Give me the birds & the BEES please :)

Discussion in 'Breeding, Raising, Feeding and Caring for Animals' started by helenlee, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    Righto, will do :)
    Thanks for that :)
     
  2. briansworms

    briansworms Junior Member

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    Queen breeders only select the best quality queens to breed from. Beekeepers pay hundreds of $$$$ for artificially inseminated queens so l think they would have fair idea of the quality of the queens. You wouldn't pay for a Rolls Royce and accept a Holden. Bees are victims of the world we live in just like every other living creature.
    Just be careful if you do take up bees you don't end up with something that will cause you and your neighbors grief. Lol
     
  3. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    I'm wondering (but am afraid to ask out loud) how do you get sperm from a male bee?
     
  4. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    I wouldn't want to spend time learning it!

    As far as my limited understanding, in the lab, the genetics is narrowed with queens recieving material from a dozen or so males. In the wild, the queen will collect 2000. So I guess if you are interested in narrowing the genetics to make bees that produce more honey, then I can understand the idea. But there are pitfalls and perhaps this is why the honey bee population is under such stress.

    It is much easier to let the bees do their thing.
     
  5. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    I have no neighbours. On purpose :)

    When humans impose their agenda on anything & start specially selecting breeding stock ya know where it's gunna end :) ... every time :) ... yep - there goes good old genetic diversity ... right out the window :)
    I stuffed around with pure bred animals when I was young ... & learned fast that pure bred & specially selected are euphemisms for selection of a very narrow gene pool based on human criteria - which almost always involves convenience, financial gain, & the ability to fit complex things into small neat boxes (very apt criteria in this case ;) ) We are in big trouble in so many ways with our food ... most people have NO idea ... it's not just the diversity of plants that has been lost, animals have suffered the same fate.. We are just a couple of steps away from diseases or changes (things like grain availability, drench resistance, antibiotic resistance) that will result in widespread hunger in first world countries.
    Which is why I live where I do & how I do & do the things I do. Because I like to eat. A lot :) And I intend to keep doing it, even if the rest of the planet is happy to walk like sheep to the slaughter. I want queens that have selected themselves, the selection criteria being they survive & thrive in the area I live :) All by them little selves, without human interference. Amazing :) Whoda thunk it? :)
     
  6. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    Honestly eco ... you didn't pass "The Birds & The Bees" at school?
    Now that raises some interesting questions .... ;) :) :)
     
  7. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    Thank you Rick :) About time we learned to listen instead of dictating :) Arrogant little monkeys that we are :)
     
  8. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    I can't find the article I read, but there is some good info on a few sites, including the blurb below that came from right here :)
    https://permaculturenews.org/2011/08/19/how-to-revive-the-honeybee/

    "Breeding healthy bees

    One of Steiner’s concerns on beekeeping was the artificial breeding and queen production practices adopted by beekeepers with the industrial mindset. In a natural setting, on her first week a new queen takes off on her mating flight and finds her way to a "drone zone" where a crowd of male bees hang out. She mates with up to a dozen drones, thus collecting a diverse mixture of traits and local genetics to pass on to her next generation. As described by Corwin Bell, the genetics of each drone is like a key on a piano, and together with a combination of those traits and skills the queen can create a beautiful symphony of a functional new bee colony. With the local drones also comes the encyclopedia of the local area encoded in their genes, including information about the medicinal plants, length of seasons and so on. This encyclopedia is referred to in many occasions, including when the bees decide to start preparing for the winter instead of building more brood. For example Californian bee packages shipped high up on Colorado Rockies simply don’t know that over there the winter arrives earlier and are therefore more prone to become surprised by the cold unprepared. That makes their wintering less successful and the colony more prone to fail. When, as is the industrial practice, a queen is artificially inseminated with only one drone and thrown into an unknown colony in a cage, and all her offspring are the same, then over generations of this kind of treatment the bees become genetically blunt. Bees like that are less likely to make a functional colony out there and more likely to fail. Appreciating and nurturing the local, wild and diverse bee genetics of your area is a key factor of keeping the bees’ vitality up and running. By multiplying by themselves they have proved to be fit for the climate and have a balanced spectrum of traits needed for the colony to thrive.
    "

    And also some good stuff here:
    https://milkwood.net/2012/09/20/catching-a-swarm-in-a-warre-hive/?relatedposts_exclude=1248
     
  9. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Humans I know all about. It's precisely the birds and the bees that are my weak area. I'm starting to think that it is 'regular' breeding rather than insemination, but they just lock the queen up with a chosen few so that she doesn't have a say in who she breeds with. It sounds sort of human royal family-ish doesn't it?
     
  10. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    Yeah. This summer NPR interviewed a Entomolgy Professor who claimed queens mate with 2000 drones. Start at 12 minutes 35 seconds: https://www.wpr.org/listen/304651
     
  11. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    [aQUOTE=eco4560;111237]Humans I know all about. It's precisely the birds and the bees that are my weak area. I'm starting to think that it is 'regular' breeding rather than insemination, but they just lock the queen up with a chosen few so that she doesn't have a say in who she breeds with. It sounds sort of human royal family-ish doesn't it?[/QUOTE]

    I was just mucking around with that (pretty weak :) ) joke.
    I have no idea at all how bees do it :(
    I'm sure someone here will though :)
     
  12. briansworms

    briansworms Junior Member

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    I did reply to this before but my WiFi dropped out and lost it. I couldn't imagine a queen mating 2,000 times. That means 2,000 dead drones for every virgin. Drones are only tolerated in hives when conditions are good. There would be a few hundred if that many in a hive. You would need great deal of hives to supply enough drones per virgin within the drone congregation area. Then times that by the number of virgns to be mated that's a massive number of drones and hives. Then they only mate over a few days so time would have to be against them. 2,000 shots of sperm would take up a lot o internal space too lol
    Queen breeders alternate the strains they use each year. In the wild there is a good chance virgins would mate with their brothers which would greatly reduce the gene pool.
     
  13. briansworms

    briansworms Junior Member

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    I checked today with my bee keeper friend. Queens mate up to 20 times with an average of 14 times. This is proven by dissecting queens and checking the sperm content. Queen breeders select for disease resistance, calmness of the bees, honey production and resistance to pests etc. All the qualities you want in bees. They also use many strains of bees to keep a wide and varied gene pool.

    The South African small hive beetle was introduced to Australia and not a result of selective breeding or mis management by bee keepers.


    Honey bees that won't sting have a double recessive gene. In Australia we don't have these bees. That might explain why Rick Larson can work his bees without a smoker which is the one thing I noticed watching his video.
     
  14. Diggman

    Diggman Junior Member

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    * * THREAD HIJACK * *

    Hi all, sorry to butt in here but my new threads seem to never really get much responses:

    I was going to have a quail coop and a top bar hive this year, but my other half said I should forget about the bees, then just recently I have just become too suspect about the honey we get in the shops, it just doesn't taste right and I bet the pollen has been filtered out! the label only says ''a blend of EU and non EU honeys'' sounds dodgy!
    Plus bees get their own food while with quail I will need to keep buying feed (I'm really not doing well financially so as much saving as I can possibly make the better)
    so should I just build a top bar and try beekeeping now? it's soon march and what I know regarding about capturing a swarm, this is the right month to attempt it here in the UK .... (PS we have had a severely mild winter so spring is pretty much already here with daffodils in full flower even though today was still the last day of ''winter'')
    If anyone has some tips on not needing to buy feed for quail that would help too .... cheers
     
  15. helenlee

    helenlee Junior Member

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    Hi Diggman :)

    Feel free to butt in :) It's about time I got some of my own medicine ;)

    Sorry about the slack response rate to your threads :( Things can be awful slow around here at times. Some of us try & keep up the small talk, but there are still plenty of times you could shoot a cannon here & not hit anyone :(

    I don't have much experience with bees so I'm not going to be much help to you I'm afraid. I will say, however, that I don't reckon commercial honey tastes right either, & it certainly doesn't seem to have the medicinal qualities that raw wild honey has. If you can get a wild swarm to stay at your place & you don't spend much money on materials building a hive I can't see how you can lose out too badly by giving it a go.

    As for the quail ... well I don't have much experience there either : / I imagine you can't free range them or they'll clear off? May I ask why you've chosen to run quail over chooks, which you can free range & you can grow/create plenty of free food for?
     
  16. songbird

    songbird Senior Member

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    worms are easy. buckets can be had for little, or any other food safe plastic container you can pull from recycling around the neighborhood, use an old t-shirt and some string to cover the containers (so the worms don't crawl out at night -- also keeps the fruit flies and fungus gnats from getting in or out). i use a mix of worm species with some garden soil and don't drain off worm tea because i want all the nutrients to remain in the soil (it goes back out into the gardens each spring when i plant along with plenty of worms).

    selling worms as bait or feed to others or for helping others start a worm composting bin can be a way of generating a few extra lbs.

    same goes for crickets, mealworms, not too hard to get going and once established can supply a lot of extra nutrients to birds.

    i have no experience with keeping or capturing bees, but there are plenty of good references available for not much at the library (or on-line).
     
  17. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Bees are on my day dream list. One day…. Surely someone who has some experience will come along soon…. Brian?
     
  18. rmcpb

    rmcpb Junior Member

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    A top bar hive can be made out of scrap timber and old metal sheet. Have a look athttps://www.biobees.com/forum/ for LOTS of info on keeping bees in this type of hive. Personally, if you used the plans from that site you would do well to put the entrances in one end and not the middle but it's up to you. If you catch some bees make sure you at least have a veil and smoker or life will be very tough.

    Good luck
    Rob.
     
  19. Diggman

    Diggman Junior Member

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    Brian, I thought your expertise is in worm farming?!!! Perhaps you should extend your business ? ;)

    One more thing (for anyone who knows) should I be kicked out of my residence or leave, what is the best option/s. Can you keep the swarm and transport them in some way or must they be released? If transporting is an option, do you close the hive up with the bees inside and quickly move it into place and re-open or must they be transferred into a special container etc?

    Cheers
     
  20. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Hi Diggman,
    I am learning about bee keeping this year too, with the intention of getting a couple of top bar hives made over winter in readiness for next spring.
    You might have come across the the top bar hive website already, if not..... https://www.biobees.com/forum/index.php
    I think it is definitely worth checking out.

    No you dont need a special container to put them in to move. They go home and stay there for the night, so you move them at night.
     

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