Re: VSH Breeding?
If i may, I'd like to go back to my original post.
I ask this question again. I think what we've read here is that the USDA program does test for VSH.
Originally Posted by deknow
It doesn't seem that Glenn is testing for VSH, but that he is using USDA genetics in such a way that he is assuming that his stock is high in VSH expression.
Adam appears to be saying that he will start testing for VSH this season. His stock is advertised on his website as "All Our Queens Are Bred From Untreated Survivors and Selected for VSH Behavior
As far as I can tell, even the Pol Line queens are a few generations out of known VSH expression levels.
It does seem that virtually no one is actually testing for VSH expression, even close to the source of known VSH expression (the USDA).....extrapolate that down to the folks selling offspring (or offspring of offspring of offspring) and advertising VSH stock.
If any of this is innacurate or mistaken, please correct me...I'm not trying to accuse anyone of anything, just trying to figure out what is going on.
Is there any data out there that refutes this (either a study or multigenerational breeding records where VSH has been measured but not specifically selected for)? I understand this to be a characteristic of such "hypertraits", and outside of very controlled breeding and/or testing/selection for VSH, it will not persist at an artificially high level over time.
We know that HYG and VSH will not persist in the population unless they are constantly selected for generation after generation.
This question remains. I'm all in favor of selecting bees for survival, productivity, temperament, etc....but none of these selection criteria (nor does freeze testing) seem to also select for VSH behavior...do they?
...so how are breeders (that are not just propagating USDA stock) qualifying their bees as VSH? How are they able to provide VSH behavior without testing? How many generations have these stocks gone since they have been properly evaluated for VSH?
I'm all for selecting good stock. I'm all for selecting from untreated survivors. I'm not implying that anyone (named or not) is selling anything substandard.
I think that if VSH does deter mites, that by focusing on it (and using it as a "hypertrait"), that we select against other mechanisms that bees use to fight the mite.
I think that if VSH is introduced into an operation, that in order to maintain VSH expression, that it has to be constantly brought in, or constantly selected for. In other words, If VSH is working for you, it will stop working over some number of generations.....not because the mites have adapted, but because the high expression of VSH will dissipate. Thus, bringing in VSH genetics to start or boost a local breeding program is folly....it is a trait that will not persist.
Using VSH properly is a commitment to either testing for VSH behavior, or buying stock from someone who does. This is a terrible tool for "local breeding"....it may well be a great tool for performance on a colony level, but it seems to fall flat when considered at a population level.
I don't really have an opinion on how well it works in specific circumstance (as I haven't used VSH queens), I'm just trying to untangle some of the marketing, hype, and facts....mostly wrt helping beekeepers start raising and breeding their own queens.
It is worth noting that on the vshbreeders.org forum, that there is little to no discussion on evaluating VSH behavior. It is also worth noting that almost no one anywhere talks about actually performing VSH testing.
I'm not sure there is a formula that can tell you the amount of VSH expression based upon starting with "pure" stock, and outbreeding and backcrossing....it seems that such a formula is assumed by those selling high vsh expression based upon the crossings...but has anyone ever tested it?
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