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Author Topic: Queen breeding question  (Read 365 times)
Arkwood
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« on: June 06, 2013, 07:37:31 AM »

When a Queen takes off for her mating flight I'm assuming the drones she produced also follow along with other drones in the area however I did read once now that I think of it that other drones from other hives actually move into other hives so maybe it's not that big of an issue as I might think?

Second part. If I have other hives (My own in the yard) will she more likely breed with those drones or will drones from several miles away get there in time as well? How long is her flight? WIll she travel far if other drones from hives in the yard go after her?
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iddee
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2013, 07:43:15 AM »

Drones leave home when mature and travel until they die. They are bar hoppers. They go from hive to hive, and are fed by each. More so by those needing services. IE: Queen cell emerging.

Drone eggs fertilized by a queen's brother will be removed from the cells by the workers. Don't ask me how they know, but they do.
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ronledford
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2013, 08:50:29 AM »

I went to a queen rearing class earlier this year and it was mentioned a queen will not breed with a drone that is within four generations of her.

I have a hive with unhatched swarm cells and the population of dissimilar drones is noticeably larger. I think it is kind of cool drones from neighboring hives are accepted for sleepovers.  Smiley
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2013, 10:52:23 AM »

>When a Queen takes off for her mating flight I'm assuming the drones she produced also follow along with other drones in the area

No.  The drones from her hive tend to go looking for a DCA and they hang out there.  They are not following their queen.  Other drones are not following her either.  They are flying to the DCA and waiting for a queen to show up.

>however I did read once now that I think of it that other drones from other hives actually move into other hives so maybe it's not that big of an issue as I might think?

Drones drift shamelessly.  But they do not follow the queen, so it's a non issue.

>Second part. If I have other hives (My own in the yard) will she more likely breed with those drones or will drones from several miles away get there in time as well? How long is her flight? WIll she travel far if other drones from hives in the yard go after her?

Drones will not go after her until she reaches the DCA or at least crosses a flyway on the way to a DCA at a low enough altitude.  Queens tend to go to a further DCA than the drones so the drones from her yard are likely at a different DCA than her.  She is also unlikely to encounter them on the way as she flies higher than the drones so their paths won't cross on the way.
   
>Drone eggs fertilized by a queen's brother will be removed from the cells by the workers. Don't ask me how they know, but they do.

They know because they can sense that they are diploid drone eggs and are therefore male even though fertilized.
   
>I went to a queen rearing class earlier this year and it was mentioned a queen will not breed with a drone that is within four generations of her.

I don't think that is true at all.  I think she will breed with drones from her hive IF they were at the same DCA and they were fast enough.  It's just the deck is stacked in favor of it not happening.  I don't think there is any guarantee it won't happen.

>I have a hive with unhatched swarm cells and the population of dissimilar drones is noticeably larger.

Some are probably from adjacent hives, but also the drones are haploid and if the queen has both black and brown (and maybe even cordovan) color genes, her drones could get either of those two genes and since there is no matching gene to suppress it even the recessive traits get expressed at 50% of the drone population.

> I think it is kind of cool drones from neighboring hives are accepted for sleepovers.

Not much of a sleepover since any queen there is very unlikely to mate with them...
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capt44
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2013, 12:20:00 AM »

Virgin Queens can fly 3 miles or more to get into new territory to mate with a drone.
Mating takes place in flight 30 ft or so above the ground.
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Richard Vardaman (capt44)
JWChesnut
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2013, 09:34:48 AM »

Inbreeding is deleterious.  Species with out-crossing have higher survival fitness, and "win" the evolutionary race.  The modes to ensure outcrossing are varied and fantastic. 

Queen and worker honey bees (diploid) are the product of outcrossing.  Inbred fertilized eggs become "diploid drones" and are removed from the hive (eaten a pupa)  as defective. Sex determination in bees (i.e. queen/worker vs. diploid drones) is the product of a gene group or chromosone with 16-18 states or expressions.  If the egg laid by a queen is fertilized with sperm from a drone with an identical sex state- the egg becomes a diploid drone (and is killed).  The likelihood of an identical sex state expression is much higher with the "half-brothers" of a queen's own hive, so this sex state expression promotes out-breeding.

The breeding system is different than the XX and Xy chromosone  determination in humans. A bee with the equivalent of a  homozygous chromosone ( XX in the human description) is a diploid drone and is eliminated.  Bee are constantly selecting for a heterozygous condition.

The inbreeding restriction system means that simple backcrossing to fix traits is difficult in honey bees, and for instance, VSH must be crossed with other lines in the second generation and reselected.  A full panopoly of the multi-state expressions (ie all 18 sex flavors)  has to be maintained to keep the queen's fecund.

I don't know if anyone has published research on the effect of industrial scale queen rearing and large bee-yards on the inbreeding issue.  I can conceive that industrial practice promotes semi-clones that do not reproduce well because they are so similar to each other -- they are most likely to be sisters of each other.
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