I was talking to my good friend Dwight Porter the other day, he said he seen a couple times this year a queen leave the hive on her mating flight and return between 15-20 minutes, she would need a jet pack on her to fligh 6 miles in that amount of time ;)
Although I've never seen it, there are credible reports of queens breeding right in the yard. 500' or so.
I've seen it also. Although there seems to be a many who for some reason keep suggesting that queens fly out past several DCA's to mate. I guess we can chalk that up to urban legend and repeated book filler. Certainly not anything an observant beekeeper would actually experience as if this was a golden cast in stone certainty.
I have searched extensively for the portion about queens knowing about their own drones. (For WPG - lets make it clear that that means drones from the SAME colony) and have found nothing. As I stated earlier, if I come across anything, I will post it. I have also talked to three entomologists I respect very much (None from Pennsylvania :roll: ) and all state that they have never heard of anything about queens knowing her own drones. (Again, for WPG...that means from her own colony) So maybe I read something late at night and was wrong, or was reading a paper with many sources and read some bad worded comments. I don't know.
As for WPG,
Lets talk your comments one at a time.... lets talk identical sisters....
If I graft 10 queens from the same comb of eggs, all laying next to each other, what is your guess that each would be the same? Are you suggesting that all 10 would be not identical sisters due to what? All sperm being different? Or are you adding in the genetic makeup of the queens eggs also prior to fertilization? Yes, it would be a stretch, but my loose play in wording should be taking for the message behind the wording and perhaps not so much as something to be nitpicked. The comments were in regards to inbreeding, which has less to do with being identical, and lots to do with "like" genetic material, or the pitfalls associated with having like genetic material and less genetic diversity.
If your questioning my comments, I would like to know with what data and experience you are putting on the table. Making statements into questions like "Hasn't she really been programmed to fly past the nearest DCA...." does not cut it. Are you implying your ignorance on the matter and asking a honest question or are you making a statement with wiggle room later? I state that she is not programmed to fly past DCA's. The normal and natural makeup of colonies would allow a variation of genetic material to be available. It is when we saturate or overload this natural setting, do we have problems. I think some are seeing what makes sense to think queens must do in regards to how we keep bees, and what bees do in the natural world, where the next colony may be 1/2 mile away and so on.
I suggest, that having identical sisters is not that far fetched. One of the suggested advantages of a/I is that the beekeeper "blends" all the semen. But does the queen do that? Or have you ever seen a queen lay all dark bees for awhile, then change over to another color, and so on. I know I have.
Without proper record keeping and DNA verification, I guess we will never know. The spirit behind my comments was that ten installed packages or ten queen all grafted off the same comb, may see genetics close enough to consider inbreeding a problem when we have unnatural circumstances of high numbers of colonies in one area, and possibly from the same breeder or grafted frame. Your cousin may not be identical either, but with your thought process, mating with cousins is fine and dandy and I guess in your world, the best breeding program you can achieve.
As for the rest, You make claims of word play while saying "Surely your not suggesting" which usually translates into pure jabbing for argument sake, or lack of comprehension of what was being stated.
You seem to focus on your understanding of my comments in regards to thinking I stated that virgin queens lay drones, wait for them to hatch and then go out and mate with her own drones. I'll pass on the needless debate and senseless crap, and realize that for most others, they understood I was suggesting that I meant a virgin and the drones from the very colony that she came from. I guess some may be too intellectual for commonsense to be apparent.