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  1. #1
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    Berkey, OH, USA
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    Default Ordered a Breeder Q today

    After hearing John Harbo talk about the VSH trait, I decided that it was worth the $145 (includes shipping). I decided to get the Carni / VSH. Decided to have her shipped first week in May. By then I am thinking that the Queens should be pretty good. And that will be soon enough for me to start grafting.

    http://members.aol.com/queenb95/cata...#anchor2391365
    Last edited by BerkeyDavid; 11-12-2007 at 11:38 AM. Reason: add link

  2. #2
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    Default

    Sounds like there will be some good reading on the forum next summer then
    Hope it works out for you....personnally I am a skeptic.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  3. #3
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    lewisberry, Pa, usa
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrass View Post
    Sounds like there will be some good reading on the forum next summer then
    Hope it works out for you....personnally I am a skeptic.
    A skeptic of what?

  4. #4
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    Default skeptic of.

    1. Varroa sensitive hygene is an effective control of mites.
    2. That breeding can select for it.
    3. That in 2 years they could have isolated the correct genes, and developed a selective breeding program.
    4. That a breeder queen can be purchased and the trait not lost in one generation.
    Last edited by bluegrass; 11-12-2007 at 03:11 PM.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrass View Post
    1. Varroa sensitive hygene is an effective control of mites.
    2. That breeding can select for it.
    3. That in 2 years they could have isolated the correct genes, and developed a selective breeding program.
    4. That a breeder queen can be purchased and the trait not lost in one generation.
    1) It's been proven to work, and is as good as anything else. But it does work better for some, just like anything else out there. And if combined with the right IPM practices, it can only help.

    2) Breeding has been used for years to select for specfic traits, most notabley in dairy cows, so why would this be hard to believe?

    3)Some breeders, such as Steve Tabar have been working on this approach for decades, so it would not be difficult to develop a program for this in that amount of time, seeings as all the hard work has been done.

    4) Could happen.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  6. #6
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    Southern Oregon
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    Default

    The heritablity of hygienic behavior is very well documented. Look at Dr Spivacs work. It used to be that 48 hours for clean out on the freeze killed brood assay was acceptable, now the bench mark has been raised to 24 hours for clean out. Over time these traits can be selected for and their frequency amplified in honeybee populations.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  7. #7
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    Feb 2004
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    Fredericksburg, Va
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    798

    Default

    I have a VSH queen due in April from Glenn's (my first BQ). Maybe we can compare notes all summer.
    Bee all you can Bee!
    http://www.hamiltonapiary.net

  8. #8
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    Default

    I was not attempting to turn this thread into a debate.
    I am interested in hearing what Berkey's experiences are with this new breeder queen and subsequent queens.
    Does anybody know if the trait is dominant or recessive? The bottom line is that if a breeder had enough experience in bee genetics to select for this trait and used artificial insemination to mate the breeder queens to one drone than the offspring would have the trait. But if the queens daughters are mated through mating flight than the # greatly decreases as she has mated with multiple drones and few or none of the drones have the trait, leaving no trait to be passed on.

    If the gene is recessive than the only hive that will have the trait is the breeder colony and the subsequent queens would not have that trait.

    My main point is that if a vsh queen is purchased from one of the bee labs that maybe there is enough expertise and control to genetically breed for this trait, but a bee breeder does not have the genetic background or proper controls to do so.
    Last edited by bluegrass; 11-12-2007 at 05:14 PM.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrass View Post
    I was not attempting to turn this thread into a debate.
    I am interested in hearing what Berkey's experiences are with this new breeder queen and subsequent queens.
    Does anybody know if the trait is dominant or recessive? The bottom line is that if a breeder had enough experience in bee genetics to select for this trait and used artificial insemination to mate the breeder queens, then yes the breeder queen and her offspring would have the trait. However if the trait is dominant and the breeder queens daughters were artificially inseminated than their offspring would have a 50/50 chance of having the trait. But if the queens daughters are mated through mating flight than only 25% of the overall offspring would have the trait.

    If the gene is recessive than the only hive that will have the trait is the breeder colony and the subsequent queens would not have that trait.

    My main point is that if a vsh queen is purchased from one of the bee labs that maybe there is enough expertise and control to genetically breed for this trait, but a bee breeder does not have the genetic background or proper controls to do so.
    Depends on the type of queen you buy. If it is (as an example) a Russian x vsh, yes, you would only get 1/2 the vsh traits in the resulting daughter queens. Or, you can buy a vsh x Russian queen, in which you would still only have half the vsh in resulting daughter queens, but, you would have full vsh traits in the drones from this queen.

    So if you wanted to keep the vsh trait intact in future daughter queens, you would need both types of queens, one to graft from, (Russian x vsh),and one to provide drones, (vsh x Russian), for open mating.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  10. #10
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    Default

    Its hard to take my knowlege of genetics and work the parthenogenesis/clone factor of the drones into the equation

    My feeling is that diversity is good. The hive is ment to be diverse and that is why queens naturally mate with so many drones. If we are inseminating queens to one drone or only a couple of like drones we are removing the diversity of the hive and breeding for future disaster.

    Over the last few decades many new challanges have presented themselves to beekeepers and the honeybee. So what happens when the next disease presents its self and we have bred all the diversity out of the hive and instead of loosing 20% of the hives population, and the fittest survive, we loose 100% and the honey bee goes extinct?
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  11. #11
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    Default

    That's why I will continue to have my mutt italian line.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  12. #12
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    Frederick County, Maryland, USA
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    Default

    In our ninth year with VSH/SMR stock from Harbo and Tom Glenn, some stock from
    the HIP project (some of which had early Harbo SMR traits) and Minn Hygienic stock.
    Have not treated any colonies we work with for varroa or treacheal mites.
    I'll let you know how things look this Spring, but I'm hoping for a great
    Winter survival percentage and looking forward to testing some new crosses
    we made this year (2007 season) in collaboration with other like-minded breeders.

    We use II to make crosses. These we use as breeders and often open mate them.

    So far, so good. Sure we lose colonies but we're
    losing far less than early-on. We strive to keep the population diverse.
    We look at VSH/SMR traits and hygienic traits separately, testing for VM mite
    load and hygienic behavior in two different assays.

    I think the SMR/VSH traits are passed on in a more complex way than simple
    dominance/recessive. However, interesting enough one's bees can have
    too MUCH VSH/SMR and these colonies don't produce well--they remove healthy brood!
    A blend of VSH/SMR seems the best.

    Tom Glen has done an extremely nice job on his web site
    explaining VSH/SMR and many other breeding related topics.

    Here's the link: http://members.aol.com/queenb95/

    Here's the HIP project link: http://griffes.tripod.com/HIP1.html

    VSH/SMR links:
    http://search.usda.gov/search?q=vsh&...RS&oe=&x=0&y=0

    Others breed using stock with VSH/SMR and have had good success. If you can
    afford to spring for a breeder with VSH/SMR, go for it! Just make sure she
    can't leave in a swarm...

    Adam Finkelstein
    adamf7@gmail.com
    Last edited by adamf; 11-12-2007 at 06:07 PM. Reason: spellink

  13. #13
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    Default

    I run some local mutts too.....and now some of MB's mutts

    I have seen what Glenn has on their site and it is a nice site, but if you pay attention to the terminology it reads like an infomercial with lots of broad statements. "The mechanism of resistance against this mite is as yet unknown, but it does clearly exist.Recent evidence suggests that grooming behavior as the mites migrate from one bee to another may be a means of control.Fortunately this trait appears to be controlled by dominant gene(s)"

    This statement is misleading " Unlike most animals, each one of a drone's 10 million sperm are identical clones. Sister bees with the same father share 75% of their genes. This is far more than the 50% found in other species."

    75% seems like a great number, but they left out that part about hive diversity. If the queen is mated by 20 drones only 75% of five bees in every 100 has the desired genetic mutation.

    Maybe I am thinking about breeder hive in the wrong light.
    If you want this trait you need to set up the hive and use it to produce drones, not queens. The drones are genetically identical to the hygienic queen so if you have them around to open mate with queens reared off of other hives you will be introducing a small percent of hygenic workers into every hive within a short period of time.
    Last edited by bluegrass; 11-12-2007 at 06:39 PM.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  14. #14
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    Jul 2004
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    Seattle, Washington State
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    Default

    Since isolated mating yards are a hard thing to achieve, the next best thing is to start off with a queen that has the traits thast you are looking for. A breeder queen gets that ball rolling. But hopefully before you have spent the money for a breeder queen, it might be worth to saturate your area with bees that have the chararcteristics that you are looking for. Even saturation does not guaranetee success.

    The point is, is that the breeder queen wil lactually get the ball rolling. The rest is up to the beekeer at hand and of course... gotta have some luck!

  15. #15
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default

    Marla Spivak came to Vermont a couple years ago. Got to talk to her about the VSH trait. She found that VSH x VSH bees weren't very good bees. While they did remove mite infested pupae, they had too many other bad traits to be considered as production stock.
    But, when crossed with her hygienic stock, and having as little as 30% VSH, they were good bees and the VSH trait was still strong.
    So, rather than trying to replace your entire stock with VSH bees, you should plan on incorporating the VSH bees into your stock, to preserve the best traits that you have in your own bees.

    Also, I've been told by Suki Glenn among others, that by using a VSH virgin, mated to a Carniolan drone (VSH x Carni) for your breeder, you will enhanse the VSH trait....more than by having a Carniolan virgin mated to a VSH drone (Carni x VSH).

  16. #16
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    Jan 2006
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    Loganville, GA
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    I have a pair of those queens out back here that I got earlier this year. Both have some pretty hives. Love those black bees!

    Didn't make any queens from either this year but have high hopes for spring!

  17. #17
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    Danbury, CT
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    So, rather than trying to replace your entire stock with VSH bees, you should plan on incorporating the VSH bees into your stock, to preserve the best traits that you have in your own bees.
    If the trait is naturally occuring in some bees and not genetically identified isn't it pointless to introduce stock?
    It occures naturally so the gene is going to be present anyway....in some bees. The only thing introduction will do is maybe increase the incidences of an already present mutation.
    Wow.....that statement just went in circles

    Lets try this again!
    If there is anybody on this forum with a dozen hives and has to treat all for mites raise your hand!
    My point is that most of us have hives that are more resistant to mites than others.....so the resistance is present...why reintroduce it?
    Last edited by bluegrass; 11-12-2007 at 07:43 PM.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  18. #18
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    Berkey, OH, USA
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    Default

    Bluegrass - I agree with you that the trait can be found naturally in some bees. Heck I may have it already in my survivor colonies. But I figured that it would take me several years to get the VSH trait totally isolated and identified. And the traits my stock may have may be somewhat different than what Glen has. That is how I justified the price. Plus the labor of testing to id the trait. So a combination of time and labor justified it to me.

    I plan to use my best mutt queens for the drones and the VSH/Carni queen for the Graft. To qualify as a drone mother you have to be gentle, good honey production, and survived winters with no treatment other than one OA vapor in the fall.

    John Bee - yes it will be fun to compare notes! I can't wait til spring!

    It seems that the VSH trait only has to be in either the Q or the Drone to be expressed, but it is too complex to say it is a dominant trait (I don't fully understand that statement.) WHereas the Minn. Hygenic must be in both. As I understand it they are different traits.

  19. #19
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    Boone County, West Virginia, USA
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    Default

    is vsh the same thing as smr?
    "The SMR trait explained by hygienic behavior of adult bees - We bred varroa resistant honey bees by selecting colonies with low percentages of reproductive mites (Harbo & Harris, 2001, J Econ Entomol 94: 1319-1323)."
    http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/pub..._115=178712Our
    "approaches to this problem are as follows: 1. Continue work with suppressing mite reproduction, the suppressed mite reproduction (SMR) trait. Note: New knowledge of the details of this trait has resulted in renaming in 2005 as "varroa sensitive hygiene" (VSH)"
    http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/pro...s=true&fy=2006
    i'm sure this may have caused confusion with some beekeepers who had smr and wanted the "new" vsh queens and purchased them to only get a queen whose offspring exhibited the same behavior.
    anyone can examine their own colonies for this behavior and choose which to graft from and which to mate with after they meet basic criteria. if they don't produce a surplus, lay large amounts of brood, or are temperamental you may not wish to pursue breeding these kind of bees. try a few different crosses and see which works the best. of course if you don't have the time to do this purchasing a queen from a reputable breeder of smr/vsh queens is the way to go.
    http://www.sare.org/publications/factsheet/0305_02.htm

  20. #20
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    i'm sure this may have caused confusion with some beekeepers who had smr and wanted the "new" vsh queens and purchased them to only get a queen whose offspring exhibited the same behavior.

    http://www.sare.org/publications/factsheet/0305_02.htm
    I have read the USDA fact sheet in the past and it was actually just updated earlier this month. If you read through it you will note that they state that they have isolated two genes that they believe contribute, but there may be more.

    That statement means that breeders are breeding for a trait entirely off of observable tests and not DNA panels, because they still do not know what to look for in the DNA.

    So in observation of a select hive for traits they are veiwing the worker bee's behavior, not the queen or the drones. So a hive with the trait could have a queen without it and drones without it because that queen somehow got mated by several drones from a hive with the trait and its their DNA copy that is carrying the trait through the hive.
    So now this hive is misidendified as having the trait and it is used to breed queens and the drones are used also for insemination to other queens and the trait is not even there.

    This is what I mean about no control. They must have the gene isolated and a dna panel done on all hives to have enough control to breed for any trait.

    I know that my hypothisis is very basic and these breeders have been working with hygienics for a long time, but they had to start somewhere and with this observation method it would not take long to have many hives apearing to be hygienic and only the workers are. "Fortunately this trait appears to be controlled by dominant gene" yes that is lucky for them, because if it wan't they would need both parents to carry the trait through the hive and they would have alot fewer "breeder" hives to work with. Without DNA testing it could easily be that better than half their hives are traitless except in the workers.
    Last edited by bluegrass; 11-13-2007 at 05:35 AM.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

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