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Author Topic: Thelytoky anyone?  (Read 2075 times)
ONTARIO BEEKEEPER
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« on: January 28, 2010, 09:48:28 PM »

Just wondering if anyone had any for sure cases of Thelytoky ? Here is my story:
I had a very strong hive on my front porch which my wife told me to move. So I moved it into the Apiary with everyone else. The next day on the porch I saw a cluster of bees a bit larger than a softball which I assumed was the field bees with no home. So I thought I would scoop them up.... but I forgot about them until I noticed them at the end of summer. They had comb built with a laying queen at work. So;
1) was it Thelytoky ?
2) maybe it was not the field force, but a small swarm that landed on the porch the same day I removed the hive ?
3) a stray mated queen from my apiary landed with this cluster? ( my apiary is 225 yards away )
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Bee Happy
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« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2010, 11:26:27 PM »

Very interesting word, I certainly don't have the experience to answer, but the term does answer another question that was nagging the recesses of my bee thoughts -"Why ever would a 'useless' worker bee begin laying eggs in a queenless hive state?" I sort of sensed it was kind of an apian 'hail mary' play to try to set things right.  Seems the study you've posted reflects that too.

Really nifty info.  grin
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2010, 01:17:12 AM »

All of those are possibilities.  It seems like a big coincidence that a swarm would end up right where the hive had been when you would expect workers to.  How about this theory, the hive was about to replace the queen and one virgin had emerged and taken an orientation flight but not mated.  You moved the hive and the queen flew out to mate and returned to the old location (or she was out at the time you moved it).  The bees in the other hive either still had eggs or another queen cell so they ended up with a queen, and the old location had the one that was out (or already oriented).  I'm not saying that Thelytoky isn't also a possibility.  It has been documented, but at a rate far less than other things are likely to happen...
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Michael Bush
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
ONTARIO BEEKEEPER
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« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2010, 10:13:13 AM »

"Why ever would a 'useless' worker bee begin laying eggs in a queenless hive state?" I sort of sensed it was kind of an apian 'hail mary' play to try to set things right.  Seems the study you've posted reflects that too."

From what I've read Drones from worker bees are still viable for mating. So maybe its natures last ditch effort to keep the genes going from that line.

I also agree that its a slim chance that Thelytoky occured.  But if this hive makes the winter ( and fits some other criteria ), I'll probably raise a few queens from it.

Thelytoky was likely a more prominent trait with bees before we humans inadvertently bred it out.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2010, 10:30:48 AM »

>Thelytoky was likely a more prominent trait with bees before we humans inadvertently bred it out.

Very likely true.  We probably did.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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deknow
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« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2010, 10:31:01 AM »

Seems the study you've posted reflects that too.

i didn't see a study posted?  are you talking about the study from the tucson bee lab (Erikson and Lusby)?

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Bee Happy
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« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2010, 10:38:35 AM »

http://website.lineone.net/~dave.cushman/thelytoky.html   I could swear this article was attached  to ontario's original post (I don't know why it would have posted, then dropped- unless there's an infringement issue maybe?)
Edit: I probably shouldn't have said 'study'
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ONTARIO BEEKEEPER
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« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2010, 08:29:59 AM »

Just read an old study done on Parthenogenesis. It answered some of my questions about this, here are some of the points;

Caucasian-  of 13 laying virgin queens 3 produced a few workers
Italian 3 banded -  of 11 laying virgin queens 1 produced workers
Italian golden - of 30 laying virgin queens 17 produced some workers

 They went on to produce normal workers and queens from the virgin queens.  Which explains why sometimes a hopelessly queenless colony can sometimes have a queen appear from eggs laid by laying workers.
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Cascadebee
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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2010, 11:45:03 AM »

From what I've read Drones from worker bees are still viable for mating. So maybe its natures last ditch effort to keep the genes going from that line.

Yes, by sneaking in some reproduction through drones, workers can increase the level of relatedness (above the normal relatedness that to their sister, the queen) in the hive and this has been used to strengthen the argument that relatedness explains why they cooperate so well.
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