This was the title of an excellent lecture by Profesor Keith Delaplane of Georgia State University that I attended this evening. I learned a few things I didn’t know or had forgotten about the distribution of genes in a haploid/diploid system; the desirability of comb renewal; and the weakness of nepotism in the honeybee. Keith has a Big Idea, which is to test extreme multiple mating in honeybees by mixing the semen of maybe 100 drones and artificially inseminating queens with it, then monitoring to see what happens. The principle thing I learned (but knew already really) was the problem of using a Powerpoint presentation before an elderly audience in the evening. However interesting the lecturer and the content, when the lights go down, so do the eyelids!
I had a brief chat with Keith before the talk. We drank together a decade ago at Gormanston where he was the guest lecturer, along with Jennifer Berry, whom I have also met since.
There was a raffle after the lecture and, to my surprise, one of the prizes was a copy of Getting the Best from Your Bees! I had a word with the Chairlady and she announced my offer to autograph it, which I did. Another person present had brought along a copy of the book, the last of a batch of 10 purchased for resale, and I autographed that one also when somebody bought it. Two other people mentioned that they had the book on order from Bees for Development and were wondering where it had got to. I was able to reassure them that the books were on their way from the publisher, there having been a break in printing due to some slight adjustments being made.