Re: a little scientific involvement with TF bees.
What JRG was alluding to is that my bees express very high levels of VSH and when crossed with Carpenter queens they also express high levels of allogrooming. The background is that I've spent the last 11 years using mite tolerant genetics and have used no treatments of any sort on my bees in that time. What I have done is look diligently for outside genetics that could complement my line and bring them in when found. I got some queens from Carpenter Apiaries 4 years ago and quickly found that they are very synergistic with my bees. Mating a Carpenter virgin with my line drones gives mite tolerance as good as or better than my own bees but improves colony size and honey production. I brought in some BWeaver queens last year to trial and quickly decided that I don't need the hassle of usurpation swarms and aggressive hive defense. That said, I have one BWeaver queen that is a star performer this year having produced about 100 pounds of honey so far. It is also the only colony that did not throw any usurpation swarms. I'm debating raising a few queens from her and mating to my drones just to see if the other traits are worth having.
NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest