Breeding Bees or Bees Breeding

Discussion in 'Raising Queens' started by Ray, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray Member

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    PerryBee
    Senior Member


    http://www.buckfast.dk/en/breeding.html




    Ray
    Member


    Here is what I saw:
    The last paragraph (I think), says that they outcross to avoid inbreeding. I also say's that Buckfast is a hybrid, which means they won't breed true to parent stock.


    Americasbeekeeper
    senior Member


    Buckfast and Danish Buckfast are distinct lines, at least at Ferguson and Miksa queens. There are actually several numbered lines of each to be technical to prevent genetic depression.


    Ray
    Member


    Would you explain please? What is a distinct line ? If they are just two, of several numbered lines, what do you mean by lines? Do you mean they are a distinct breed? If they are a distinct breed (ie Beagle, Holstein, Persian), then they can't be hybrids, can they? If they are a distinct Hybrid, like most farm crops, how can you maintain the strain? Is Genetic depression the opposite of hybrid vigor?


    Americasbeekeeper
    Senior Member


    Genetic depression is the opposite of hybrid vigor.
    Buckfast has been stable genetically long enough to be considered a sub-species now. Stability in apiaries that are not isolated and over-abundant with drones is not possible. Hence, hobby beekeepers and mid-liners are not bee breeders. Queen rearers they may be, but not breeders.
    The original Buckfast concept, continued in several contries, numbers each hybridization and continues to hybridize the same numbered colonies for years and decades. There are I believe close to 300 Buckfast numbered in the original colonies. Many perished or produced unacceptable qualities. There are still six numbered Buckfast I know of.
    Russian queen rearers have a similar program annually mating the queens with different stock to reduce genetic depression. In the Buckfast model there are parallel lines. The drones come from the mirror colonies to mate with mirrored queens.


    tecumseh
    Senior Member


    Mirror colonies and mirrored queen? can you elaborate?


    Iddee
    Administrator


    Can someone start a thread in queen rearing and leave danskfarms to sell bees, please?


    Here it is :thumbsup: with my apologies, for my part, in hijacking that tread
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    thanks for that link Ray. quite a nice site and very informative.

    I am thinking???? that when they use the word hybrid that the word does not have the purer meaning that you seem to suggest. it is my understanding that in the bee world hybrid simply means that certain lines of bees has been used in the male and female side of the breeding to produce the desired off spring... and sometimes in several steps. I think the Midnight and the Starlines were hybrids of this kind of model. These types of bees would breed (the daughters of the midnights or starlines) to other unrelated strains of bees but the results would 'predicable' be inferior to the original. This likely explains why some stains of bees which are known to be gentle that once the original queen swarms or is superscede the resulting off spring can be quite fierce.
     

  3. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    Your comment sent me to Wikipedia for some clarification....
    ...but it didn't provide that clarity. There are many ways to hybridize bees. :)
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    well Lee it is pretty clear from your snip that there are several definitions of hybrid and some of the various definition may sound contradictory.

    I think (don't really know and definitely speculating a good bit) that a PERMANENT HYBRID is what Ray is thinking about and the #3 taxonomic definition is what we are referring to when we speak about bee hybrids.
     
  5. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    Now that you point that out, I agree tecumseh. The attention to the currency of these crosses described here: "This flow of genetic material between populations or races is often called hybridization," seems what the Danish Buckfast breeders practice to keep their bee line fresh. I do think that the connotation and denotation of 'hybrid' get crossed routinely in our discussions though. :)
     
  6. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    I agree with tec., Back in 1967 i took my gentle non agressive Midnight bees to my uncles farm on the Big Sac river, thinking that i would get big honey harvest. What i got was a cross with the German Black bee, which turned out to be the bees from Hell.:shock: Couldn't get 300ft from them without getting popped, ended up burning two of them. Jack
     
  7. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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  8. Ray

    Ray Member

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    Alright, here we go :eek:!
    Apis Melifera
    Genus- Apis
    Species- Melifera
    Breed -???????

    snips from Wikipedia: species
    It is surprisingly difficult to define the word "species" in a way that applies to all naturally occurring organisms, and the debate among biologists about how to define "species" and how to identify actual species is called the species problem. Over two dozen distinct definitions of "species" are in use amongst biologists.[SUP][13]

    [/SUP]
    In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organismscapable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, the difficulty of defining species is known as the species problem. Differing measures are often used, such as similarity of DNA, morphology or ecological niche. Presence of specific locally adapted traits may further subdivide species into "infraspecific taxa" such as subspecies (and in botany other taxa are used, such as varieties, subvarieties, and formae).

    snips from Wikipedia: Breeds
    A breed is a specific group of domestic animals or plant with a homogeneous appearance, behavior, and other characteristics that distinguish it from other animals or plants of the same species, and arrived at through selective breeding. Despite the centrality of the idea of "breeds" to animal husbandry, there is no scientifically accepted definition of the term.[1] A breed is therefore not an objective or biologically verifiable classification, but instead a term of art amongst groups of breeders who share a consensus around what qualities make some members of a given species members of a nameable subset.[2] The term is distinguished from landrace, which refers to a naturally occurring regional variety of domestic (and sometimes feral) animal through uncontrolled breeding.
    When bred together, animals of the same breed pass on these predictable traits to their offspring, and this ability—known as "breeding true"—is a requirement for a breed. Plant breeds are more commonly known as cultivars. The offspring produced as a result of breeding animals of one breed with other animals of another breed are known as crossbreeds or mixed breeds. Crosses between animal or plant variants above the level of breed/cultivar (species, subspecies, botanical variety, even different genera) are referred to as hybrids.[3]

    snips from Wikipedia: Landrace
    A landrace is a local variety of a domesticated animal or plant species which has developed largely by natural processes, by adaptation to the natural and cultural environment in which it lives. It differs from a formal breed which has been selectively bred deliberately to conform to a particular formal, purebreed standard of traits. Landraces are usually more genetically and physically diverse than formal breeds. Many formal breeds originated from attempts to make landraces more consistent, and sometimes a particular type has both landrace and formal breed populations. Sometimes a formalised breed retains a landrace name, despite no longer being a true landrace. When an animal landrace is codified as a pedigree breed without significant selective breeding to alter it, though often to lock in its defining traits, it is often referred to as a natural breed or traditional breed by breeder and fancier organisations. Similarly, the term traditional variety is sometimes applied to plant landraces.
    Landraces are distinct from ancestral species of modern stock, and from separate species or subspecies derived from the same ancestor as modern domestic stock. Landraces are not all derived from ancient stock unmodified by human breeding interests. In a number of cases, most commonly dogs, domestic animals have reverted to "wild" status by escaping in sufficient numbers in an area to breed feral populations that, through evolutionary pressure, form new landraces in only a few centuries. Modern plant cultivars can also fairly quickly produce new landraces through undirected breeding.

    It seems that::lol:
    Modern Science can't define the term specie and refuses to recognize and sub-categories.
    Breeds are established by the consensus of the breeders.
    Hybrids are just another consensus term.

    I threw landrace in, because it seems that the Russian breed(?) is actually a landrace.
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    and another good catch by Ray...

    I had never even heard of the term landrace.

    and of course a lot of how we look at these kinds of things is fairly quickly being altered by DNA technology and the information provided by this new technology.
     
  10. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    Species, Is easiest to keep straight if you think about Canine (Dog) Feline( cat) Equine (Horse) Bovine (Cattle) Baron (Swine) etc. If you think of those animals that are distinctly different and cannot be cross bred.

    Within each you have types or breeds, which as is explained above things begin to get fuzzy.
    In cattle you can have beef breeds and milk breeds. They are still both Bovine and can be bred to each other to produce offspring. Honey bees are not even enough different for there to be separate breeds. At his time I consider the most likey "breed" to be developed at this time would be a pollinating breed and a honey producing breed. but it has not happened yet. What beekeeping has is strains and there is comments or opinions that one strain is better for pollination than others.

    Within species you can have breeds that stretch the similarity and breeding them also indicates that they barely belong in the same species. A horse and a donkey for example. The mating will produce a Mule but the offspring is sterile and the ability to continue mating is lost. So it is not necessarily man that makes things fuzzy.

    For example what exactly determins the difference between a tree and a bush? At some point you have a large bush and a small tree that makes the line difficult to see. So they set out to define such things. then they find a bush or a tree that is clearly one or the other although it breaks one or two of the definitions. So they get to redefine what a bush or a tree is. etc.

    So at best with honey bees you don't get to choose between a horse bee or a dog bee. you can only choose a honey bee. Then you don't even get to choose between a poodle bee or a Doberman bee. There is a fury bee or a short haired bee at best but they are all poodles. There are large poodles small poodles. white Black and champagne poodles. but they are all poodles. And for the most part that is about where bee breeding is at best. Bees may very will have lost the genetic diversity to produce the doberman or any other breed of bee.

    So how did the DOberman or the Poodle ever come to exist? Someone at some time decided they wanted a dog to serve a specific purpose. so they looked around at all the dogs available and picked two to breed together. from those offspring they continued to pick out the ones most like what they wanted and mated them. And this works. it works so well that the person that bred the poodle and the person that bred the doberman. started off with the same dogs. It in a nut shell takes a very long time. careful selection and never allowing the wrong stuff to get into the mix. Now if you wanted to you could breed a poodle to a doberman and get a doodle. And it woudl work. and the offspring would be distinct. it would pretty much an instant breed. This sort of thing is done all the time among dog breeders and many of the crosses result in new breeds if they become popular.

    So we have our honey bee and the bee does not get beyond strains. so what does that mean we can expect in the way of difference. As I said before amoung poodles you cannot get away from the fact you have a basic poodle. you can have poodles that are different colors. sizes. hair textures to some degree temperament but not a lot of variability in that. They are all pretty much indoor dogs and not able to withstand the weather well. they all have similar care requirements etc. In comparison we do not have the honey bee that can be kept without a hive. in fact every honey bee we know of must be kept in very similar conditions. so we probably have in some ways less variability in honey bee strains than there are in poodle strains.

    Some traits that are claimed in bees may not be genetic characteristics at all. but simply the behavior of an individual. You might have 20 poodles. and of the 5 are up first thing in the morning while 15 are up later at night. this is not even a genetic trait or a sign of a strain. it is nothing more than individual preferences. You can train behavior and some genetic traits lend themselves to certain behavior but you cannot breed the dog that stays up late. Again the line gets fuzzy.

    Think of what that last point means for trying to breed that top producing hive means. If you want to breed a colony becasue it has some behavior you like. you best know if it is genetic first.

    Okay why does it not work to look at the honey bee and start breeding for pollination? It works for everything else. Why do we not have the Almond bee that does nothing better than pollinate almonds. and the apple bee that pollinates apple orchards the best etc? That is becasue with bees picking Bee A and picked Bee B and mating them does not work. What would happen the only way a dog breeder could mate there dog was to let it run loose in the neighborhood mating with any other dog in the neighborhood? It is easy to see you would get nothing but a random mix of mutts and never be able to work toward a specific cross. But for the most part that is exactly how bees are "Bred" it is not breeding at all.

    So someone came up with II to help answer this random mix problem. Nice good direct answer that we got by the slimmest of threads. The Honey bee is the only insect that can be successfully artificially inseminated. Pretty lucky for us. But the Honey bee is not finished being resitant to breeding techniques. Oh common we say. enough is enough. we have a bug that insists on only mating in orgy conditions. isn't that bad enough.

    One characteristics that seems to be consistent with the honey bee. And I believe it is important and even key to always understand this. the honey bee insists on doing things her way. and that way is a very narrow path. She even has criteria that must be met to mate. Temperature. time of year. season. food availability. compare this to the dog that only requires she be in heat. Time of Day. climate. food source etc. have little or no effect on a dogs willingness to mate. but the bees wants things comparably perfect. I beleive it is critical that those attempting to breed bees have an in depth understand of these requirements and there necessity to be met.

    So I search the world over and find the two best of the best hives for what i want my breed of bees to do. and I mate them together. all is fine and good. I can even get hundreds of hives becasue bees happen to make thousands upon thousands of babies. hey this is goign to work really well and be fast right? Miss bee holds a very dark card. one in fact that has never been seen before. and that is her sex gene and how sex is determined in bees. It reveals why the Queen will only mate in orgy conditions. that is because in the honey bee one on one matings are fatal. They are not even fatal in the offspring of that mating. it is deceptively fatal and does not show up until the second and third generation. So the breeder mates his Hive A and his Hive B and all appers to be just fine. then he mates the offspring of thsoe two hives and suddenly it is not so great. he does it again thinking he made a mistake and all is lost. What the heck?

    Breeds are developed by inbreeding for characteristics. inbreeding for honey bees is extremely fatal. So how do beekeepers ever get breeds?

    In many ways beekeepers must discover an entirely new way to breed for traits and do so successfully. one that is based upon communal rather than individual matings. The obvious answer is communities that have bee selected for traits rather than individuals. One question that reamins is how large do these communities have to be and how strict does the selection have to be in order to see results. that has not yet been discovered.
     
  11. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Thanks Ray, i had some Landrace hogs onetime, noted for there body length, but never gave a thought about the term Landrace? Jack
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Daniel Y writes...
    Breeds are developed by inbreeding for characteristics. inbreeding for honey bees is extremely fatal. So how do beekeepers ever get breeds?

    In many ways beekeepers must discover an entirely new way to breed for traits and do so successfully. one that is based upon communal rather than individual matings. The obvious answer is communities that have bee selected for traits rather than individuals. One question that reamins is how large do these communities have to be and how strict does the selection have to be in order to see results. that has not yet been discovered.

    tecumseh....
    it is my understanding (never did this myself) you inbreed to enhance a certain characteristic and then you outbreed to give the the final product vigor. some of the older breeds were actually three way crosses... evidently maintaining drone population for the various component of the cross was a very difficult practical problem.

    mother nature of course provides us with another model of selection... this of course takes large numbers and time.