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Thread: VSH Breeding?

  1. #101
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    squarepeg wrote:
    "john, if i wanted to compare fertile to infertile mites in my colonies, and wanted to compare that measure with yours and others, how would i do it?"
    apis maximus wrote:
    "As a protocol, I tried to follow the one described by Rinderer and Kulincevic."

    Just to reiterate the information:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...SH-Breeding#29

    (Contains info on testing from earlier in this thread).


    When we received our SARE grant, we intended to compare the Freeze Killed Brood Assay
    John and others use with the Alcohol Wash Assay, in the context of selection for varroa resistance.
    The way the research worked out we did not have enough resources to compare the two tests but we did
    show the value of the alcohol wash assay in a mite resistant breeding program and we demonstrate
    our take on how to perform it (there a a few ways to do it around the world). We have used this assay for many years and it
    has helped us to breed for productive bees while remaining treatment-free.

    Link to that research:
    www.vpqueenbees.com/awa




    Adam Finkelstein
    www.vpqueenebes.com
    Last edited by adamf; 02-06-2013 at 05:39 AM.

  2. #102
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    I would not have brought Adam's sare grant up in the context of this discussion, but since he brought it up........

    I've read this report several times, and I don't understand what the grant went towards. You did an alcohol wash on 20 hives, 3 times throughout a single season.

    What did the money pay for?
    What was learned that we didn't already know?
    Why does doing rather routine mite counts in a commercial breeding population/program rate getting a grant?
    Was anything else done besides doing a total of 60 mite counts?
    What does it cost to perform 60 alcohol washes and graph the results?
    Were you not doing mite counts before running this grant?

    Deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  3. #103
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    DeKnow, Do you have any idea what research or studies cost? Do you realize that those that do the study get paid for their time? $20,000 woudl not pay for 6 months of my time. Much less the time of someone with a degree or otherwise qualified to conduct a study.

    IN some cases the grant had to pay for the colonies that where studied in the first place.

    You get such grants often by applying for them. And just like any other application process your application is compared to everyone elses and if you come out on top. that is what qualified you.

    I understand you question this study or the cost of it. Where is your better study and who funded it at what price? I will take a conducted study over the none existent one.

    A study at best provides only a small bit of data. that must then bee added to everything else we know.

    I work at a place that in the last year spent 13.5 million dollars to study how a bridge breaks apart in an earthquake. and that is not counting the 30 some million they paid to build the building they built the bridge inside. they are currently building a second building so they can build a bigger bridge next time.

    Truth is research is very expensive and I don't ever see beekeeping funding it on a serious level.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  4. #104
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Daniel,
    Please read Adam's report:

    http://www.vpqueenbees.com/awa/FNE08-631_final.pdf

    Note that the costs were about $50 total, plus time (his estimate of 1.75 hours/colony for the 3 tests seems a bit much....does it really take anywhere near 10 minutes to open a colony and find frames with active brood?)...but even if we take his numbers for the timing, that comes to a total of 35 hours of work (plus making a web page, a few photos and a graph).

    What was done in those 35 hours with $50 worth of supplies? He did mite counts on his own colonies in a standard way that any number of those that go around and speak to beekeeping groups would tell you to sample mites. Nothing new was attempted. Nothing was compared to anything else. There was no evaluation of anything. All that appears to have been done is a bee breeder doing a few mite counts.

    I am all for good research. I'm not sure this qualifies as research at all (good or bad).

    What do you think was learned here?

    Personally, I'd be embarrased to take $4347 as a SARE grant for this. $4347-$50(for supplies)=$4297. Take the 35 hours he has accounted for in the sampling, add another 35 hours to do the web page, photos and graph (probably closer to 10 hours, but let's work with 35), and you end up with Adam being paid over $60/hour to do standard mite samples of his own breeding stock (that I assume he was already doing mite counts on one way or another)...and comparing this method of doing mite samples to NOTHING.

    I don't see value being created with over $4,000 in resources being spent. I do see a commercial breeder getting paid with a SARE grant to do exactly what he should already be doing (and probably was already doing).


    deknow



    deknow
    Last edited by deknow; 02-06-2013 at 07:37 AM. Reason: added last two paragraphs
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  5. #105
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Wow, way to go deknow, I doubt that Adam would find much pleasure after that in helping the rest of us with any of "our" VSH questions. He's one of the VERY FEW that believes and is committed to this from the beginning. Now, with more time invested he would probably set up a different program. Maybe not, but good for him he got interested before "everyone" else jumped on this bandwagon!!

  6. #106
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Doing mite counts in 2009 is hardly cutting edge. Note that the purpose was to compare alcohol washes with freeze testing.....but freeze testing was never done. The other purpose was to compare mite resistant lines with non resistant lines..this also was not done.
    I've brought these issues up before, and I assume that Adam knows my position on this.....and brought it up anyways.

    Deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  7. #107
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Fortunately, pleasuring Adam is not my job: )

    Deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  8. #108
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    What is your job?
    Regards, Barry

  9. #109
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Well, I don't have a "job", in that no one gives me a paycheck. I have had many jobs, including flutemaker, webmaster, web content developer at a large NYC advertising agency, musician, office cleaner (that includes the toilets), bike mechanic, electronics repair technician, CAD technician, machinist, speech recognition systems customization and training (for hospitals, doctors, lawyers, judges, people with disabilities, college professors, etc), network systems administration (at a taxi company....there is a surprising amount of kluged together computer systems at an old cab company)....all that without any of the beekeeping stuff.

    Ramona and i make the bulk of our living selling honey both retail at markets, and wholesale to larger stores. In the last few months, we've done a 7 day a week market in a tent in Downtown Boston throughout the month of December, 3 talks at MIT, running a bee school in Boston (both beginners and advanced), done a lot of store support (demos/tastings) for our wholesale accounts.

    Right now I'm posting on Beesource. In a few minutes, I'll be printing and cutting tags for a large corporate Valentines Day gift order. This afternoon I'll be preparing outlines for talks coming up and doing some other writing. Tonight we have a board meeting for our county bee club. On Monday we sold a few books. and also met with another hotel that is interested in having bees on their roof (as I sign off now, Ramona and I are going to brainstorm about how we can approach that project).

    No boss=No paycheck

    No job. Always working.


    deknow

  10. #110
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    ...apologies that my previous post went out under Ramonas name/acount.



    I'd also like to say that I very much like Adam, and support much/most of what he and Kelly are doing. We enjoyed visiting with them over coffee a few years ago (we were driving through the area, and Adam invited us over for coffee).

    Obviously, I'm in support of the treatment free breeding program they are maintaining. Selection for survival without treatments is an element that I think is missing in MANY breeding programs...and I think the key. Only if we cull what nature would cull (or something really close to that ideal) will nature's mechanisms (genetic, microbial, epigenetic, ???) operate as they should.

    I'm less convinced about the VSH stuff (as I've already stated). I think the SARE grant work was a complete waste of money. The assay's (freeze kill and alcohol wash) weren't compared. The relationship between the one performed assay and suitability for selection wasn't explored. The only data produced was a graph of 3 mite counts done on 20 hives. Anyone that counts mites has that data, and it didn't cost them over $4,000 to produce it. He didn't do the work that the grant specified:http://mysare.sare.org/MySare/Projec...631&y=2008&t=2

    The farmer will compare mite-tolerant queen lines with a normal line to see if two tests (selection assays) do indeed indicate mite tolerance in potential breeding stock.

    I like Adam...but I refuse to feel embarrassed to point this stuff out. Wherever the fault lies (the person giving the grant, the person taking the grant, the quality of the queens, the weather, etc)....it is certainly not mine for reading closely enough to notice.



    deknow
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  11. #111
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by deknow View Post
    Daniel,
    Please read Adam's report:

    http://www.vpqueenbees.com/awa/FNE08-631_final.pdf

    Note that the costs were about $50 total, plus time (his estimate of 1.75 hours/colony for the 3 tests seems a bit much....does it really take anywhere near 10 minutes to open a colony and find frames with active brood?)...but even if we take his numbers for the timing, that comes to a total of 35 hours of work (plus making a web page, a few photos and a graph).

    What was done in those 35 hours with $50 worth of supplies? He did mite counts on his own colonies in a standard way that any number of those that go around and speak to beekeeping groups would tell you to sample mites. Nothing new was attempted. Nothing was compared to anything else. There was no evaluation of anything. All that appears to have been done is a bee breeder doing a few mite counts.

    I am all for good research. I'm not sure this qualifies as research at all (good or bad).

    What do you think was learned here?

    Personally, I'd be embarrased to take $4347 as a SARE grant for this. $4347-$50(for supplies)=$4297. Take the 35 hours he has accounted for in the sampling, add another 35 hours to do the web page, photos and graph (probably closer to 10 hours, but let's work with 35), and you end up with Adam being paid over $60/hour to do standard mite samples of his own breeding stock (that I assume he was already doing mite counts on one way or another)...and comparing this method of doing mite samples to NOTHING.

    I don't see value being created with over $4,000 in resources being spent. I do see a commercial breeder getting paid with a SARE grant to do exactly what he should already be doing (and probably was already doing).

    Funny how assumptions are relative. I'm sorry if you felt that the grant we received and performed
    according to our agreement with SARE was as you state:

    "I don't see value being created with over $4,000 in resources being spent"


    The SARE people were very happy with the results, actually. The main
    expenses were for the bees and establishing the colonies. We were going to
    use a randomized block design in two sites. The colonies we used needed to
    be established...all of this is described in the grant report. The control
    colonies did so poorly that we pretty much had to scrap the original
    experiment, as stated in the report. We salvaged what we could and did the
    Alcohol Wash Assay, as per the report and with SARE's approval.

    The cost was mainly for time and travel. We had to get the colonies set up.
    The experiment would not have been valid if we'd had used established
    colonies. You can't get SARE grant money for equipment. Also, SARE pays you
    after you perform the research. We came up with the money to do the
    experiment. If SARE felt that we were not completing our part of the
    arrangement, they would not have reimbursed us for the costs we estimated
    and submitted.

    However, your opinion of what we were granted, based on your knowledge of
    what occurred is certainly valid. That's your right.

    Since SARE at the level we were dealing with: "Farmer Grant" is used to
    help farmer's with "on the farm research" to make their production more
    sustainable, I feel that the research was totally successful. We learned how to conduct
    standardized mite counts using the Alcohol Wash Assay over a season,
    learned that the assay is both useful for selection and to keep track of
    the mite population, and learned that our selection was leading to lower
    phoretic mite counts in our bee population. This is a selection tool we
    use as part of our breeding program.

    I'm sorry that you feel the research we did wasn't valid or useful--we do
    get quite steady stream of hits on the Alcohol Wash Assay info we put on
    the internet so people are reading about the assay.


    Adam Finkelstein
    www.vpqueenbees.com

  12. #112

    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Deknow you are no where close to being like Adam. for one if i remember in an earlier post that you made the comment that you have never owned VSH bees. So how can you talk about them good or bad. I can tell you that since i have run VSH bees i have alot less winter dyeoff. My bees do have mites as well as everyone else. Thank goodness for Glenns,Adam(VP Queens),Bob, and all the smaller guys that are trying to move the VSH bees forward. if you will read ,these bees where released out to beekeepers so they could continue to improve on these bees. And that is what we are doing. Are these bees the silver bullet that some folks are looking for no. but they are alot better then some that i have had in the past. if you want things done your way than get some and do the testing and share with others and quit bashing the guys that are doing things the way they want to. Thanks to Adam, glenn,s and the other breeders that are working to together to improve VSH honeybees.

  13. #113
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Going back to the subject at hand. We can use two types of analysis for our observations that we use to make breeding decisions; qualitative and quantitative. We really need both to see the whole picture. I am confident that traits can be maintained by getting stock from people who have done the quantitative work and then maintained in the field under the appropriate selection pressure and qualitative field observations. We use both, however we are stepping up a bit more this year on the quantitative side.

    Also from Harbo's web site:

    "A most valuable feature of VSH is that bees will express a high level of mite resistance when a colony contains as little as 50% of the alleles for VSH. A simple way to produce such a colony is to raise daughter queens from a VSH breeder and allow the daughters to naturally mate. This is great news for queen producers. They can rear VSH queens, mate them to any drones, and those queens will produce colonies that require no chemical control for varroa. Another benefit is that beekeepers can have mite resistant colonies without destroying their existing bee population which may be well adapted to a certain locale or have desirable beekeeping qualities."

    This means there still should be plenty of benefit in F1 and F2 crosses, especially if the right drones are involved.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  14. #114
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Apis maximus how many hours did it take you to count and classify the mites from 100 plus cells?

  15. #115
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    John,

    Are your hives treatment free? Seems like your web site doesn't support that. so why do you need to treat them if VSH works? I have used VSH type queens for about the last 4 years and still need to treat or lose my hives.

  16. #116

    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Hey Cam, do you treat all your hives for mites.

  17. #117
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    @ptmerrill
    The first go around, it took me about 4 hours. There were not that many mites and I was thinking I am missing them...You uncap, if the bee pupae is the right age and you see the mite(s) on her face then you've got something. But sometimes the mite(s) is not right under the cap so I took every pupae out and looked it over under the scope. Cell by cell, one pupae at the time. Slow...
    On the second hive I started uncapping and kept uncapping until I had 100 that looked the right stage. Then, I pulled all of them out in a petri dish...bee pupae, mites and whatever else was in that cell. I did have a lighted otoscope handy and checked the empty cells just to see if I miss anything. If I did, I use a Q tip in a swirling motion in the cell, and looked the Q-tip under the scope. Most of the time, I would find the male that way.
    Since everything looked crowded in the dish, I took a small glass shelf and dumped the petri dish contents on it.
    Placed the glass shelf under the scope ( scope has light under its glass stage so it worked great) and starting the observing/sorting and tabulating...This way took about 2 hours.
    On the fall check, had more mites/stages showing, using the second described technique, took about 3 hours.

  18. #118
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by JBJ View Post
    and those queens will produce colonies that require no chemical control for varroa..
    Really? it's that simple ? and no treatments needed ever?

  19. #119
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by ga.beeman View Post
    Hey Cam, do you treat all your hives for mites.
    I treat all my production hives. I do not treat nucs.

  20. #120
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by frazzledfozzle View Post
    Really? it's that simple ? and no treatments needed ever?
    I am not sure I see what has been so easy about breeding for VSH much less the discovery of the traits or the recognition that they are genetic. What exactly are you considering easy? Far more effort than the let the bees survive on their own method and with better results.

    That the problem is serious or that the answer has not been easy to find does not mean the answer will be complex. Most things look simple once they have been solved.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

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