Hive temperament and queen genetics--a question

Discussion in 'Raising Queens' started by efmesch, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Someone recently told me that, while fecundity genes are passed through the queen's DNA, the genes for temperament are passed by the drones. This means that if you get the "wrong" drones to mate with your virgin queens, you could end up with a bad tempered hive in spite of the good egg-laying traits of the queen.
    Does anyone know any scientifically backed facts to verify this? I have never heard this claim before and personally have doubts about its correctness. From my limited understanding of (bee) genetics, it would seem to me that both parents influence these traits. [Of course, the drone wouldn't have an immediate genetic affect on the queen it mated but only effect queens of the next generation that develop from her eggs.]
     
  2. Ray

    Ray Member

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    ​Interesting question[​IMG]. I hope someone has some facts.

    Like you point out Ef:
    ​If it's honeybee genetics, it's either the queen's fault or it's the other queen's fault.[​IMG]
     

  3. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    ef, i have been reading more and more about bee genetics this past year since my sabbatical from the bees......geez this stuff makes your head spin.......:lol:
    here's something else to bamboozle your brain.......
    you asked, "the genes for temperament are passed by the drones"......consider this; the temperament being determined by the drone the queen's mother mated with, not what drone the queen/virgin queen mated with....:shock:.........:lol:

    hope i made sense and said that right?..... and i do not know the answer to your question.:grin:
     
  4. Ray

    Ray Member

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    [​IMG]
    ​Generation Four: The hot hive
    Generation Three: The Queen that laid all those eggs in the hot hive
    Generation Two: The Queen that laid the egg, that became the queen that laid the eggs in the hot hive
    Generation one: The Queen that laid the egg that became the drone that mated the queen that laid the egg that became the queen that laid the eggs in the hot hive. It's all this queens fault?

    ​Iz that whut yer tryn to say riverbee?

    ​All fooling aside, how about a suggested reading list? Pretty please?
     
  5. Crofter

    Crofter New Member

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    I sure dont know about bee genetics and whether some traits are predominately controlled by only one side. With some mammals, cattle for one, disposition seems to be more strongly connected to the patrimonial line. This is not even an apples to oranges analogy, so I doubt it is worth even 2 cents. No wonder Canada dropped the penny from its currency!
     
  6. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    ray, i have an entire library of books on bees, biology, etc and also read additional materials.......i have very limited materials specifically on genetics and queen rearing until i met another member on this forum, who encouraged me to graft my own queens, pretty cool guy, hope he comes back sometime. sent him a pm, i am sure this question is right up tecumseh's experience and the member i speak of, longwoods, was his user name. and i do not have the experience or knowledge to answer ef's excellent question. :grin:

    he suggested these to start with queen rearing and recommended these 2 books with a good amount of genetics:
    1) Queen Rearing and Bee breeding. Drs. Harry Laidlaw and Robert Page.
    2) Breeding Super Bees. Steve Taber
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
  7. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    That statement came out an a video documentary about the temperament of hives from European queens that mate with a few African drones. I will see if i can find it I have it some where on my computer.
     
  8. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    OK I learned something although you can play videos that are in Drop Box it the video is a full length drop box will only review the first 15 minutes of the film. To view the entire film you must download it to your computer to play it all.
    The video is in my Link-to-bee-programs thread. Post 1 in the movie Attack of the Killer Bees.
    The piece of video you want to see starts at 44 minutes and goes to 46:30 minutes.
     
  9. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    ray, (anyone else) just some additional info on breeding and genetics. this publication from usda, scroll down to page 49 (page 55 pdf file) to find the chapter on breeding and genetics of the honey bee written by john r. harbo and thomas e. rinderer. (actually this entire publication is great to have, think you can purchase from amazon):

    BEEKEEPING IN THE UNITED STATES-BREEDING AND GENETICS OF HONEY BEES
    (scroll to page 49 , page 55 of the pdf file)

    glenn apiaries has a great website on breeding and genetics as well and links to additional reading:

    The State of the Art of Bee Breeding
    Principles of Honeybee Genetics
    Principles of Honeybee Genetics part two

    just a little clip from this page:
    "Chromosomes are the structures that contain the genes of an organism. Bees have about 15,000 genes. Most animals normally have two sets of chromosomes. One set comes from the mother and one from the father. They are called diploid. Di means two, and ploid stands for chromosome. In people, we have 46 chromosomes, we get 23 from our mother's egg and 23 from our fathers sperm. Bees have a different number of chromosomes. Females, workers and queens have 32, 16 are contributed by the queen's eggs and 16 come from the drones sperm. Since drones hatch from unfertilized eggs, they only have the 16 chromosomes that were in the egg. Drones are haploid because they only have one set of chromosomes.

    You'll notice that the egg can only carry half of the queens 32 chromosomes so she can only pass on half of her genes to her offspring. Each egg contains a unique collection of her genes, so each egg is different. Drones on the other hand only have 16 chromosomes to begin with, so each sperm must contain all the genes of the drone. This means that each sperm from a drone is exactly identical, they are clones. This is different from most other animals, where each sperm is unique, just like each egg is."
     
  10. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    It's not so simple---while the queen has 16 pairs of chromosomes (32 in total) not each member of the pair is the same and when each member of each pair separates independently of the way the others do (in a process called reduction division) the resultant half pairs are not all the same: for example, if we just take 3 pairs as simplified sample, let's say the pairs are 1a and 1b, 2a and 2b, 3a and 3b (a and b representing chromosomes that are non identical members of pairs) one drone egg combination could be 1a.2a.3a another combination could be 1a,2b,3a. Another posibility would be 1a,2a,3b and so on. What I'm trying to point out is that the drones coming form one queen are not clones and can be very varied in many of their traits.
    In order for the drone to be in charge of the temperamenttrait, there would have to be some additional consideration involved, and that is where my question kicks in. :???:
     
  11. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    yes ef, i understand what you are saying, and it's not simple, especially to my brain. waiting to see if tec checks in, and/or my good friend longwoods.....:grin:
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip...
    Someone recently told me that, while fecundity genes are passed through the queen's DNA, the genes for temperament are passed by the drones.

    tecumseh..
    what is a fecundity gene? < seems to me that fecundity is more than just about genetic.... Jay Smith work 'I think' would pretty much prove this directly at least at the application level of beekeeping.

    half the genetic composition is provided by the queen and the remainder by a larger group of drones (some number up to probably 20) and reasonable if you wanted to 'somewhat control' the offsprings disposition then you would want to select both sides of the mating for proper disposition. in the real world this is a threshold kind of question but on the other hand it is also the easiest QUALITY to recognize.
     
  13. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    No doubt that there are many factors that contribute to a queen's egg-laying capacity, (stored sperm, nutrition, lack of parasites, quality and number of attendent bees, etc), she also has to have the "basic" genetic qualifications of her own--hormonal balances, physical build, aize of ovaries, and I suppose other traits---either you're born with them or not-and these are to a great extent geneticly inherited.---I think. :confused:
     
  14. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    I think that drones can make a contribution to the aggressiveness of a colony. It is not unusual to hear of a quiet colony becoming defensive for no apparent reason. Could it be that sperm the queen is now using has come from a different drone ? On a similar theme, it is not unusual for a queen to produce workers that are a different colour to herself.

    I would suspect that the aggressive/defensive trait is a positive evolutionary factor and be carried on a dominant gene(s). Should I update my vocabulary and say allele(s) ?

    It may be academic to discuss where the trait comes from, the usual remedy for an aggressive colony is to re-queen.

    People raising a lot of queens will be using isolated mating stations where they can flood the area with drones from selected colonies. Other keeps will will be having 'open' mating with a greater risk of a mis-mating. I do not envy Kevin in Namibia or Oliver in Brazil because any queens they raise could be mated with African type drones.
     
  15. Ray

    Ray Member

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    Along the lines of: 'One bad apple will spoil the barrel'
    [​IMG]
    A single drone mating produces 5% + of the population. With 5% of the returning foragers and the guards attacking and producing the alarm pheromones in similar quantities. Would that be enough to incite the less defensive bees to assist?
     
  16. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    and some times you can not have one thing without also accepting something else.

    I played around for a while with rearing queens from the minnesota hygienic program and noted fairly early on that these kinds of queens tended to be fairly hot. a bit later I read where Spivak stated that the hygienic gene and the gene for defensive behavior was on the same gene. there fore if you when seeking one trait you got the other whether you wanted it or not.
     
  17. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    It's like getting red hair and freckles together. :lol:
     
  18. Versipelis

    Versipelis New Member

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    P. 68 "Beekeeping at Buckfaat Abbey" by Brother Adam - "from this case just cited the conclusion might well be drawn that, with regard to temper, the drone has the dominant influence, confirming the assumption very widely held. However, as already pointed out, gentleness matched with gentleness does not invariably beget greater gentleness, but will occasionally will give rise to bad temper. For instance, the Caucasian is universally regarded as the most gentle of all races, yet when mates to Italian drones the resultant offspring is liable to be anything but good-tempered."