when the weather's good, being more mobile as to which colony they return to, flying in more adverse conditions and sometimes mating closer to the virgins hive, and then there'll probably be a similar raft of behavioral differences with virgin queens compared to new world Aml
 

Finman 

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I agree with B+ regarding Geds apiaries. I live even nearer and as local swarm officer for a number of years I have dealt with swarms from feral colonies near his apiaries. e cannot control the supply of drones in the local DCAs and 2nd/3rd/etc generation Buckfasts can have undesired effects on local populations.
It depends, who undesire. You cannot do anything if you believe always undesired effects. You cannot control open mating not a bit or control other beekeepers. Let it be, said Beatles.
 

hemo 

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Problem with Beebase is the beek can't delete his inactive or disused apiary sites.
 

Wilco 

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Yes you will improve your stock. I started with bees that would hardly stay in the box - would swarm on 5 frames of brood - but I selected well-behaved and least-swarmy bees to breed from that gave a decent honey crop. (Yes you need a few colonies to be able to select from - however if you partnered up with a friend or two you have a breeding group and enough colonies to select from). Most of my colonies don't swarm in the queens full first year and they are well-behaved. Any that start following or behaving as I don't like, have their queen replaced or are united to another colony as soon as practical.

I think a large part of the improvement we see, certainly in the short term, is to do with artificial selection and survival of the fittest rather than heritability. As the ones we don't like are replaced, there's a chance the 'improvement' is largely just the filtering effect and a degree of fortune- if less desirable queens are regularly removed, statistically speaking you should occasionally get a 'nice one' by chance, which then gets to survive. Obviously if this is done consistently (ideally by multiple beekeepers in an area), there will be a bit of a shift in local population genetics too which could lead to further improvement, making the process easier.
 

Newbeeneil 

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Problem with Beebase is the beek can't delete his inactive or disused apiary sites.
I can delete my most recent ones but my original ones that I put on there 4 years ago don't have that facility.
 

Hebeegeebee 

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Though you don't mention being in isolation, so assuming that you aren't, you aren't breeding for "racial purity", you're breeding for beneficial strains out of the local potentially highly racially varied population. Nothing wrong with that of course! We would all like well behaved bees, especially if hives are near other people.
I simply breed from my best*, don't mind what colour they are and not particularly isolated location either but enough colonies to hopefully have a little drone presence I would hope.

*Best means what works for me, not necessarily what Nature would produce!
 

Sutty 

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I simply breed from my best*, don't mind what colour they are and not particularly isolated location either but enough colonies to hopefully have a little drone presence I would hope.

*Best means what works for me, not necessarily what Nature would produce!
I think that's what most people who breed are doing, and it should slowly "improve" bees (i.e. from our viewpoint). The comment re progressive inbreeding and consequent failure only applies to highly isolated populations.
Of course selection should probably include culling the worst (or at least requeening) as well as breeding from the best - this takes out the "worst" drones.
I guess it would be possible to create some form of "drone trap" to allow drones to leave the hive but then get trapped and not fly, to avoid setting back the colony until requeening suits the beekeeper.
 

BigAshW 

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I guess it would be possible to create some form of "drone trap" to allow drones to leave the hive but then get trapped and not fly, to avoid setting back the colony until requeening suits the beekeeper.
These already exist I believe. They use them to catch drones for sperm donors.
 

rolande 

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I guess it would be possible to create some form of "drone trap" to allow drones to leave the hive but then get trapped and not fly, to avoid setting back the colony until requeening suits the beekeeper.
As @BigAshW says they already exist. In fact there were two being sold on ebay last week - listed as pollen traps...
 

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