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  1. #1

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    I'm seriously thinking of doing a little more work this year in terms of selection. I've read a lot about using liquid nitrogen for hygenic testing, but I have also seen the pin prick method described. Does anyone know if this is a viable method for testing hygenic traits.
    It would be my guess that if a colony is going to exhibit hygenic traits, the method used to kill or damage brood shouldn't matter...but I've not had an opportunity to compare them.
    Liquid nitrogen has its drawbacks...safety, expense, availibility and so on. But if it is the only way to go, I'd like to try it.


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    http://www.emeraldridgeapiary.net

    [This message has been edited by James Burke (edited January 23, 2003).]

  2. #2

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    I have heard both Marla from Minn. and Sue from Ohio speak on this. They say that the nitrogen is the best way to tell. If you punch a hole in the cell they will clean it out by nature if the are hygenic or not. If you use the nitrogen the cells are intact and the brood is dead. They need to be able to tell or SMELL through the cell wall that there is something wrong in the cell and it needs to be cleaned out. One problem that they stated was that bees with a very hygenic trait can literaly clean them selves to death. What happens is if there is anything wrong with the brood they will open the cell and take it out. I would try the nitrogen and contact your local Dairy farmere and find out who his A.I person is for the nitrogen. good luck

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    I suppose it seems more unscientific, but there are so many factors involved in surviving mites, I'd be tempted to just keep the survivors and not try so hard to measure the little specific things that may or may not contribute to survival. I'm afraid I may be incorrect in assuming that one behaviour is contributing to survival when in reality it may detract. As you say, over "hygenic" bees may throw out too much brood that isn't really bad. Just what I need, some anal retentive obsessive compulsive bees. <grin>

    Not sure if it would work, but dry ice is pretty redily available at an "ice" place. it may be a piece on the comb for a short time would kill the brood and be cheaper than nitrogen.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
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    I used the pin prick method already, and they cleaned the bees out. I assumed that they did their job, but it makes sense that they should clean it out anyway. I can definately see the point of frezing a small area. If you have the brood to spare, why not just put a frame in the freezer for an hour? Even drone comb would do the trick. It would accomplish the same thing, only you would kill more brood. I am always interested in raising better queens, and I agree with Michael, the survivors would be a better choice, and if you did get hygenic ones, you theoretically should be well on your way. My queen rearing is going to focus around survivors this year. The queens I get from the south don't produce the right bee for this climate. I am getting 4 packages of carnis from the north this year, in hopes it will bring the "climate" gene with them, and help the gene pool for drones. I know this goes against my original logic, but I need the bees. I am also planning on getting 2 swarm traps. Anybody have luck with them? Also, if the bee removal business is good, I am going to find queens before vaccuming them this year, if I have to remove pieces of comb one by one! I made that mistake last year, and killed the queen I really wanted. She was a survivor, heading up about 15 pounds of bees! The lack of time, and the time of the year hindered that operation extensively. Oh well, the life of a queen breeder.....details details..


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    Dale Richards
    Dal-Col Apiaries
    Drums, PA

    [This message has been edited by Hook (edited January 24, 2003).]

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the information!
    I know what you mean about survivor stock. There are several of us here in Central Lower Michigan who have been of this opinon. This winter, however, will truly be the test as the temps. have been way down.
    I talked to a longhorn cattle breeder (I have several hives on his property) and he had a source for nitrogen through his A.I. supplier. I'm going to follow-up and give it a whirl.
    I realize that the hygenic trait is only ONE factor out of many that work together as a whole.

    P.S. I checked out the BIBBA web site (www.bibba.com) and found it to be interesting. I wish there were something like that here in the States.

    Thanks again,

    JIm

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    http://www.emeraldridgeapiary.net

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
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    Liquid nitrogen is said to be the most accurate method; I wouldn't trust pinpricks too far as you can't tell whether the bees are responding to the dead larva or the hole in the cap. The way I do it is to cut out a 2-inch square of capped broodcomb and freeze it for 24 hours, then put it back in the hole it came from. Two days later I open the hive and see how many cells have been either uncapped or cleared out. The physical damage to the edges of the cut section probably does introduce an error, but overall the method does work, and its useful as a guide to which colonies to breed from if you want hygeinic behaviour.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    medesto,indiana,usa
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    Can Bee Keepers from the USA buy Queens from Canada.The dollar is strong there so it maybe even cheaper and better to buy from there if its legal.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Yes you can buy Canadian queens if you can get them to sell them. Most likely they will not be available early in the spring. Usually from late spring to early fall.

  9. #9
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    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    If you use drone comb for varroa mite control, and you have frozen the brood, and they say to scratch the cappings, but if you dont, hygenic bees should have no problem cleaning out the dead drone brood, am I correct?

    Sol Parker

  10. #10

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    Hook, Steve Taber, who promoted the Hygenic test quite early, did cut out brood comb and freeze, and re-insert it, reportedly: http://www.honeybeeworld.com/misc/hygienic.htm

    Now, that could fit my budget - maybe Ross rounds of brood could be taken, frozen and replaced - its a standard size, and available.

    Brian Cady

    [This message has been edited by briancady413 (edited December 31, 2003).]

    [This message has been edited by briancady413 (edited December 31, 2003).]

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    Don't worry about Ross Rounds, just use a knife. It works fine, and the bees seal up the joint and go straight on using it.

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    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com
    Birmingham UK

  12. #12

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    Robert Brenchly, I can see your advice would work fine for a person working alone.

    Do you think, if trying to co-ordinate various keepers observations, each of their own many hives, and comparing breeding results over years with those of scientists published work, that using some standard, common size pattern for brood freezing, etc. would be worth wrangling out a mutual agreement?

    Brian Cady

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
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    Post

    It certainly could. There was an attempt to do this in the UK a couple of years ago; ony 20-odd beekeepers took part after a national appeal, but the results were helpful.

    ------------------
    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com
    Birmingham UK

  14. #14

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    Home Hygenic selection - How to:

    The Honeybee Improvement Program has a standard protocol for freezing a section of brood, for hygenic behavior testing.
    Apparently freezing at zero degrees F for less than 12 hours may not kill all brood, while freezing for more than 24 hours can induce cleaning out behavoir by bee strains without the hygenic genetic trait.

    Please see Honeybee Improvement Program website's 'Frozen Brood HYG test' section: http://griffes.tripod.com/HIP1.html

    (Its two fifths of the way down the page.)

    Brian Cady

    [This message has been edited by briancady413 (edited January 17, 2004).]

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