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Breeder queens

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15 minutes ago, Emile Wilmar said:

To me there needs to be an initiative to breed a hybrid that is gentle, productive, good at overwintering, and willing to go out on a cold windy day

And how about one that as well as all this, lifts its own box.

 

Its important to realize that the two main breeds are stable due to the depth of their history

To flippantly speak of a stable hybrid Bee is unrealistic at best

Edited by Philbee

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To breed a stable carni italian hybrid could take hundreds of years.

 

Because of the way bees mate, most of our bees are hybrids. But if we look at other livestock such as sheep or cattle, we find that breeders produce purebreds for sale. That's because it is already known by the purchaser that if they cross x breed bull with y breed cow they will get an animal of known characteristics. So they will buy these purebred animals to produce the desired cross bred. And they will go back to the producer of purebreds to get further breeding stock. You don't get stud breeders selling hybrids.

 

Likewise with bees, take the most famous hybrid, the Buckfast. They are a combination of many breeds from around the world. Since they stopped being produced by Brother Adam at Buckfast Abbey, many breeders have sprung up overseas selling claimed Buckfasts. But the customers are often disappointed,  they are often produced from a "fixed" line rather than being early cross hybrids.

 

On a slightly different note, where I am, surrounded by more beekeepers than you can poke a stick at, I cannot produce purebred queens there will always be a random selection of drones they mate with. I always have to buy in queens, run them for a year then select breeders from among them. Or my bees will become mutts same as everything else around here. But just yesterday I chose for the first time in a long time a breeder from among my own bees, from a long line of my own bees. It's a hive that early last season was super aggressive I always worked it after all the other hives, because once it had been opened, there was going to be no peace for the rest of the time I was at the site. Then suddenly it went super quiet. Had a look and sure enough a new queen. But I don't think I have ever before seen the queen of such a nasty hive, produce a daughter queen that is such a beauty. Anyhow the hive went on and did awesome, plus has performed just right so far this spring. 

 

I was in two minds because was wondering if there are some nasty genetics buried in there somewhere. But I'm thinking what must have happened is this. The old queen herself was good, but among the drones she mated with were some of aggressive genetics. But by luck, the egg the supersedure queen came from was an egg fertilised by a good drone, and hopefully none of those bad genetics at all have got through. That's the hope anyway, will be a while before I find out.

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Last year we bought a breeder of a highly recognised breeder of breeders. She was ordered in the spring and arrived in the autumn .... too late for using last year. So we molly coddled her through the winter and have been grafting from her this spring, but I am having my doubts. She is the slowest queen to build up in the yard. Most of the other breeders are two boxes of bees and have been split or robbed for brood several times over. Highly bred Mama is just contemplating going into the second brood, and I am contemplating squashing her and keeping on with our homemade crossbreds.

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One of them 5 thousand dollar ones or whatever they are going for now?

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51 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Last year we bought a breeder of a highly recognised breeder of breeders. She was ordered in the spring and arrived in the autumn .... too late for using last year. So we molly coddled her through the winter and have been grafting from her this spring, but I am having my doubts. She is the slowest queen to build up in the yard. Most of the other breeders are two boxes of bees and have been split or robbed for brood several times over. Highly bred Mama is just contemplating going into the second brood, and I am contemplating squashing her and keeping on with our homemade crossbreds.

She may preform exceptionally well in ideal circumstances.

I suspect breeders keep their bees in ideal circumstances and when they send them into the wild they do not  always work so well.

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1 hour ago, jamesc said:

Last year we bought a breeder of a highly recognised breeder of breeders. She was ordered in the spring and arrived in the autumn .... too late for using last year. So we molly coddled her through the winter and have been grafting from her this spring, but I am having my doubts. She is the slowest queen to build up in the yard. Most of the other breeders are two boxes of bees and have been split or robbed for brood several times over. Highly bred Mama is just contemplating going into the second brood, and I am contemplating squashing her and keeping on with our homemade crossbreds.

Maybe she is just a Bee, like all them other Bees.
However it is almost a certainty that if you graft enough Queens from her you will get some that are very good.

 

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Most of us will have queens  in our outfits that stand out from the rest I wish more of us were breeding from these queens in our own areas rather than buying in "breeders"  I think that one change in beekeeping practice nationwide would have a really big impact on hive / queen/ bee quality as well as bee health 

Edited by frazzledfozzle
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I also have one of the mentioned breeder queens, who is sitting in the breeding yard muddling along however the same can not be said for all of the daughters that she has produced they are going fantastic. I wouldn't be squishing your queen just yet

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4 hours ago, Alastair said:

One of them 5 thousand dollar ones or whatever they are going for now?

Uh Huh .... at least she has a gold dot on her thorax so is easy to find !

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9 minutes ago, jamesc said:

Uh Huh .... at least she has a gold dot on her thorax so is easy to find !

Ive found a couple of really good Queens with unusual marks lately, 3 of them had blue dots and 2 had white dots.

The white dots could only be solvent based steel maker pens and the blue dots are a mystery

I dont remember making any of them. 

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3 hours ago, jamesc said:

fUh Huh .... at least she has a gold dot on her thorax so is easy to find !

 

The gold dot is probably so you can melt it down after she dies and get some of your money back ;).

 

Seriously though, I did manage to get one of those queens once almost free. I ordered 10 production queens and asked for italian type ones with no black tip, they said they were happy to select some of those out for me.

 

What arrived was 10 cages with 2 or 3 reasonable looking queens, the others looked rather manky and some of them had black stripes, and one especially beat up looking queen looked a couple years old and lived hard. The cages also had some felt tipped lettering on them.

 

Didn't think this seemed quite right so gave them a call and told them the lettering on the cages, he investigated then got back and said I could throw the queens away they would send me 10 new ones, because what they had sent was some rubbish queens they had caged but didn't want but had sent to me in error. And one of them was an artificially inseminated breeder that had reached the end of her days.

So I told them I was fine with it, don't bother to send any replacements. I hived the artificially inseminated breeder, she was pretty wobbly on her feet but did lay a few eggs and I managed to get one graft off it, then next time I went in she was gone. I didn't sell the queens from that graft I wanted to see what the bees were like, but nothing special. Still a few hive mat markings to show where they were but I didn't breed off any of them.

Edited by Alastair
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3 hours ago, Philbee said:

Ive found a couple of really good Queens with unusual marks lately, 3 of them had blue dots and 2 had white dots.

The white dots could only be solvent based steel maker pens and the blue dots are a mystery

I dont remember making any of them. 

 

If they were marked with the right colour at the right time then white was last year and blue the year before.  

 

I've got about eight to ten hives from different spots I'll be pulling in when I get to it that have been smashing it this Spring and will use as breeder hives.

 

In the last week have made good use of the yellow Queen marker paint and have enjoyed seeing some fresh and very plump looking new Spring Queens underway.

Edited by CraBee

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9 hours ago, jamesc said:

Last year we bought a breeder of a highly recognised breeder of breeders. She was ordered in the spring and arrived in the autumn .... too late for using last year. So we molly coddled her through the winter and have been grafting from her this spring, but I am having my doubts. She is the slowest queen to build up in the yard. Most of the other breeders are two boxes of bees and have been split or robbed for brood several times over. Highly bred Mama is just contemplating going into the second brood, and I am contemplating squashing her and keeping on with our homemade crossbreds.

 I would like some slower queens.  I call them 'thrifty'.   Marked a 'thrifty' version for possible breeding.  Solid pattern, small nest, good stores, on 4 frames of brood , one box bees going into two- Just right for me at this time of year.  Will see how it develops and produces.  In the same yard I had to pull brood/bees from 'exuberant' hives to slow em down.  Heap more work.  

Anyone interested in brood/bees?  

Suppose the Carni type could be okay although they 'boom'  from  tiny  to in the trees within seconds. 

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Just bung some expired MAQS in, that'll sort out any worries about excess growth...

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8 minutes ago, Lindaloo26 said:

 I would like some slower queens.  I call them 'thrifty'.   Marked a 'thrifty' version for possible breeding.  Solid pattern, small nest, good stores, on 4 frames of brood , one box bees going into two- Just right for me at this time of year.  Will see how it develops and produces.  In the same yard I had to pull brood/bees from 'exuberant' hives to slow em down.  Heap more work.  

Anyone interested in brood/bees?  

Suppose the Carni type could be okay although they 'boom'  from  tiny  to in the trees within seconds. 

 

Having too much brood and too many bees is usually a good problem to have though....I carted three full FD boxes off a site I taxed last week and got them into hives on another site that were acting like it's still mid Winter.

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2016          2017      /  2017      2018

JASONDJFMAMJ / JASONDJFMAMJ

   yellow                   /    Red

 

This will be my new marking regime

It doesn't make sense to me to mark queens bred in different seasons the same color which is what the current color system does.

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16 minutes ago, Philbee said:

2016          2017      /  2017      2018

JASONDJFMAMJ / JASONDJFMAMJ

   yellow                   /    Red

 

This will be my new marking regime

It doesn't make sense to me to mark queens bred in different seasons the same color which is what the current color system does.

Ive always done it that way Phil. The other way makes no sense to me either 

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I only ever use one colour

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8 minutes ago, yesbut said:

I only ever use one colour

Pink for Female?

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1 minute ago, Philbee said:

Pink for Female?

Pink isn't a gender. It just is.

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14 minutes ago, M4tt said:

Ive always done it that way Phil. The other way makes no sense to me either 

As a beginner, one of the things that I noticed was that half the people used the calendar year and half used the season. I think the season is more logical but if you buy queens you get no choice.

 

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3 hours ago, Lindaloo26 said:

 I would like some slower queens.  I call them 'thrifty'.   Marked a 'thrifty' version for possible breeding.  Solid pattern, small nest, good stores, on 4 frames of brood , one box bees going into two- Just right for me at this time of year.  Will see how it develops and produces.  In the same yard I had to pull brood/bees from 'exuberant' hives to slow em down.  Heap more work.  

Anyone interested in brood/bees?  

Suppose the Carni type could be okay although they 'boom'  from  tiny  to in the trees within seconds. 

Yep ... I'll take brood'n'bees. :D

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On 7/23/2017 at 8:37 AM, Rob Stockley said:

No. I think the risks outweigh the returns. Apart from varroa tolerance (do we really want Africanised Bees?), what's wrong with our current honey bee stock?

Hi Rob,  You are absolutely right. In July 2016 in Auckland BKs club there was a presentation held by Prof. Peter Dearden, from the Department of Biochemistry from Otago University saying that in NZ we have very diverse genes of different types of bees which is great for selecting many different features and bee habits. Also there are so many intermixed and crossed types that we don't miss almost any. Cheers

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I doubt that there are many, if any beeks who are so on top of their game that the only way for them to improve is through genetic improvement of their Bee stock.

In other words, the most economic, effective, timely, and productive improvement a Beek can make to their Bee Business is by improving their general Beek skills and animal health would be at the top of the list.

Forget the smoke and mirrors of the breeding witch doctors.

I should add that this doesn't mean that an operator cannot make improvements in his own stock in his own environment 

 

Edited by Philbee
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