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Thread: VSH Breeding?

  1. #141
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Dexter, Missouri USA
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    96

    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Fozz, I run a little over 100 colonies. This will be my fourth season treatment free, although I never treated on a consistent basis prior.
    Deknow, I'm not really concerned with my % of VSH expression. I only mentioned the trait has been added to my genetics in varying %'s. I do raise some of my queens from pure II'd VSH and Hygienic breeders.

  2. #142
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    Feb 2011
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    Dexter, Missouri USA
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Fozz, I do divide my non impressive colonies in the Spring to stock mating nucs. In the fall I often make two frame divides with new queens while the nectar flow is on.(feed them to four to six frames for winter) I've had good luck wintering those, and turning them into production colonies the following Spring.

  3. #143
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    Jul 2010
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    whitetail, do you have an infestation rate high enough in the late summer/early fall that would cause you to bust the colony up for your late season two frame divides, even though that colony performed well production wise and does not show any outward sign of varroasis?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #144
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    Feb 2011
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    Dexter, Missouri USA
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Squarepeg, No, I don't break them all down into two framers. I only take a two frame split out of each double deep hive I choose. I leave the old queen in the double if she's performing well. The wintered nucs with new fall queens are explosive in the Spring. I use them for expansion. I occasionally see some with a high varroa load, but if I see no viral issues, and they appear healthy by all other measures, I let them ride. The mite levels naturally drop when they reduce, or stop brood rearing.

  5. #145
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    understood whitetail. your approach makes a lot of sense to me, and i really appreciate all of your replies.

    how would you manage the colony that is having viral issues?
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #146
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    Feb 2011
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    Dexter, Missouri USA
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Very welcome. If I see a hive displaying signs of parasitic mite syndrome(withered wings or K wing) I kill the queen and replace her.

  7. #147
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    excellent, thanks again!
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #148

    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    hey whitetail thanks for your replys. I think you understand what is trying to be done with the VSH bees. I loose hives each year but far less then i use too. if we continue to select from VSH stock and continue to raise from these we will continue to improve these. They are not a silver bullet but we are headed in the right direction

  9. #149
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    hendersonville nc usa
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    74

    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    that is what i am doing i am 63 years old and have had bees since i was 13 teen or 14teen in the past i have got bees from all over the states- texas hawi george. now i just have those good hearty feral mutts, and they are the best bees i have ever had. i keep telling myself just breed what you got danny
    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Hills Farm View Post
    Yep. That's the direction I am heading as well. I will start with the best I can find and hope to use them to develop some gals who do well right here. LOL I have been driving myself a bit batty over this, but now that I've had some time to cogitate a bit, that is the direction I am heading, too.

    And I really like that phrase "good hearty feral mutts"! That sums it up perfectly.



    Rusty

  10. #150
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    Jan 2005
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    Southern Oregon
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by camero7 View Post
    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.
    Thanks for pointing that out. That is 13 year old information on that particular page. Need to do some updating as soon as we are done putting in the almonds. We are at a state now where if we find a hive in trouble with mites (and yes we still sometimes do) the protocol is to clean them up with essential oils and requeen with a better prospect. Varying degrees of heritability with mite coping traits is a real challenge, but I am confident that demonstrable progress can and has been been made. We do find bullet proof queens regularly, however reproducing them in a true breeding way is a challenge and this is why we are adding more isolated mating yards and two II stations to the operation. That being said we often see the best breeders make it to their third year in a commercial setting before they start to unravel.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

  11. #151
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    Apr 2011
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    Jacksonville, NC
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by JBJ View Post
    We do find bullet proof queens regularly, however reproducing them in a true breeding way is a challenge and this is why we are adding more isolated mating yards and two II stations to the operation. That being said we often see the best breeders make it to their third year in a commercial setting before they start to unravel.
    Would those "best breeders that make it to the third year" be obtained using both II, and isolated mating yards ? Or are you talking just about II breeders?
    When you say they start to unravel, you mean the hive gets taken over by the mites or that the queen's laying performance diminishes?

    Thanks.

  12. #152
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Northern Virginia
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    769

    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamf View Post
    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:

    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 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
    Wow- years later and we still have to defend our use of one of the only teeny tiny funding sources for Beekeepers. Adam i don't think you have any need to apologize. What was done was not in fact what most Beekeepers do and even if they do use the technique certainly for the most part is not with the same scientific rigor that VP queen bees employed to get some meaningful results. How many of you take the time to count the bees in your sample for example? And all those hits on the study tells me that the work continues to be useful and educate people.

    Having been the victim of some vitriolic attacks myself on a very similar subject I think some people just don't believe that this money should be available at all or used in this way. Seems like there is this perspective that one should just do this as a matter of routine on your own time and own dime. As adam says, that is your choice and you have a right to have his view. I would like to implore you to attempt to widen your view. in your constant attack on what feels like all things SARE (and gee you haven't even explored the world of what crop specialty money is being used for in beekeeping yet) i think you don't allow yourself to the big picture - not only in what the expenses actually were but the parts that are useful, continue to be useful and educational due to SARE.s Internet presence, etc. incentivizing through small amounts of money helps make that possible.
    karla

  13. #153
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    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
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    3,178

    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Karla, It is always easy for those that don't require they actually accomplish anything. I appreciate the work and have a little better than average insight as to what effort it takes. And yes I agree it is a tiny amount being applied.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  14. #154
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    3,751

    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Interesting..
    http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles...f%20varroa.pdf
    A practical interpretation of these data for beekeepers
    is that the average expression of hygiene in commercial
    VSH production queens is good. However,
    there is substantial variability of hygiene expressed
    both between commercial sources and within colonies
    from queens supplied by each source. This variability
    means that beekeepers should be vigilant in monitoring
    mite levels so that additional mite control activities
    can be undertaken if needed. Breeders of VSH should
    recognize that mite resistance in production queens
    probably could be improved if colonies with VSH
    drones were supplied when mating VSH production
    queens. Additionally, simpler techniques to determine
    the level of VSH in colonies would be a valuable tool
    to assist with selection and improvement.
    The perils of benefactors; The blessings of parasites; Blindness blindness and sight -Joni Mitchell 'Shadows and Light'

  15. #155
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Cost/Benefit is always worth looking at...be it a genetic trait (VSH), a class (Penn State Bee School), a treatment (Fumidil), or research (SARE or otherwise).

    I think some people just don't believe that this money should be available at all or used in this way.
    I'm all for spending money on research....but the cost/benefit should always be subject to scrutiny if public money is used. Especially when new ground is not being covered (queen introduction, mite counting, queen rearing, and nuc colonies are well understood subjects commonly used by beekeepers of all scales, not new untested ideas), one should consider what one would pay someone to do the work.

    and gee you haven't even explored the world of what crop specialty money is being used for in beekeeping yet
    I read a lot of research regarding bees and beekeeping. Some of it is very good, some of it is very bad. The funding source, the scale, and reputation of the one doing the work does not seem to correlate with the quality of the work, the cost/benefit, or the overall benefit.


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

  16. #156
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Millbury, MA, USA
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    However, there is substantial variability of hygiene expressed both between commercial sources and within colonies
    from queens supplied by each source.
    I wish they would identify the different commercial sources.

  17. #157
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    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    If you read a bit more of the study, you will see that even the Glenn queens didn't display the same "mite infertility" as the USDA lines. I think this paper pretty much says that you don't know what you are getting, unless you get it directly from the USDA.

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

  18. #158
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    Sep 2009
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    Millbury, MA, USA
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    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    True, but Glenn queens were better than most commercials. Some of the commercials would be beneficial in the average set-up, while others would be almost useless. It aggravates me that they use our money to do these papers but won't id the sources of the queens. this is not the first time I've seen this.

  19. #159
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    6,138

    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    We have the same problem with the VSH bees we have produced in my country, variability. Which is interesting, considering the base stock we began using to produce the VSH bees is likely different to that used in the US. An 80% VSH queen can be mated to an 80% VSH drone, but the daughter queens can be anything from 80% down to 20%. Our researchers have concluded that there cannot just be one gene involved in VSH, but a combination that all has to come together.

    None the less, this does not mean we should just give up. My belief is we should continue to select from the best, concentrating the useful genes in the general bee population.

    From the same study mentioned by DeKnow
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...Breeding/page8

    "Genetic effects of queen type affected the change
    in infestation of brood by V. destructor (Table 1).
    Colonies of ARS VSH and Glenn Apiaries VSH reduced
    infestation by 76 and 64%, respectively. Infestation
    was reduced an average of 44% by VSH production
    colonies (six sources combined) and 7% by
    control colonies".

    So there is considerable variability in mite reduction in these colonies, and in that respect, it could be claimed that the purchaser "does not know what they are getting". However the amount of reduction is quite clearly useful, especially if someone was wishing to attempt treatment free beekeeping, or keep treating but use less.

    In my country, the researchers also monitored (but did not select for) honey production, and have discovered no significant difference in honey production between our high VSH bees, and non VSH bees. So, one could say about using these bees, "what's to lose?"
    Although I have been told that with the US VSH bees it is thought there is a difference, but have not seen any figures.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  20. #160
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Southern Oregon
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    1,168

    Default Re: VSH Breeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by apis maximus View Post
    Would those "best breeders that make it to the third year" be obtained using both II, and isolated mating yards ? Or are you talking just about II breeders?
    When you say they start to unravel, you mean the hive gets taken over by the mites or that the queen's laying performance diminishes?

    Thanks.
    Those would be naturally mated queens and some come from isolated yards, and occasionally some do come from our more open mated yards. This will be the first year we will aggressively pursue II. By unravel I mean the supercedure impulse kicks in and laying rate begins to drop off. I would also not be surprised to see a higher mite to bee ratio as laying rate slows in the older queens. I have never had a purchased II breeder queen last more than a year and most want to supercede in the first 6 months... still plenty of time to make lots of daughters.
    John B Jacob www.oldsolbees.com

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