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Author Topic: Pure verses Mixed Breeding  (Read 1634 times)

Offline ONTARIO BEEKEEPER

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Pure verses Mixed Breeding
« on: January 26, 2010, 11:47:18 AM »
Hello,
 I've been selecting my my best performing queens each season for breeding. I allow there to be mite populations to increase the selection pressure on the bees. The one thing I have not payed much attention to is race. I want to know what the opinion on this is. I have a very experienced breeder telling me that " mongrolized" bees never perform better over the long term. So my question is this : should I continue to select my preffered traits and ignore the colour and race OR should I try to select from within a specific race?

Offline John Schwartz

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Re: Pure verses Mixed Breeding
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2010, 11:53:43 AM »
Intriguing work and questions!

Overall, are you seeing your new strains showing increased resistance to disease/pests?
--John Schwartz :)

Offline Scadsobees

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Re: Pure verses Mixed Breeding
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2010, 01:49:39 PM »
Well, some of the most heavily advertised bees are "mongrelized".  Such as Buckfast, minnesota hygenic, two that come to mind.

Breed for traits.  Unless you have really strict breeding regiment for the bees, you won't end up with inbreeding.  Besides, why would anybody care that they have "purebred italians" as long as the bees are great performers?

Look at dogs...they breed for certain traits, but only within race.  They end up with health problems.
Rick

Offline ONTARIO BEEKEEPER

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Re: Pure verses Mixed Breeding
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2010, 02:23:49 PM »
I've cited differant articles in ABJ about the movement to breed mite resitant bees from diverse genetic stock to this breeder. His response is that in his 20 years of breeding he has found that a pure strain always outperforms the hybrids, that after a generation or two these "fads" as he calls them do not compare to pure breds. He uses morphometry to ensure his stock fits into the Italian guidlines. He thinks resistance should be bred within a distinct race.  On the surface this does not make sense to me, but given his experince Its really made me evaluate my breeding methods. His mantra is predictabilty in what you are mating, and he says you can not accomplish this by mixing. Lack of predictability he says is why so many hybrids turn nasty after their first season.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Pure verses Mixed Breeding
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2010, 04:07:11 PM »
Breeding for color will mostly just get you color.  Breed for the traits you want.  It's true the darker ones are more frugal, in general, and the "yellow" ones more enthusiastic about rearing brood all the time, but those are only generalizations.  In the end you should breed for actual traits that matter, not color.
Michael Bush
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My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen

Offline ONTARIO BEEKEEPER

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Re: Pure verses Mixed Breeding
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2010, 07:58:49 PM »
What about the idea that second or third generation hybrids often regress or/and turn aggressive ? I've had this happen and I  just requeen right away. Would breeding a pure line avoid this problem of always trying to select out the aggressive bees?  Seems like sticking with a pure line will take out a bit of the un-predictability.

 I can't wait for the day when we all have hand held genetic de-coders, and we don't have to wait to see how a queen will perform. I guess there is always morphometry.

Offline fermentedhiker

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Re: Pure verses Mixed Breeding
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2010, 08:55:06 PM »
I'm certainly no expert of bees or genetics, but I will say from my experiences and reading that it's a trade off.  What your experienced breeder is saying is certainly true to an extent.  Breeding within a type gives more predictable results.  Historically this has meant that hybrids performance shows a decline after several generations.  I have no proof, but my thinking on the matter is that this decline could be corrected with an active breeding/culling regimen.  The flip side of the coin is that hybrid while having less predictable breeding outcomes have a much greater diversity of genetic traits on which to draw.  So while you may have more of a challenge keeping a high production trait fixed in you hives than the other breeder when mystery pest or disease X shows up next year your bees will at least statistically have a greater chance of having the tools to adapt and survive.  My thinking is that the beek who uses and sticks to a sound breeding protocol will in the end produce better bees than someone who doesn't regardless of what bees they start with.
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
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