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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Philadelphia, MS, USA
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    683

    Default Re: VSH mite resistant bees

    My bees are high in VSH and removing too much brood is not a problem. They have great brood patterns and build up to huge colonies. It was a problem in past but not now.

    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
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    Default Re: VSH mite resistant bees

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    One problem with VSH-related traits seems to be getting too much of it. They remove too much brood, and the colony strength suffers, as do honey stores.
    This is very old information. That certainly was the case when VSH was first introduced through Glenn. Most of the early released VSH was not ready to serve as production hives, but instead was raw material for further breeding. Fortunately, many dedicated breeders have been working hard to improve the total package and now good VSH bees can perform equal to non-resistant bees. I have not seen "too much VSH" in over 6 years.

    I think the much bigger problem is too little VSH. Queen producers producing "VSH" bees without actually testing for the trait. This does a huge disservice to the cause.

    I think a much better plan than what you laid out is to treat the non-resistant colonies (verify results), make any splits and then requeen with quality VSH queeens. Nucs the old queens and build them up for comparison if you want.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  3. #43
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,034

    Default Re: VSH mite resistant bees

    Astro, what do you think the best method of testing for VSH is? I've seen studies where mites are introduced to recently capped brood in known cells, then placed back in the hive for the caps to be resealed then transferred to the testing hive to see how well they remove the known infested cells, but this seems very tedious to me. I had a breeder tested via frozen brood method but that's more for your standard hygenics than anything and not specifically VSH.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
    Posts
    1,729

    Default Re: VSH mite resistant bees

    AstroBee, do you sell your VSH queen cells/virgins? I think we should do a test in our area if you do.

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Anderson County, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: VSH mite resistant bees

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    This is very old information. That certainly was the case when VSH was first introduced through Glenn. Most of the early released VSH was not ready to serve as production hives, but instead was raw material for further breeding. Fortunately, many dedicated breeders have been working hard to improve the total package and now good VSH bees can perform equal to non-resistant bees. I have not seen "too much VSH" in over 6 years.

    I think the much bigger problem is too little VSH. Queen producers producing "VSH" bees without actually testing for the trait. This does a huge disservice to the cause.

    I think a much better plan than what you laid out is to treat the non-resistant colonies (verify results), make any splits and then requeen with quality VSH queeens. Nucs the old queens and build them up for comparison if you want.
    Agreed!

    Agree with Johnny too.

    The phenotype of heavy brood removal could be from heavy selection in too small a population producing colonies with very similar genetic backgrounds (genetic load).
    This can be a symptom of selection in too small a grouping with animals sensitive to genetic similarity ( honey bees ).

    Queens expressing VSH from queen producers selecting for hardiness and maintaining a breeding program do not have this issue.



    Adam
    http://vpqueenbees.com

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Anderson County, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: VSH mite resistant bees

    JRG13,

    This link has all the VSH selection methods.

    http://www.extension.org/pages/30984/selecting-for-varroa-sensitive-hygiene#.VHhy7kSweJs



    We use the non-reproductive assay (Infertility) coupled with accurate Alcohol wash tests.

    http://vpqueenbees.com/vp-breeding-program/vp-alcohol-wash-assay



    Others who are selecting for VSH behavior also use these tests.

    Adam
    http://vpqueenbees.com

  7. #47
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    5,034

    Default Re: VSH mite resistant bees

    I guess monitoring mite levels makes sense. I was more thinking if there were methods of really testing the uncapping rates and percentages of properly uncapped cells other than just scoring uncapping in general, but now that I think about it, it would be tough to set up unless you had some kind of comb or frame designed to see into the cells through the back for mites. Maybe it's something I'll look into, a clear onesided frame.. I guess for me, I'll just rely on running side by side comparisons with known susceptible lines, fortunately those are easy to get... LOL

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Anderson County, South Carolina, USA
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    456

    Default Re: VSH mite resistant bees

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    I guess monitoring mite levels makes sense. I was more thinking if there were methods of really testing the uncapping rates and percentages of properly uncapped cells other than just scoring uncapping in general, but now that I think about it, it would be tough to set up unless you had some kind of comb or frame designed to see into the cells through the back for mites. Maybe it's something I'll look into, a clear onesided frame.. I guess for me, I'll just rely on running side by side comparisons with known susceptible lines, fortunately those are easy to get... LOL
    JRG13,
    http://www.extension.org/pages/30984...e#.VHhy7kSweJs

    Take a look at the link: the non-reproductive assay has nothing to do with capping/re-capping.

    If your population is robust, side by side works until you break down and spend some time doing an assay.
    Adam

  9. #49
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: VSH mite resistant bees

    Thanks Adam,

    Looking at it again, that infertility scoring doesn't look too difficult. What's the time frame for best results, about day 19 from egg?

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    3,629

    Default Re: VSH mite resistant bees

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    Astro, what do you think the best method of testing for VSH is?
    I like the references that Adam posted. All this involves a reasonably significant investment in time. For someone not making their living breeding VSH bees, I think conventional varroa population monitoring is pretty good. It doesn't tell the whole story, but provides credible evidence. It becomes very clear when monitoring varroa population which colonies are resistant and which are not. Alcohol wash and even PS rolls provide reasonable measures.

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    I had a breeder tested via frozen brood method but that's more for your standard hygenics than anything and not specifically VSH.
    Yes, that's correct. VSH and standard hygienic bees cannot be differentiated using Freeze-killed brood assay.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
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    3,629

    Default Re: VSH mite resistant bees

    Quote Originally Posted by ruthiesbees View Post
    AstroBee, do you sell your VSH queen cells/virgins? I think we should do a test in our area if you do.
    Yes, I do sell cells and mated queens. I will sometimes sell virgins, but I prefer not to. I sell locally only. No shipping.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Kamloops, BC, Canada
    Posts
    793

    Default Re: VSH mite resistant bees

    Quote Originally Posted by adamf View Post
    JRG13,

    This link has all the VSH selection methods.

    http://www.extension.org/pages/30984/selecting-for-varroa-sensitive-hygiene#.VHhy7kSweJs



    We use the non-reproductive assay (Infertility) coupled with accurate Alcohol wash tests.

    http://vpqueenbees.com/vp-breeding-program/vp-alcohol-wash-assay



    Others who are selecting for VSH behavior also use these tests.

    Adam
    http://vpqueenbees.com
    Thanks for this. My TF bees have been tested for hygienic behavior, but not varroa specific. A new thing to take into consideration when developing a sampling protocol for mite resistance.

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Anderson County, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: VSH mite resistant bees

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    Thanks Adam,

    Looking at it again, that infertility scoring doesn't look too difficult. What's the time frame for best results, about day 19 from egg?
    It's not difficult, just tedious.


    *The non-reproductive assay should be done when the pupa are purple-eyed. That can range from day 16-18. I think 19 is too far along: there could be an adult daughter mite at 19, and you'd have to determine if the female mite was the Mom (foundress) or the daughter by looking for a shed skin.


    FYI, on the page http://articles.extension.org/pages/...sitive-hygiene,

    "Stage 3" pupae has purple eyes, white body
    "Stage 4" pupae has purple eyes, with tanned joints of legs and/or antenna
    "Stage 5" pupae has purple eyes with tanned body and white wing pads

    "Stage 6" pupae has purple eyes with grey wing pads (~ 19 days old)
    "Stage 7" pupae is black-headed
    "Stage 8" is a teneral adult



    Selection assays and evaluating stock are tedious if you have a large population. We're going to be looking at 300-400 colonies next week
    that made the final cut in a selection program. We might have to alcohol wash all of them. That will be tedious and we'll have some long days, even with a good crew.

    What we end up with will be a group of robust breeding queens that hopefully will contain a few "gems"!

    Adam
    http://vpqueenbees.com

    * Dr. Bob Danka @ USDA Baton Rouge gave me his input on the pupal stages (his lab wrote up the VSH selection procedures on extension.org).
    Last edited by adamf; 01-16-2017 at 03:30 PM. Reason: Punctuation

  14. #54
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    5,034

    Default Re: VSH mite resistant bees

    I will post some results later this year then, thanks for this Adam. I don't find it too tedious except it seems like I uncapped a lot at times but when I actually look at the frame or area I was working on, it doesn't seem like I did a whole lot... This is when I'll look for mites in a deadout under capped brood that's still fresh.

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