>>....but I would bet a dollar that you either don't actually screen your breeder queens to see which trait they are exhibiting...
>Ha ha! You would lose that dollar!
Adam, does this mean that you are actually screening for VSH behavior? If so, that would be a new procedure, no?
Thank you, deknow. I have since learned the tests - watching for pink-eyes thru purple-eyes pupae being uncapped and removed are the telltale signs. Counting the removals per hundred cells gives a % value for grading. Several observations at different times must be recorded and accounted for.
I'd still welcome any other tests anyone else comes up with.
Mite mauling is determined by broken varroa mite parts in the sticky tray under the screened bottom board.
Incidentally, powdered sugar shake treatment to encourage varroa grooming is now recommended every week of fly-out season, not just 4 treatments in the fall as was recommended 2 years ago. Hence, the mite log now goes on the year calendar, and the buildup and reaction are traits to be selected for.
As with most breeding, inbreeding is a technique to be utilized, but not abused. The goal is to find recessive traits, often expressed through inbreeding. The very next generation usually has to be out-crossed. Crosses of inbred specimens from different inbred lines can be spotty, but may yield some excellent stock. Excessive inbreeding is likely why the over-zealous uncapping occurred. Obviously, thorough record-keeping is a must, as is trait testing.
Not advocating that they be added to the list, but thought I would let those interested know my observation of my Shamrock Carnis. Yesterday while splitting some very strong hives, I observed in three of the hives the bees removing fairly mature brood and carrying it out of the hive. I never took time to examine anything that they were removing, but they were obviously something not right with the brood, or at least they thought so. I know fall is not the ideal time for splits but I had thru neglect on my part lost 3 hives. 2 to moths after they died out, and 1 to SHB. This year we have built a new house and moved so with my plate full the bees suffered. So I am trying to get back to my 12- 13 hives. I will feed as long as they will take feed.
Am I correct that the only one on your list that is selecting for mite grooming is Carpenters? Are there any other breeders that are selecting for mite grooming?
Purebred Russians and many AHB hybrids express grooming traits, as well as even more desirable mite mauling (biting the mites). It is expressed in many colonies, and to varying degrees. So I would imagine that several queen providers have bloodlines with that trait present to some degree, if not highly selected for these traits.
Sorry should have said mite mauling. Same question are any breeders known to be trait testing for mite mauling and selecting for it?
P.S. - The test for mite mauling is to look for chomped up mite parts in the IPM screened bottom board sticky board. The more % broken mite parts, the better.
Oops! I already posted this - delete if you wish.
>I have since learned the tests - watching for pink-eyes thru purple-eyes pupae being uncapped and removed are the telltale signs.
I've seen that ever since regressing...
When the mite count gets to a very low level, brood uncapping becomes almost undetectable. I would suggest a combination of checking for mite load plus looking for removal of reproductive mite females via hygienic uncapping. Recognize that low mite loads correlate with low levels of uncapping. If you can then integrate some checks for mite mauling.......