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Author Topic: Splits/natural crosses/agression decrease  (Read 1172 times)
JackM
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« on: February 02, 2013, 02:07:22 PM »

Kind of hard to put a simple subject on this question/group of questions.

Anyhow here goes.  Second season for me, both hives appear at this point to have survived the winter, are looking for forage and actually finding pollen this morning. grin  I plan on splitting both hives at the appropriate time, not yet.  Planning ahead.  Do not want to buy queens, I have a pair of good ones, albeit one hive is less receptive to my mishandlings.  I am mildly allergic to stings so I must avoid them.  Crap, I hate to wear gloves.  One hive, the Italians, I can do whatever and they are nice and chill, don't sting my hands.  On the other side, is the 'Mutts' hive, which has some very aggressive guards, and if I accidentally mishandle a frame, I get stung so fast it isn't funny, not even land on me, just flat nail me at first touch.  Usually they don't get in a stinger so my reactions aren't too gawdawful bad.  Anyhow, that requires gloves which causes more mishandling and just upsets the whole hive.  They will sting thru the leather gloves so I have to wear the vinyl/neoprene ones.

That grouchy hive put out twice as much last summer as the other hive, well worth the anger.  We can walk up to the hives and not be bothered, walk by them, even pets are pretty much ignored unless they mess with the opening, so they aren't terrible.

Now to the series of questions now that the scene is set.  First, by splitting, I will induce not only mating with drones from the 'hot' hive, but the mellow hive and any other hive in the DCA, correct?  This in theory will chill out the new queen in the aggressive split?  How much 'chillin' can I possibly expect?  Will I loose out on the good stuff on the hot bunch?  Will it make the mellow hive split more aggressive and what are the percentages of that?  I have read all the published stuff I can find regarding splits and stuff, but there seems to be little information on just what percent of what transfers to the new queen and her populace.

I should quit whinin and just learn to live with gloves....but heck I might learn something here.
Edit:  Should I get drone frames in the 'hot' hive so that when I do the split I can reduce the number of drones from that hive?
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10framer
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2013, 02:50:17 PM »

it works both ways.  it may heat up the queen from the split of the docile hive. 
it's a crap shot based on the ratio of hot drones to docile drones and then you have to factor in recessive traits, etc.
in theory it might is the best answer i can give but i'm not a geneticist.  is your goal more docile bees that are still productive (i'm the the answer is yes)?
i don't think you can get that result in one season starting with the two hives.  but, it's a start.  if you get through this year with a hive that has both qualities you use that queen for the new queens in all four of next years splits.
now you have just over half of your hives that should produce drones with the qualities you are looking for (someone with a more scientific background should confirm that). so the following year you go through the same process but pick two queens so you don't work yourself into line breeding which i would think would cause some bad recessive traits to start showing up.
so, the simple answer is "it might".  again, i'm not a scientist but that's my understanding of bee genetics with some purely personal opinion mixed in.
also, how secluded are your bees geographically speaking?
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little john
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« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2013, 03:53:36 PM »

it works both ways.  it may heat up the queen from the split of the docile hive. 
it's a crap shot based on the ratio of hot drones to docile drones and then you have to factor in recessive traits, etc.


That's the truth of it ....

A further complicating factor is that the queen will undoubtedly mate with numerous drones: some may have 'aggressive genes', others may not - so of the progeny which results some may turn out to be aggressive, others not. But it's only the aggressive bees which will create a high profile.

One way of improving the odds (but it's still a crap shoot) is to release the virgin and drones fairly late in the day - it's called the Koehler Method - there's a write-up about it in this thread:
http://www.beekeepingforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=16767

If memory serves, the odds of breeding true are increased to something like 80%. But there's bound to have been some drone-drift between your hives, which will lower that figure.

LJ




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buzzbee
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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2013, 06:00:06 PM »

Tha mating happens out and away from the hive. Your new queen may or may not mate with any bees from your yard. It is a crap shoot. Is there feral bees in your area? If some the drones from your colonies will be diluted considerably I would think.
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rbinhood
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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2013, 06:19:16 PM »

Any open mating is a crap shoot there is no way of keeping a pure strain with this method, the only way of control is with artificial incemanation and there is still no total control of the traits from the drones.
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« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2013, 06:44:19 PM »

Requeening a nasty hive up north will most likely get a better temperament. If it is a good producer remains to be seen. I would wait until you see swarm celss and kill the old queen or buy a new queen and dispense of the old one. Or you could bank your old queen and a couple frames of bees and brood in a nuc box.
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bud1
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« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2013, 07:53:28 PM »

one thing to learn swelling is natura,l more stings less swelling; anapalactic shock is allergic reaction. no shortness o breath or choking just press ahead
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10framer
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« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2013, 09:55:18 PM »

can you post some pictures of the bees from the hot hive?  are the drones black with tiny gold bands at the joints of the abdomen?  is the queen black with the same gold stripes or black with some yellow orange on the underside of her abdomen?  are the workers small, black and relatively hairless compared to the italians?  if the answer to any or all of those questions is yes i'd like to buy the queen.
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JackM
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2013, 07:31:55 AM »

one thing to learn swelling is natura,l more stings less swelling; anapalactic shock is allergic reaction. no shortness o breath or choking just press ahead
Well, not so true.  Each time I get stung the swelling is worse than the last time.  No signs of anaphalyxis yet, but I keep an epi pen in the house.  My doctor and I have discussed this at length, what I am doing is a calculated risk.

All, I appreciate all the knowledge and opinions.  It all pretty much solidifies what I have seen.

I could shoot photos of both hives and you would not be able to tell the difference, and no drones yet.  I think I will give this hive one more year and see how I am doing, remember last year was my first and lots of rookie mistakes, I have learned to be gentler around the grouches. 

So long as I can walk by the hive without getting attacked I am ok with the way things are.....so far.  For example yesterday the hot hive was finding pollen, the mellow hive was just chilling at the syrup feeders, I didn't see any of them bring in pollen, and the tree is 23 yards away.  (Alder's just started).  So to me that says the hot ones are just flat more industrious about seeking the needs of the hive.
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2013, 08:05:42 AM »

jack,
Are these hives next to one another or seperated by a distance? The reason I ask is that perhaps one is getting agitated by a night time visitor perhaps? Or near nesting birds that may feast near the opening at times? I am wondering about things that may be agitating them on a regular basis.
I have come to find that with my bees near the garden,when soil is freshly  tilled and the earthy smell is still prominent that the bees are more likely to want to ward me off.It is short lived after earth disturbance. I do not think it is the equipment because weedeating and mowing right next to the hives does not have the same effect.
With this said,even if a skunk was digging grubs near the hive and maybe not actually scratching the hive,could it set off this type of reaction?
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bailey
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2013, 01:51:36 PM »

Hey 10 framer.   I have a lot of very dark queens. Send me a pic of what your talking about.
What traits are you looking for with that description?
Bailey
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JackM
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« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2013, 08:32:13 AM »

Buzzbee
No the hives are almost touching each other.  I can weed wack around the hive no issue, it is when I get to messing with frames they get grumpy.  They do not have any agitation other than when I mess with the hive.
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johng
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« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2013, 05:55:54 PM »

One thing is for sure using the nicer queen to make your splits will give you a better chance of getting a nice daughter queen. That is the only thing you can control, the rest is up to mother nature. So do the things you can control and leave the rest up to mother nature.
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10framer
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« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2013, 01:08:32 PM »

i sent you a pm bailey.  i don't want to hijack this guy's thread. 
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kathyp
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« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2013, 01:34:25 PM »

Quote
The reason I ask is that perhaps one is getting agitated by a night time visitor perhaps?

went to clear the entrances on mine the other day when they were flying for the first time.  stuck the hive tool in and swept out a mouse nest.  hive is strong, so i guess they cohabited for a while. and no....i didn't have a mouse guard on it.   Wink
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« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2013, 08:28:40 AM »

:
One thing is for sure using the nicer queen to make your splits will give you a better chance of getting a nice daughter queen. That is the only thing you can control, the rest is up to mother nature. So do the things you can control and leave the rest up to mother nature.

 th_thumbsupup
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