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Somerford 

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Hmm. Superbees ? Bees that don't swarm, Bees that don't follow you, Bees that don't sting, Bees that produce mountains of honey and brood, Bees that are varroa proof....

Having recently started beekeping again (after a 7 year break), I'd like to know where all this talk about 'superbees' started and why do people keep going on about them ?

Unless you managed to genetically select the bee by identifying the genes that control all of the above, all we as beekeepers are doing when we breed bees (queens etc) are selecting preferred traits from our stocks (be it honey production, temprement etc) much in the same way as cattle/sheep/dog breeders have done for centuries.

The difference is that unless you can be certain as to the provenance of the drone you can never be sure of the queen you are creating.

A thought at this point - is it ethical to select a drone from the same hive (ie mother) as the egg/queen you are fertilising ??? 2nd cousins and all that ? Just look at the problems that has caused the dog world.

My belief is that talk of superbees is little more than marketing to try and get people to buy them. There is never any guarantee with bees. They are affected by so many factors - weather, seasons, location, handling, vibrations, and probably a whole host of other factors that have supernatural conurtations !


Obviously my own bees are fantastic and I fully intend to break the world honey production record at some point in the next 70 years. LMAO.

I hope this stirs it up a bit :boxing_smiley: and look forward to reading the replies

:music-smiley-023:
 

marcros 

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The difference is that unless you can be certain as to the provenance of the drone you can never be sure of the queen you are creating.
But Instrumental Insemination is becoming increasingly common with large breeders, so that they can be certain.

A thought at this point - is it ethical to select a drone from the same hive (ie mother) as the egg/queen you are fertilising ??? 2nd cousins and all that ? Just look at the problems that has caused the dog world.
Ethics aside, inbreeding resulting in diploid drones quickly becomes a problem. I have seen research stating that mating queen with her own drones for only 3 generations produces major genetic problems.
 

Crg 

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I have seen research stating that mating queen with her own drones for only 3 generations produces major genetic problems.
Mating with her own drones? Sometimes that that has been done for research purposes, but you wouldn't expect mating her with herself to turn out well even in the first generation.
 

Crg 

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A thought at this point - is it ethical to select a drone from the same hive (ie mother) as the egg/queen you are fertilising
Ethical or not that wouldn't lead to a very productive queen.
 

dilys 

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Mating with her own drones? Sometimes that that has been done for research purposes, but you wouldn't expect mating her with herself to turn out well even in the first generation.
It's impossible for a queen to mate with her own drones but if it were I think you would expect 50% diploid drones which is the maximum. I doubt if any colony could support such a high proportion.

Dil
 

oliver90owner 

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Drones and Virgin Queens: Luck of the draw. We encourage it all the time.

How often are eggs taken from a very strong colony and swap them into another, possibly because that colony has gone hopelessly queenless. Exactly what stops the resulting queen mating with a drone from the same originating hive?

Same with queen rearing. Lots of queens all in their own little nucs, after being split from a really strong hive with loads of drones.

The thing is, there will be other suitors as well. The next generation is then a simple lottery regarding sperm from which drone that actually fertilises the following generation.

Regards, RAB
 

marcros 

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Drones and Virgin Queens: Luck of the draw. We encourage it all the time.

How often are eggs taken from a very strong colony and swap them into another, possibly because that colony has gone hopelessly queenless. Exactly what stops the resulting queen mating with a drone from the same originating hive?

Same with queen rearing. Lots of queens all in their own little nucs, after being split from a really strong hive with loads of drones.

The thing is, there will be other suitors as well. The next generation is then a simple lottery regarding sperm from which drone that actually fertilises the following generation.

Regards, RAB
It is a lottery, but drone congregation areas will provide a mix, to reduce the chances of getting a drone from the queens own hive.
 

Crg 

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thanks for the feedback so far...but what about these' superbees' do they exist ? Can anyone answer my points about selecting genes to produce the ideal bee ?
You can breed a better bee, but I think this section is supposed to be about breeding apis mellifera mellifera ;)

Bee Improvement & Bee Breeding
The forum to chat about improving and breeding Native British bee's,apis mellifera mellifera.
 
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hedgerow pete 

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somerford, firstly hi and hello from hedgerow "the heratic" pete, in theory a simple question to ask but very difficult to answer, and as i am number one hater of super duper F1 hybrids,i will try to help but dont expect a sensible answer,

most beekeeprs know there bees and there history so i will skip the last 100 years and start recently,
all farm animals , sheep cows, pig evan bees have been breed over the years to be improved, better qualities and produce etc, i do it by not breeding swarmed stocks we all do in one way or anotherand over the last one hundred years i am sure our bees are completly differant to our fore fathers, but this is simple breeding, now if we use a chemist a biologist and a lot of skill knowledge and controll we as any farmer will know can make big differances in our stock but at a price either to us as hard cash or to the animal in question.

still with me?

the up shot of all this is there are stick in the mud old farts like me who like older style bees where as many people preffere the new F1 hybrids that are by miles better than mine, in almost all ways except one and that is i dont like em, see old fart line above

you pays your money and takes your choice both will get to the place where you want to be but via a differant road, my style of bee keeping is very differant to someone elses and this is where my bees work for me but most people are i think better off with a more reliable F! hybrid bee
 

oliver90owner 

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Depends. Breed a lot, select very few.

Better than choice when superceding late in the year.

Regards, RAB
 

Crg 

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the up shot of all this is there are stick in the mud old farts like me who like older style bees where as many people preffere the new F1 hybrids that are by miles better than mine, in almost all ways except one and that is i dont like em, see old fart line above
Which F1's are you referring too? F1 just means the first cross mating between two distinct parental types, and there's a huge difference between the different crosses you can get.

People end up with crosses all the time when they have brought a queen and then let it mate with anything around. They can be far from ideal bees to keep. First crosses can be exceptionally aggressive, or swarmy, or both.
 

hedgerow pete 

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somerford, as part of your question and as ever dragged up by crg the muppet
we as bee keepers have a problem with our base stocks of bees, so what many bee keepers have done is found there ideal queen and have used this as a base and from a big pile of mongrols have produced new bee types( not breeds) but types, from these new types of bee many where started durring the 60's and 70's and evan now in the 00's, but what is happening is rather than leaving it to luck of the drone draw when breeding people are investing in micro scopes and techniques that remove the hap hazzard out of queen breeding, these people are now producing bees that are so quick to build up in the spring it frightens me and if not looked after properly will easily out breed the hive and there keeper and fly off, fools like crg who spout forth dribble do so because there own personal bees dont and as such have no true idea what a real F1 hybrid is or can do, they are reffered to as F1 hybrids because of the way they are breed which uses the same base breeding plan as flowers, mendel's laws of heredity,dont ask me to explain them as trying to do so makes my head hurt

but basicly we have old scabby bees like my own, so called black jobs
we have the classical carni's which still have there swarmyness, so people have lowered it but its still there
several types of italian and so forth
we then have F" hybrids which are the cheapest type of the modern super bee and then the
F1 super bees, half come from europe mainly southern and the better or should i say better known to me come from new zealand, why because they had the braisns to start breeding bees on an island and there fore have no worries about rogue drones, so there fore they are able to produce massive quantities of them and have good delivery systems as well, sorry about the rant but this dribble merchants do get my goat for the ignorance
 
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admin 

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PM sent to Hedgerow Pete regards post #16 above.
 

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