Author Topic: Bee genetics  (Read 461 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline omnimirage

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 220
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: South Australia
Re: Bee genetics
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2018, 05:21:38 AM »
If all my hives came from swarms, am I, to some extent, selecting bees with genes that encourage swarming behaviour? Is swarming behaviour influenced by genetics?

Offline apisbees

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 3451
  • Thanked: 274 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Vernon B.C.
Re: Bee genetics
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2018, 11:16:27 AM »
It can be but it can also be caused by lazy genetics in the beekeeper in that he did not provide for the bees in a way as to not give the bees any other choice than to swarm.
You could have a real prolific queen that is quick to build up and builds extremely populous colonies. and if that hive is cared for like colonies that have a inferior queen, They will run out of space and will enter swarm mode. Is it the bees or the beekeeper that didn't get to their needs in time. This all being said there are some hives or strains of bees that do swarm sooner and more often, but with out knowing the conditions or how the bees were cared for in the mother colony, you need to hive them and then make your own judgement on each colony.
Honey Judge, Beekeeping Display Coordinator, Armstrong Fair and Rodeo.

Offline Barbarian

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 472
  • Thanked: 21 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
Re: Bee genetics
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2018, 12:30:34 AM »
Some strains of bees have a strong urge to swarm. It can be a good trait for the survival of the strain. Evolution and all that.

For the beekeeper, it is not welcome. Extra work, loss of bees, loss of honey crop, problems with neighbours. Sometimes a hive will swarm and swarm until there is nothing left.

It is possible to breed a strain of bees that has a reduced urge to swarm.
" Another Owd Codger "

Offline omnimirage

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 220
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: South Australia
Re: Bee genetics
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2018, 04:05:35 PM »
If I have hives that seem to always struggle and not do well whereas hives alongside them are booming, would it be worthwhile to replace the queen?

Offline tedh

  • Forum Supporter
  • Senior Member
  • ********
  • Posts: 913
  • Thanked: 36 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Henry County, Iowa
Re: Bee genetics
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2018, 05:00:33 PM »
If I have hives that seem to always struggle and not do well whereas hives alongside them are booming, would it be worthwhile to replace the queen?

Definitely!  Ted
Share that which you have an abundance of.  In doing so both the giver and receiver are enriched.

Offline omnimirage

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 220
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: South Australia
Re: Bee genetics
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2018, 06:41:11 AM »
Today I've done some research into different honeybee species, specifically focusing on Western honey bees. I found this:

http://beesource.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/table1beetraits.png

It states that the Apis mellifera ligustica, or Ligurian, Italian honeybee is the most productive honey production wise. Is this thought to be true? All things considering, it seems this subspecies would be best for me. The disadvantages of excessive brood reading seems like it could be largely mitigated with some forethought and maybe sugar feeding. Do you guys have much thought on comparing different subspecies of Apis mellifera in environments with winters that don't reach freezing levels, and that don't have Varroa or much pests/diseases in general?

Offline apisbees

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 3451
  • Thanked: 274 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Vernon B.C.
Re: Bee genetics
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2018, 05:32:35 PM »
It was the preferred bee that was raised and promoted in California for years it builds up early to strong colonies. The problem is that this trait in the bee will also cause its demise in areas that have long winters. They brood up to early and then eat through their winter feed before spring. They will have brood that they will not abandon, too stay on the food.
In your climate I think they would do quite well, if you can keep the swarming under control.
Honey Judge, Beekeeping Display Coordinator, Armstrong Fair and Rodeo.

Offline omnimirage

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 220
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: South Australia
Re: Bee genetics
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2018, 06:15:02 PM »
Yeah, the wintering thing isn't a problem here. I've read that they're less inclined to swarm than other breeds which is part of the appeal to me.

I haven't confirmed, but it's quite possible that my bees are Apis mellifera mellifera. How would I be able to tell for certain? Would I be able to take some photos and have you guys tell me what subspecies they are? What sort of advantages and disadvantages would I have with these two different species?

This is a list of the queen bee breeders in my state:

http://www.aussieapiaristsonline.net/queen-bees-for-sale.html

I've worked alongside the man from Kangaroo Island who offers the pure Ligurian strain. I've actually read some articles that has me questioning whether they truly do offer a pure Ligurian strain. There's a few breeders who cross breed Ligurians with other subspecies. I'm just trying to work out which would be best for me, and whether I should seek to change the queens of my colonies with some queens from these distributors.

Offline omnimirage

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 220
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: South Australia
Re: Bee genetics
« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2018, 01:11:06 AM »
These are bees from one of my hives. They are predominately dark, but I've seen photos of bees that are dark coloured, and also allegedly Apis mellifera ligustica. Are these Apis mellifera mellifera?

https://imgur.com/a/UsWHa

Offline apisbees

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 3451
  • Thanked: 274 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Vernon B.C.
Re: Bee genetics
« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2018, 01:38:52 AM »
you can not guaranty what a queen looks like or her breed by examining the workers. The hive population with in a single hive can very in how the workers look. By looking at the queen you may be able to see queen breed traits, looks and markings. but even this is not a totally reliable system. The only sure way would be to provide a bee sample for DNA testing. I would suspect that many beekeepers select breeders on looks and traits that are consistent with the breed they are selling. With bees being transported all around the world and into every reagion of the earth I doubt that you could come up with a pure strain of any type of the first bee species.
Honey Judge, Beekeeping Display Coordinator, Armstrong Fair and Rodeo.

Offline omnimirage

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 220
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: South Australia
Re: Bee genetics
« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2018, 08:05:33 PM »
darn, I was hoping that I could get a good idea based upon just visually assessing. Do you know whether DNA testing is a costly exercise?


Offline Lburou

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1956
  • Thanked: 229 times
  • Location: DFW area, Texas, USA, growing zone 7a
Re: Bee genetics
« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2018, 10:42:03 PM »
darn, I was hoping that I could get a good idea based upon just visually assessing. Do you know whether DNA testing is a costly exercise?
It is easy to get hung up on phenotypes, but it is really more about how those bees behave and perform in your location than anything else.  Sample bees available to you from local sources, then choose from those you like best and propagate those bees.  You can order in a queen from time to time too.   JMO   :)
Lee_Burough

Offline omnimirage

  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 220
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: South Australia
Re: Bee genetics
« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2018, 11:33:36 PM »
It's just I don't what species my bees are, some of my hives are doing well but it's possible if I had Ligurians, they'd do even better. I guess I'll just replace the hives that aren't doing well with Ligurian queens, and then see how they perform.

Offline Lburou

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1956
  • Thanked: 229 times
  • Location: DFW area, Texas, USA, growing zone 7a
Re: Bee genetics
« Reply #33 on: February 11, 2018, 11:46:03 PM »
It's just I don't what species my bees are, some of my hives are doing well but it's possible if I had Ligurians, they'd do even better. I guess I'll just replace the hives that aren't doing well with Ligurian queens, and then see how they perform.
That sounds like a good plan to me Omni.  :)
Lee_Burough