Best Varroa Resistant Breed for NH - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    Anderson County, South Carolina, USA
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    Default Re: Best Varroa Resistant Breed

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    "AND" being the most important word.

    Sometimes VSH is spoken when only spotted brood is seen...

    BTW: How do you select for "Highest % infested brood removal" ?

    I mean how would you know they remove only infested brood, unless making Non -reproductive test?



    Mite washes might give results which have no connection to VSH (= ability to detect mites with offspring)


    Using tests or assays to determine the worthiness for selection is important, certainly. Testing for VSH helps when selecting for mite resistant breeding stock.

    However, keep in mind that the goal of breeding is to pull out of the random assortment of trait combinations that make the phenotype, the genetic potential for desired phenotypes.

    If the goal in a breeding program is to have hardy healthy bees that one may manage "treatment free", testing for VSH is one of several selection criteria.

    That's where the "AND" from my previous post comes in. Selection requires good test results AND bees that one feels are good. If one only selects for bees that have very high VSH expression

    one will have that, but the bees might not be that nice/pleasant to work with.


    Using VSH testing is a selection tool. If you combine VSH testing (use a few of the tests: the url for the tests have been posted to beesource many times) with other selection tests, you'll see some form of progress.

    The reality of selection's practical application is that is works more effectively in decent sized populations. Selection pools that are larger, will have a higher probability of more desirable selection candidates.


    Adam
    http://vpqueenbees.com

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  3. #42
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    Jul 2016
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    Port Angeles, WA, USA
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    Default Re: Best Varroa Resistant Breed

    I replaced entirety of my home yard with various high expressing vsh lines. It is fairly difficult to find any real mite population. VSH works, when it is really VSH. Problem is, so few people are testing, many buy a single breeder queen and go generations with her daughters open mating, not managing drone population and continuing to claim vsh. Pretty sure this is where a lot of the "VSH doesnt work" comes from.

    With the exception of the wsu caucasian yard, I'm replacing them all with VSH this year. Not having to stress on the mite losses is wonderful.

    The non reproductive mite assay is not that bad, except when your mite population is low. We sat down and ran the assay on one of my vsh breeder queens (won't mention who she came from, if they want to they are free to). John Harbo has an easy to ready paper on his site regarding the assay.

    150 cells inspected, one mite family found, 0 other mites found 1/2cup alcohol wash 0 mites found. Tentative 75% score, but not enough mites to give her a solid score. Very happy, will re-assay in fall to see if I can get enough data for an actual score.

    Do note, the 'poor brood pattern' is not VSH in action here, it is because they plugged the entire bottom box full of pollen, every darn cell that isn't capped brood has pollen in it, or just emerged.





    31395428_10215661854528341_618167655001489408_n.jpg31453640_10215661854168332_3204909866200072192_n.jpg31388168_10215661853928326_4105404104027668480_n.jpg
    Last edited by jcase; 04-28-2018 at 08:07 AM.
    Instrumental Insemination & Northern VSH Queens

  4. #43

    Default Re: Best Varroa Resistant Breed

    Quote Originally Posted by adamf View Post

    Selection requires good test results AND bees that one feels are good.
    You did not answer my question:

    how do you select for "Highest % infested brood removal" ?

    Is it the same as Non-reproductive test or something else?

  5. #44
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    Port Angeles, WA, USA
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    Default Re: Best Varroa Resistant Breed

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    You did not answer my question:

    how do you select for "Highest % infested brood removal" ?

    Is it the same as Non-reproductive test or something else?
    Too time consuming imo, counting ratio of non reproductive:reproductive, and the overall real world effects (alcohol wash) are better. Both more realistic, and less time consuming to do
    Instrumental Insemination & Northern VSH Queens

  6. #45
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    Mar 2015
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    Kamloops, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: Best Varroa Resistant Breed

    It makes sense to have multiple traits within a population. But after that, black boxing, seeing which hives do well in terms of production and survival, then testing to see what traits come to the fore. It should also be known that a tests over a year probably don't explain the overall dynamic of a system over multiple years. The kinds of mite pressure could very well vary between years and within a year. It also depends on how dynamic the adaptive environment is. Lots of bee movement coupled with the introduction of new pathogen variants, could lead to bees with low thresholds of mite tolerance. But this would be at a cost in terms of production. The optimal level of mites may not be near zero in fall given a more stable pathogen environment. We are assuming much in this discussion.

  7. #46
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    Anderson County, South Carolina, USA
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    Default Re: Best Varroa Resistant Breed

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    You did not answer my question:

    how do you select for "Highest % infested brood removal" ?

    Is it the same as Non-reproductive test or something else?
    Try a friendly search for the link to VSH testing. I've posted it on here a few times.
    Adam
    http://vpqueenbees.com

  8. #47

    Default Re: Best Varroa Resistant Breed

    Quote Originally Posted by adamf View Post
    Try a friendly search for the link to VSH testing. I've posted it on here a few times.
    Adam
    http://vpqueenbees.com
    Wow, I only asked yes/no.

  9. #48
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    Nov 2017
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    Nashua, NH, USA
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    Default Re: Best Varroa Resistant Breed

    I ended up buying 'treatment free russians' because they were the same price as normal queens - I wouldnt be any worse off if they didnt suppress mites. After doing a mite wash of all the hives in my untreated yard, the strongest three hives are currently at a 1% mite infection. The other hives had 0.0 - 0.1% mite infection, but they have been split preemptively or swarmed 2-3 times each. I'm fairly confident that most wont hit mite treatment threshold before winter, but instead of treating for mites I now have to feed them a ton of sugar. Im unsure how to feel about their performance so far. It seems likely that these bees were surviving with no chemical treatments in part due to excessive swarming behavior.

  10. #49
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    Denver Metro Area CO, USA
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    Default Re: Best Varroa Resistant Breed

    NH how did you come up with the 0.1% number?
    unless my math is wonky, thats an impractical large sample size.. Ie 1 mite in wash of 1,000 bees

    One mite in a wash of 300 (1/2 cup of bees) is 0.33%
    3 mites in a wash of 300 is 1%

  11. #50
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    Nashua, NH, USA
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    Default Re: Best Varroa Resistant Breed

    Yeah thats true. Mental math mistake. They were either 1 or 0 mites per 300

  12. #51
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    Kamloops, BC, Canada
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    Default Re: Best Varroa Resistant Breed

    Quote Originally Posted by NHbeek View Post
    I ended up buying 'treatment free russians' because they were the same price as normal queens - I wouldnt be any worse off if they didnt suppress mites. After doing a mite wash of all the hives in my untreated yard, the strongest three hives are currently at a 1% mite infection. The other hives had 0.0 - 0.1% mite infection, but they have been split preemptively or swarmed 2-3 times each. I'm fairly confident that most wont hit mite treatment threshold before winter, but instead of treating for mites I now have to feed them a ton of sugar. Im unsure how to feel about their performance so far. It seems likely that these bees were surviving with no chemical treatments in part due to excessive swarming behavior.
    Most bees that "perform" are bred to raise bees, gather honey and not be mean. Of course you have to treat them as they don't do anything else. Lots of perfectly good bees are thrown away because they don't perform well when introduced to a new environment. If you want mite resistant bees that perform, you need to select on an ongoing basis. I got Saskatraz queens at the beginning and the verdict by the local veteran beekeeper is that they don't build fast enough in the spring for our climate. That was true the first generation, but by selecting the strongest and raising queens from them, production and vigor had increased each generation. A person needs to either by letting nature select them, then selecting for production, or doing the entire selection process your self. Also keep in mind that mite thresholds are designed for bees that aren't resistant. To find out what mite thresholds actually are for TF bees in your area, you need to let nature take its course and see where they are at in spring. By all means count mites and take out ridiculously high mite ridden hives, but winter survival and a strong spring cluster is more dependable metric. If you have enough hives you can select from here for low mite counts as well.

    Perhaps try experimenting with your space management. I give my bees space earlier than many of my local keeps, and Saskatraz does have some Russian in them. Mostly it seems to work. Again selection in important.

  13. #52
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    Default Re: Best Varroa Resistant Breed

    NH that begs the question... what were the rolls on the "the strongest three hives are currently at a 1% mite infection."
    3 per 300?
    Last edited by msl; 08-08-2018 at 09:16 AM.

  14. #53

    Default Re: Best Varroa Resistant Breed

    Are there studies of different varroa resistant breeds, what kind is the population curve of mites? VSH, Primorski, Purdue mite biters etc.

    I mean is there somekind of period when mite numbers go up (maybe 5%?), after which the bees react and trow mites out. Or has some stock another strategy: mite level stays stable all season(maybe 1-2%)?

    From Fernando de Noronja (?) there is a study, the levels have come down during several decades, but I don´t remember if that study said anything about seasonal variation.

  15. #54
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    Default Re: Best Varroa Resistant Breed

    like many of the studys on isolated populations, when exposed to mainstream mites and virus they colaspe

    the honey bee population in Fernando de Noronha has thus far evaded the catastrophic consequences of DWV and Varroa because the incredibly small and isolated population size (ca. 20–40 colonies) has meant that there hasn’t yet been sufficient time for a virulent variant to have become established in a colony. The estimated mite populations in the colonies would no-doubt result in the rapid death of the colonies if a virulent genotype of DWV was to emerge, since up to 42% of the worker brood can be infested by Varroa, levels never observed in healthy hives of European honey bees. Moreover it is just a matter of time before an overt outbreak of a virulent variant appears that has the capability to spell disaster for the bees of Fernando de Noronha. It also explains why when in 1997 six queens were transferred from Fernando de Noronha to Germany to head colonies and study whether heritable hygienic behaviour is responsible for their Varroa tolerance31. Although no difference in hygienic abilities compared to the local population were found indicating no genetic basis for the tolerance is present. These colonies all died during the winter or early spring (Peter Rosenkranz, personal communication) since the bees and mites would for the first time be exposed to the virulent DWV strains5,32 circulating in the local bee population
    Brettella,Martin 2107 Oldest Varroa tolerant honey bee population provides insight into the origins of the global decline of honey beeshttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5385554/

    In the US, breeds don't realy exist, the lack of-Control over mating, importation of fresh breed genetics for about 100 years, and breed standards means bees have been selected for color and traits, not necessarily genetic breeds.. the one main exception might be stock coming from a certified Russian breeder.
    yes there are some II lines like the mite biters but they are not breeds per say
    long and short in the US... its going to matter more on what the breeder has selected for, less on the name given it

  16. #55

    Default Re: Best Varroa Resistant Breed

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    yes there are some II lines like the mite biters but they are not breeds per say
    long and short in the US... its going to matter more on what the breeder has selected for, less on the name given it
    Ok, lets not get stuck to words/names and take VSH for an example. Of course the original has now evolved in the hands of hundreds of breeders, but was there originally, right after in Harris and Harbos breeding work, studies how is the mite population dynamics going: up and down or stedy all year round, how high were the infestation rates etc.

    Here is one of Primorski, fairly old one, but their mite numbers are going up, so it seems it is not going to level back to normal.
    https://www.ars.usda.gov/southeast-a...an-honey-bees/

  17. #56

    Default Re: Best Varroa Resistant Breed

    Here is another one:
    Italians and Russians June 1998 to November 1999

    All Italians died, three Russians. Mite levels in the Russian hives went up to 4000 before they started to decline.

    https://www.researchgate.net/publica...wXeZmCICtg#pff

  18. #57
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    Nov 2017
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    Nashua, NH, USA
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    Default Re: Best Varroa Resistant Breed

    Quote Originally Posted by msl View Post
    NH that begs the question... what were the rolls on the "the strongest three hives are currently at a 1% mite infection."
    3 per 300?
    Yes.

    Strong hives: 3/300, weak hives 0 or 1 / 300
    Last edited by NHbeek; 08-08-2018 at 04:11 PM.

  19. #58
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    Default Re: Best Varroa Resistant Breed

    Mite counts like that look great! Just to confirm, those were taken from bees on brood comb, not the honey storage area, and was done with an alcohol wash? And your bees have built up to a full deep and at least half of a second?

    Otherwise.... using the powdered sugar shake, you can underestimate easily. Taking from older bees, you can also miss enough mites that you don't get a true picture. And if the hive is smaller, they won't have had as much brood emerge, which means they won't have had as many opportunities for mite reproduction, which will result in a low mite count but begs the question about why the hive is small. Hives that have European Foul Brood for example, have low mite counts... but they also have spotty brood and at most 1 deep of bees (maybe 5 frames top and bottom covered).

    If none of the above are true, then congrats, good stock and not much mite pressure (so far) from confused foragers from elsewhere, or your hives robbing.

    The need to feed is common, and does not reflect anything poorly on your hives. The amount of brood (at least 8 frames with brood, unless it's a dearth and you aren't feeding) and number of bees (majority of both boxes covered in bees by now, assuming you've been feeding) tells you the queen quality - when she's getting fed. Most first year hives need fed massive amounts of sugar water to draw out their double deeps. If they are started after the main flow, or the flow is shortened (I know OH was hit hard in May with 90s, which dried up locust trees, and tulip poplar was rained out....) then we have to step in.

    Only 10% of feral swarms successfully find a home and make it through to winter, and they do it with half the space and half the bees. We want honey, so we need the queen maxed out on brood rearing and the double deeps full of bees.

    Don't relax now - check again in a month, and ideally in late october too, to see if your hive went a-robbing and picked up hitchhikers. I am just doing OAV in early Nov to be better safe than sorry. ;/

  20. #59
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    Default Re: Best Varroa Resistant Breed

    Quote Originally Posted by trishbookworm View Post
    Mite counts like that look great! Just to confirm, those were taken from bees on brood comb, not the honey storage area, and was done with an alcohol wash? And your bees have built up to a full deep and at least half of a second?
    /
    I shook the bees off a couple open brood combs, mixed them around and got my half cup, dumped the remaining bees back in the hive and did a standard isopropanol wash. The big hives have been running a little under two deeps of brood for most of the year, and I will probably get a super or two of honey off them depending on how the next two months go. The hives that I had to split repeatedly or swarmed have been building up and have very little honey at the moment but do have an insane amount of brood currently.

    The lack of mite pressure is an interesting point. As far as I know, there are no other beekeepers within flying distance.

  21. #60
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    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    Default Re: Best Varroa Resistant Breed

    sounds very promising nhbeek.

    what is the origin of your bees?
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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