How does gene selection work in honeybees?
September 5, 2013 7:17 AM Subscribe
This question has several parts, so please bear with me while I suss it all out. I have a specific question about inbreeding, and an open ended one about selecting traits in animals in general and honeybees in specific, though anyone familiar with genetics and animal husbandry can help me here.
posted by TheTingTangTong to science & nature (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
First, what exactly is inbreeding? I know what when genetically similar animals create offspring, the result may be inbred. In terms of the genetics of this animal, why is it inbred? Also, how many generations of out-breeding until you get a vigorous animal? I am aware of hybrid vigor, but is this hybrid animal considered a a little inbred? In other words, if I have an inbred queen bee, and she out-crosses with an unrelated drone, are her daughters 'normal' bees, or do I have to out-breed for several generations in order to get back to 'normal' or not inbred?
Next, lets say I want to set up a beeyard in order to select for certain traits. Given that any given Queen bee will mate on the wing (thus you cannot really control the source of the other chromosomes) and given that she will mate with several individuals (thus in any given hive you have a collection of half-sisters and a varied gene-pool) approximately how many hives would I need in order to effectively select for any given trait? Is it even possible to answer this question? Thanks for your help!