It is a joy to see the first weeks of young bees emerge from my Australian queen’s hive.
Their yellow abdomen is a noticeable contrast to the dark-banded abdomen of the cross bees that most of us have.
Most of FBA’s bee breeders are working to breed as many young queens as they can from this ACIAR-provided genetic stock to integrate those genetics into local bee populations.
Even though most of the queens we raise will produce cross-bred worker bees from their in-flight mating, all the queens we raise directly from these imported queens will produce DRONES that are 100% Australian genetics.
That’s right. Drones start as unfertilized eggs so they only have the genetics from their 100% pure Australian mother.John Caldeira
We can’t easily control who our young queens mate with, but we can increase the number of drones produced from our best colonies.
One way to do this is to allow the bees to build drone comb in the brood nest by giving them only a starter strip of foundation at the top.
Most of the comb built is likely to be drone-sized cells where the queen will lay in most seasons.