Genetic diversity?

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by Wolfer, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. Wolfer

    Wolfer New Member

    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    What are your thoughts on this?
    At any given time I have from 3 to 8 hives here at home. 1 hive at the neighbors a mile away. There's a bee tree about 1/2 mile south of me that's been occupied for several years. There's a hive or a tree off to the west of me. The tree to the east died out winter before last and I haven't checked if there's new tenants yet.
    All the hives here trace back to the same queen. The neighbors hive is from a different queen. To my knowledge no one around me keeps bees but I'm sure there are ferrel hives that I don't know about.
    I have a friend in Branson that has a survivor hive he bought at bolivar. The hive hadnt been opened in several years.
    He and I had talked about swapping a nuc sometime just to put some new blood in the air.
    Ive thought about buying a couple mated queens for the same thing.

    Im not having any problems but I feel I have a fairly small gene pool but I know drones can cover some ground.

    ‚ÄčAny thoughts? Woody
     
  2. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

    Messages:
    2,683
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Diversity is a good thing. I would venture to guess if you have queens that need mated from your stock. They will not be mating with your drones. Queens travel quite a distance for mating to keep from mating with drones with there genetics.
     

  3. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    if you have known ferals and plenty of trees for making nest then I would suspect you have more genetic diversity than you might at first think. It is however often time a good idea to bring in a little stock other than your own.. which seen to be your idea of making a nuc swap with your friend in Branson... this is actually an idea tossed about from time to time although generally how this works is folks in one place rear queen cells and you then move these to someone else's apiary and drone supply.
     
  4. dr.buzz

    dr.buzz New Member

    Messages:
    288
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    Honey bees in the Sahara were found to have survived in the tiny oases left behind when the area transitioned from grasslands to desert. No signs of inbreeding were discovered, and it was found that the genetic makeup of the bees was sufficient for them to survive in complete isolation for over 10,000 years.

    You can Google "kufra bees" to read about it....BBC and Discovery and other media outlets covered it a few years ago.
     
  5. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Like i have said before, i have 8 bee yards that are in wooded and unfarmed areas that are miles apart, and i seen bees in those areas before i put hives there. No known beekeepers in or close by these bee yards, i've found several feral hives in some of these places.:thumbsup: I have marked hives that have superseded and started nucs from them, hoping the queen mated with feral drones. When i make hives from the nucs i place them in different bee yards for the genetic diversity, another thing i do is when i catch swarms (from swarm calls) in my county and surrounding counties, i take them to some of these out yards for the same purpose. I also buy 10 to 20 queens per year from other states, so far this has been working for me, i have several hives that have not had any mite or disease problems for 10 to 15 years. I have treated them with anything (the live or let die method), and for shb i keep my hives strong and in the sun. Maybe i've just been lucky.:roll: Jack
     
  6. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    a snip...
    Maybe i've just been lucky.

    tecumseh...
    I suspect there is more to your success than that. I guess my current motto of persistence (endeavor to persevere) is certainly one aspect and I do believe some level of planning and the tenacity to carry a plan forward under less than a optimal situation are all part of the mix.

    ps.... I will point out here that if you have bees that are displaying certain inheritable characteristics that you wish to enforce or compound then actually the strategy you would first use is the exact opposite of diversity. this is sometimes referred to by old bee breeders as line breeding.
     
  7. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I see i left out the word (not) in post #5:roll:. I ment to say, i have Not treated these hives with anything (the live or let die method). I'm sure some of these hives have swarmed and are spreading there genetics among the feral hives in those areas.Whether that's a good thing or bad? time will tell. Jack