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Bee genetics

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I've come across some people arguing to use bee swarms, rather than to buy queen bees. The argument was that, bee swarms have grown strong enough to be able to split off and adapt to one's local environment, whereas queens are often enough not suitable for such and tend to under perform in comparison.

At least here in my part of Australia, people like buying queen bees from the local bee sanctuary, Kangaroo Island, which houses a pure strain of Ligurian Bee.

Now I'm wanting to split a number of my hives to expand my operation. I have one hive that's probably the most productive of the lot (could just be because it's the oldest most established), and it's also by far the most aggressive hive. I figure that, in spite of how productive they are, I don't wish to duplicate such aggressive bees and if anything, I should try to replace the queen with more gentler genetics. I've thought about finding the queen and squishing her, then take out all the frames that have eggs/young larvae in them, and replace them with eggs/young larvae from hives that have more desired traits. I figure I can do this with any beehive that has undesirable characteristics. A number of my hives don't ever seem to perform too well. It's difficult to tell if it's just due to their current circumstances, that they just need more time, or whether the genetics of the bees is not as strong.

This is all a pretty fascinating topic. How do you guys manage the genetics of your bees?

Wandering Man:
As a hobbiests, I don’t try to manipulate the genetics. We live in an area where many, if not most, of the swarms caught have some degree of Africanized genetics. I’ve learned this the hard way. Now, if I catch a swarm I order a queen from somebody I trust, and replace the original queen as soon as possible.

I’ve had swarms start of really gentle. Then become very aggressive, once they’ve established themselves in the nuc.

Some Day:

I think I would just replace the queen in the hot hive and wait 60 days.  After that amount of time the vast majority of the hot queen offspring will have expended them selves.  I am lazy, so take this for what it is worth.

That's basically what I'm considering doing Some Day.

Just replace the queen. If you want the hive to raise it's own queen add a cell from another hive and remove any cells that the bees draw from thats queen larva. but be aware that any queens mated with in 5 miles of that yard may be betting some of the queen genetics from mating with her drowns. I think I read or heard some where that they thought that aggressiveness came from the drones.


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