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Author Topic: Regressed queen  (Read 7873 times)

Offline melliphile

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Regressed queen
« on: June 23, 2010, 08:58:42 AM »
If my regressed queen mates with a non-regressed drone, what size will the offspring be? This question is hypothetical, as I don't yet have a queen that's regressed; I'm just curious.
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Offline fermentedhiker

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Re: Regressed queen
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2010, 02:54:34 PM »
queen cells are built outside of foundation and so are the size the bees want them to be so there really isn't such a thing as a regressed queen.  Drones are mostly the same.  Besides which regression has to do with the brood being raised in smaller cell sizes so it's really a physical limiting of the final size the brood can develop to and not a genetic one.  So crossing of regressed and not regressed bees or not won't make any difference in the offspring size as this will be determined by the comb available in the hive for the queen to lay in.
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Offline luvin honey

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Re: Regressed queen
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2010, 01:54:33 PM »
But won't the size of her offspring determine what size cells they build?
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Regressed queen
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2010, 11:04:36 PM »
>If my regressed queen mates with a non-regressed drone, what size will the offspring be?

There is nothing about regression that changes the genetics of the bees.  Her offspring will be whatever size the cells they are raised in determines.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell.htm#whatisregression
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Offline luvin honey

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Re: Regressed queen
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2010, 03:41:53 PM »
So, Michael, what exactly causes them to start building smaller? Have bees just unnaturally gotten bigger because of foundation cell size?
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson

Offline harvey

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Re: Regressed queen
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2010, 10:41:55 PM »
I believe that they were taught to build bigger when people started using foundation that had cell size imprinted.  Bees just followed suit and as the cells were bigger the larva grew larger prior to morphisizing.  Big word.  I don't understand though the size difference in queen cells.  The queen cell that I found on Dadent plasticell was twice the size that I know see on foundationless with there own drawn comb?  This is going to lead to a much smaller queen I believe?  Now that I have been catching swarms,  the swarm queens are all much smaller than what came with my packaged italians this year.  Maybe half the size?  Course the swarms are a lot darker also and probably all  from the same parent hive? 

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Regressed queen
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2010, 01:03:14 AM »
>So, Michael, what exactly causes them to start building smaller? Have bees just unnaturally gotten bigger because of foundation cell size?

There is nothing natural about them getting bigger. It was done artificially and on purpose.  Baudoux stretched the foundation to get bigger cells and the result was bigger bees and eventually getting the foundation manufactueres to make foundation with bigger cells.  Bees raised in the bigger cells are bigger.  Bees aren't taught anything.  Their instincts are to finish what is started and their sense of foundation is that someone started some comb that needs to be completed.  So they build it the size it was started.  Which in the case of "standard" foundation is 5.4mm in diameter as opposed to what they would build naturally which varies from 4.4mm to 5.1mm for workers and the rest of the way up to 7.0mm sometimes for drones but more typically about 6.0mm for drones...

See From ABC XYZ of Bee Culture 1945 edition pg 126 for much detail and any edition after for some detail.  Some of the old ABC XYZ of Bee Culture are on Google books for free.
Michael Bush
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Offline melliphile

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Re: Regressed queen
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2010, 11:25:19 AM »
So, in the top bar hive that I just built, I used strips of pierco glued into the groove on the bar. Does this then mean that the bees will only draw the size of the cell on the starter strip? Is there hope that bees put on these bars would draw natural(smaller) size cells?
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Offline fermentedhiker

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Re: Regressed queen
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2010, 04:43:35 PM »
They will draw out the size cells on the starter strip, on the strip itself only.  Once they start drawing there own comb via festooning below the starter strip they will draw whatever size they choose to.  If it's for honey storage or drone brood it will likely be larger if it's for brood it will most likely be smaller.
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Offline luvin honey

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Re: Regressed queen
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2010, 12:31:05 AM »
How does the regression begin? I assume that they cannot immediately build the size of cells they are genetically programmed to build because they are too big to build them. How, then, does it begin to move towards smallness? Just a tiny bit at a time?
The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Regressed queen
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2010, 05:41:34 AM »
>So, in the top bar hive that I just built, I used strips of pierco glued into the groove on the bar. Does this then mean that the bees will only draw the size of the cell on the starter strip? Is there hope that bees put on these bars would draw natural(smaller) size cells?

As fermetedhiker says, they will adjust as they move down.  The strip will cause the first row or so to be larger, once they are off the strip things will get smaller.

>How does the regression begin? I assume that they cannot immediately build the size of cells they are genetically programmed to build because they are too big to build them. How, then, does it begin to move towards smallness? Just a tiny bit at a time?

I guess it depends on what you define as a "tiny bit".  If we mean proportionately, then I'd say they go in pretty large jumps.  Sometimes they draw 4.7mm on the first try, but more often it's more like 5.1mm on the first try and 4.9mm on the second and 4.7mm on the third, and 4.5mm if they want to go that small on the next one.  This is only in the core.  The outside edges of the broodnest seldom fall below 5.1mm.  Between 5.0mm and 4.9mm seems to be the threshold where the mite issues dissapear.

Michael Bush
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My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Offline BjornBee

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Re: Regressed queen
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2010, 07:37:31 AM »
  Between 5.0mm and 4.9mm seems to be the threshold where the mite issues dissapear.

I wish it worked that magically in my hives with smallcell.  ;)
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Offline BjornBee

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Re: Regressed queen
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2010, 07:51:23 AM »
How does the regression begin? I assume that they cannot immediately build the size of cells they are genetically programmed to build because they are too big to build them. How, then, does it begin to move towards smallness? Just a tiny bit at a time?

One of the BEST ways to regress bees, is use a Warre hive. (I do not promote the Warre hive or protocol. But they do have their uses in looking at different comb, etc.)  Because of the constant under supering of the brood nest, you are continually stepping them down to a natural cell size. Funny thing is, my bees, although started with strips of smallcell foundation as guides, almost NEVER draw 4.9 or as some suggest, 4.5 or below.

You get 4.9 regressed bees by FORCING them on 4.9 foundation.

As a side point, I have regressed bees on full sheets of smallcell, then fed in foundationless into the center of the brood nest. They never, once allowed to build their own comb and NOT forced on smallcell foundation, stay at 4.9 or below.

I'm waiting for someone to suggest it will take eons of keeping bees on smallcell foundation to "break" the programming we forced onto the bees for the past hundred or so years.

Don't EVER confuse smallcell with natural cell. They are two different things.

NOBODY after more than 10 years of smallcell promotion, sells or guarantees mite resitsant bees or queens. In a market such as ours, doesn't this seem strange. a couple of people market smallcell nucs and queens, but the claims are not made. They just sell bees on a certain cell size comb, and no further claims are made. And after talking to a large number of people who bought queens and nucs from those promoting smallcell bees, it becomes very clear that they are not magical in the bees handling of mites, or any other disease claims made throughout the years.
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Regressed queen
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2010, 01:27:13 PM »
>NOBODY after more than 10 years of smallcell promotion, sells or guarantees mite resitsant bees or queens.

I've never claimed it has anything to do with the queen or the bees.
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Offline Hethen57

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Re: Regressed queen
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2010, 01:11:34 PM »
I found it interesting that I put small cell queen on regular foundation (initially with bigger bees from a split)....and after a year of brood cycles the bees are now all small ...go figure  :?
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Offline CountryBee

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Re: Regressed queen
« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2010, 07:32:24 AM »
This is so amazing!  So much to learn, thanks.  I keep studying but still I don't know it all!  Please keep talking about regression, thanks. :)

Offline bulldog

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Re: Regressed queen
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2010, 04:23:53 PM »
i realize i am new at this and this may seem like a really stupid question, but bare with me. isn't there anywhere that makes/sells foundation in a smaller size such as 4.7mm for example ?
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Offline BrentX

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Regressing
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2010, 02:27:28 PM »
Really interesting thread going here...

so,  I have a hive on natural cell foundation.  The bees are small.  The comb is small.  In other hives I observe large drones in and near the hive, and large drone cells in the brood.  In this hive I have never seen a large bee, nor a large drone brood cell.  Last week a forlorn group of bees were haning just outside the hive lloking very much like they were not happy to be there...which I presumed were drones getting kicked out for the winter, however they look just like all the rest of the worker bees.  Is it possible that the drones have regressed to "worker bee" size?  or is something else up?

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Regressed queen
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2010, 10:37:06 AM »
They make some in Africa that size, but I don't know of any for sale in the US.  4.9mm is sufficient for resolving mite issues and getting them to go smaller is more work, and not really natural for this latitude for most of the brood nest.  Why not let them build their own, and if they want 4.7mm they can have it.  :)

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm
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Offline VolunteerK9

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Re: Regressed queen
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2010, 10:44:29 AM »
i realize i am new at this and this may seem like a really stupid question, but bare with me. isn't there anywhere that makes/sells foundation in a smaller size such as 4.7mm for example ?

4.9 is as small as it gets from places like Brushy, Mann Lake etc.