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Perform queen bee artificial insemination
|Unit Descriptor||This unit of competency specifies the outcomes required to perform the artificial insemination (also known as instrumental insemination) of queen bees. It requires the application of knowledge and skills to identify appropriate artificial insemination (AI) techniques and to match them to breeding and queen and drone bee management requirements. The unit also requires the ability to schedule and obtain resources for insemination activities and to match queen and drone cycles to resource availability in order to maximise success rates. Work will involve recording and monitoring the AI program, identifying when reinsemination is necessary, and monitoring and suggesting improvements for future breeding programs.|
|1 . Determine breeding method.||
|2 . Implement breeding method.||
|3 . Monitor and maintain program.||
|Key Competency||Examples of Application||Performance|
|How can information be collected, analysed and organised?|
|How are ideas and information communicated within this competency?|
|How are activities planned and organised?|
|How are problem solving skills applied?|
|How are mathematical ideas and techniques used?|
|How is use of technology applied?|
|How is team work used within this competency?|
Artificial breeding options:
AI sourced from own stock
AI from stock that has been sourced externally
things to consider when choosing artificial breeding options include:
costs involved in AI, including extra handling and feeding
estimated breeding values
reliability of method
supplementary feeding costs.
Breeding objectives may include:
improving quality of stock
increasing its diversity
maintaining current desired genetic stock
meeting market specifications
obtaining desired colony characteristics.
Queen and drone management program may involve:
importation of genetic material
long-term survival of breeding stock
post-AI management of queens
pre-AI management of queens and drones
Resource requirements may include:
AI apparatus and personnel
carbon dioxide containers
collection equipment for AI
drone flight cage
drones, queens and hives
identification tags or similar
temperature and humidity controlled room.
Things to consider when preparing AI program schedules include:
genetic material preparation
preparation of intended recipients
re-insemination as required
sourcing and supply of genetic materials
staff and equipment resources.
Clothing and work environment requirements include:
very clean clothing
very clean environment in which to work.
OHS requirements may include:
identifying hazards, and assessing and reporting risks
safe handling of veterinary equipment such as:
safe honey bee handling systems and procedures
safe manual handling (including lifting) systems and procedures
safe systems and procedures for applying and storing hazardous substances.
Genetic material may include:
live drone bees
live queen bees
Reliable and legitimate sources include:
industry-recognised suppliers of genetic materials that meet legislative and industry requirements.
Procedures for receiving, checking and storing genetic material include:
checking against records and requirements
receiving safely and without damage to genetic materials
storing to ensure that viability and successful outcomes are maximised.
Appropriate age and condition for queen bees and drones used in AI include:
drones should be about 20 days old
virgin queens should be:
about 6-7 days old
confined to prevent them flying
marked for identification.
Preparation for intended recipients may involve:
checking that queens are in correct age range before insemination
ensuring that a colony of suitable size will be ready to support queen bee after AI procedure
subduing queens by use of carbon dioxide.
Documented information should include:
any observed abnormalities
breeding line and identification details of queen and drone
breeding management information
date of insemination
Necessary modifications may relate to:
insemination processes and procedures before insemination
insemination processes and procedures after insemination.
Overview of assessment
This unit of competency could be assessed on its own or in combination with other units of competency relevant to the job function such as:
RTE3156A Rear queen bees
RTE5101A Develop and implement a breeding strategy.
Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit
The critical requirements for this unit of competency as a whole are listed below.
Assessment must confirm one's ability to:
collect semen from drone honey bees
inseminate queen bees
manage queen bees after insemination
maintain required hygiene standards
keep records in relation to AI program.
Context and specific resources for assessment
Assessment for this unit of competency is to be largely practical in nature and will most appropriately be assessed in the workplace or in a situation that reproduces normal work conditions.
For valid assessment, one must have opportunities to participate in exercises, case studies and other real and simulated practical and knowledge assessments that demonstrate the skills and knowledge required to perform queen bee AI.
The candidate must also have access to the following resources:
clean room, maintained at appropriate temperature and humidity
carbon dioxide, buffers and antibiotics
drone flight cages and queen cages
honey bee colony.
Guidance information for assessment
To ensure consistency in one's performance, competency should be demonstrated on more than one occasion over a period of time in order to cover a variety of circumstances, cases and responsibilities, and where possible, over a number of assessment activities.
The skills and knowledge required to perform queen bee AI must be transferable to a range of work environments and contexts, including the ability to deal with unplanned events.