Queen Bee Artificial insemination

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Hello, I would be interested to know how things are going with artificial/ instrumental insemination in New Zealand? I have seen only one company on the Internet - Betta apiaries. ( I may be mistaken) Controlled mating gives very good results. German breeders have achieved impressive results using this method.
 
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Otto

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There are a few people doing it here. David Yanke has been doing it for decades, first with breeding a better Italian line and, once varroa arrived he imported Carniolan semen to start a new line. Bettabees have a closed population for breeding Italians. They're very focused on improved honey production.
There are others also using instrumental insemination for breeding bees. I have had a bit of a play with it. We used it to produce a whole bunch of lines that were tracked for 4-5 generations, not for specifically breeding traits but to use for setting a baseline for how genetics is passed on from generation to generation (as part of a big research project).
 

Alastair

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Sold my old AI (or II) unit years ago when I thought I had retired from bees, and then regretted it.

Just bought a new setup. Among all the hybrid rubbish I have a few very nice hives with some excellent traits, I am planning to get to work and line breed and purify, and start selling bees with select traits. More as breeder queens than production hive queens.

Too busy right now to properly get into it I need to sell a couple hundred hives to free up time for some serious work on this.
 
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Alastair

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Yes yours are going well big fat queens and happy with the bees. Also the ones I got from Glynn are a very nice bee

It's part of my plan to buy in bees from around the place and run them for a year to decide which have the qualities I want to develop. I would like another 10 queens from you this autumn in march if you can spare (y).

My own bees have been mating local for quite a few years and to be honest are not the greatest, It's been real nice this spring working a lot of hives that were requeened with bought stuff last autumn and seeing some very nice bees, makes the job more pleasant :)
 
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Yes yours are going well big fat queens and happy with the bees. Also the ones I got from Glynn are a very nice bee

It's part of my plan to buy in bees from around the place and run them for a year to decide which have the qualities I want to develop. I would like another 10 queens from you this autumn in march if you can spare (y).

My own bees have been mating local for quite a few years and to be honest are not the greatest, It's been real nice this spring working a lot of hives that were requeened with bought stuff last autumn and seeing some very nice bees, makes the job more pleasant :)
That’s great to hear. I’m pretty fortunate where my mating yards are here that I can confidently flood the area with my drones, giving me a greater chance of getting the genetics that I’m after.

Yes, I should have plenty in autumn. I have doubled my nucs now, so will have 60 per cycle… keeping me on my toes!
 
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Только что купил новую установку. Среди всего гибридного мусора у меня есть несколько очень хороших ульев с некоторыми превосходными чертами, я планирую приступить к работе, вывести и очистить линии, а также начать продавать пчел с отборными чертами. Больше как королевы-селекционеры
Did you manage to do what you planned this season? If it's not a secret, what kind of machine did you buy? Shly?
 

Alastair

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Yes a Schley. Have not had a chance to use it yet but once honey harvest is over I am flying down to Betta Bees to spend a few days with Frans Laars for some more training, there's a lot more to it than just the actual insemination. I need some help from a pro rather than figure it all out myself as I did last time and never got great results.

Frans told me he has trained quite a few people so there must be a few more people around doing it that we are aware of. But it is complex and not as easy as it may seem, for example, getting drones of the right age to coincide with your virgins of the right age and from the right queen and not drifted drones, just that takes some planning and organisation. One trick I saw on youtube, a guy has droneless hives and then puts drone frames in so the queen will lay them up well. If it's Italian drones he then transfers the frame to a black hive, so that when he later collects the drones he is able to know the italian ones are the ones he put there from his drone breeder queen. Stuff like that, there's a lot of organisation.
 
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in this technology, nothing will work without planning and organization. I learned this from my own experience. It is twice as difficult to grow a drone as a uterus. If you go to training, focus on this and the collection of sperm into the capillary. What I can advise is to allocate a colony that will be an incubator for the drone, where it will ripen. Before that, you need to shake off all the bees before the flight, and put a Hahnemann lattice between the bottom and the body. It is advisable to remove the queen from the hive, so the drone is brought up better. From above, a special box of mosquito netting and Hahnemann grating is needed so that the drone would fly. There are a lot of nuances. Artificial insemination is just a breeding tool. More important is the selection and testing of the colonies that you let into reproduction. A question for everyone, do you think artificial insemination is a promising direction in New Zealand, or is it still the field of scientists and a limited number of enthusiasts?
 

Alastair

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Great info BoQK, much thanks.

It is these very aspects you mention which is why I am going to this training. So much involved.

In answer to your question, for me anyway, I will just be an enthusiast. But I do believe I will be able to produce some very nice bees.
 

Alastair

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in this technology, nothing will work without planning and organization. I learned this from my own experience. It is twice as difficult to grow a drone as a uterus.

JFYI, it may be a translation thing, I think where you said uterus, should have said virgin. Virgin is the term in common use for a not yet mated queen bee.
 
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JFYI, it may be a translation thing, I think where you said uterus, should have said virgin. Virgin is the term in common use for a not yet mated queen bee.
Yes, maybe it's machine translation and not knowing the peculiarities of the local dialect. We have the same specific terms that are very difficult to translate. Yes, I agree with you, it was necessary to add "virgin queen".
 
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I will ask this question in a different way. Are artificially inseminated queen bees in demand? Is there a consumer demand for them? Their cost is very high. Are these queen bees tested before sale? Or is it the queens of this year that we know who were in the paternal and maternal colonies? I hope my translation will be correct. 😁
 


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