So, the VSH bees I obtained were developed by institutions.
My BeeWeavers came from chemical free/organic beekeepers.
Nope, I've never gotten bees from a 'treatment free' source. I don't think any of them sell bees or queens as far as I know.
Last edited by WLC; 03-06-2014 at 04:24 AM.
Well, the real question for Rae is, "Do you treat your VSH stocks?"
If they do, you'll want to know some more details.
$45 US, for an average of 40-44 %VSH is about $1 US for each % VSH.
If you pay them $80 US, would they give you an 80% VSH queen?
While I've read that 50% VSH is a minimum, and 75% VSH gives good resistance, I wouldn't turn my nose up at an average of 40% VSH.
It might be enough for someone starting out w/ a TF horizontal hive.
Not here it won't.
OT: I don't know what VSH level you may have used when you tested out VSH in a treatment free setting.
However, I've seen previous recommendations here in the U.S. for 35%.
It's simple. Nick can try TF with any old queen and most likely lose the colony and become a local nuisance. Or, he can exercise some level of due diligence to mitigate that.
Frankly, going TF in a horizontal hive gives you something to talk about. But, going TF in a horizontal hive using VSH genetics, now that's what I call an interesting conversation.
With you WLC I'm happy for him to do that if he wants.
I know what the results will be though, however a hard lesson is the best.
I started out TF with horizontal hives. Epic failures. I then used VSH. Better, but they couldn't handle the high heat conditions. Now, I've moved on to BeeWeavers, from Texas. Very edgy.
I can empathize with Nick's situation.
In my own opinion, it's very important for folks to not only develop resistant bee stocks, but it's also important for folks to support those who are developing those stocks.
As for someone attempting TF beekeeping, I would advise them to do what they can to increase their chances of success, and avoid becoming the local nuisance beekeeper. 'Nuf said.
I hope it goes well for you Nick!
Even small cell will not save you.
Nick I have been trying to give you honest advice from someone who knows and is in NZ.
I regularly see people lose hives cos they took advice from people who want to apply their abstract theories to NZ. I have read the info you posted, understand where your hive is at, and like I said before, if it is not treated it will be dead in a few months.
Because I have seen this over and over, I'm even re-stocking people now, I have had to mentally detach myself somewhat from what people do to their bees, if they insist on not treating and standing by as they die I just leave it to them, they can buy more bees later, most people learn although some repeat the same mistakes.
EDIT need to add to that post, it applies to NZ not US. In US there are obviously bees that can withstand mites so whole different ball game and all power to those who are treatment free.
All it would take is a single hive with a VSH queen rated at 75%.
Around and around it goes, where it stops no body knows....
Dan Hayden 5 Years. 10 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.
If you want to talk about the odds of Nick getting a VSH queen from Rainbow (open mated).
The median and average is 40% and 44% VSH respectively. 6% are over 80% VSH.
The odds that he'll get over 50% VSH are between 1:3 and 1:4. The odds that he'll score 75% are closer to 1:20.
Of course, if he wants 75%, all he has to do is pay Rae the asking price. She does instrumental insemination.
Yup it keeps going around.
Like I said a while back WLC, Nick is welcome to do it according to your advice if he wishes, a hard lesson is best.
How about we leave this circuitous discussion where it is, and Nick can come back and report his results in a few months.
The odds are new and they're based on rainbows numbers (80 colonies).
They also said that 58% tested over 35% VSH which is a standard benchmark. You also have a 50:50 chance of getting 40% plus VSH.
As I've explained, the research I've read recommends 50% plus, but shows that at the 75% VSH mark, the mite count stays below the critical 5% mark.
I forgot to add something for Nick, a TF beekeeper from New Mexico uses juniper as smoker fuel to help control mites.
Useful to know.