FAQ: Breeding And Genetics

Q1: What breed of honeybee do you use?

A1: We work with Buckfast bees. Check out our website if you would like to learn more about them: https://hbrc.ca/buckfast-breeding/

Q2: How do you maintain genetic diversity/prevent inbreeding when breeding queens? 

A2: One way is buying new queens to increase the diversity of your stock.

Q3: How does creating a gentle hive affect their ability to defend the colony from invaders such as Varroa mites or robber bees? How does it affect honey productivity?

A3: There is no evidence that aggression is linked to production. One dynamic that confuses this is that if the stock is somewhat aggressive a stronger colony will show more aggression than a weaker colony with the same genetics. The stronger colony may also be more likely to produce more honey and overwinter.

Q4: After replacing an aggressive queen, won’t her male offspring be left to mate with a virgin and pass down the aggressive genes again? What is the solution?

A4: Unless you want to try to kill all the existing drones from the bad queen, you’re pretty much limited to just changing the queen out with a mated one so that all subsequent drones she produces are of her superior genetics. Drones are relatively short lived so the inferior drones from the bad queen should have a pretty minimal impact as long as the issue is caught and corrected ASAP.