Going to try TF again.
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Laurel Hill, Fl
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    1,120

    Default Going to try TF again.

    Ordered a VSH breeder this year. Due to Family problems I was unable to treat Fall or spring so I'm approaching a year without a treatment. But I lost 5 hives over the winter, most I've ever lost. However, I was not watching them and that had as much to do with it as failing to treat I suspect. I'm expecting my VPQueens VSH breeder this month. Going to graft from her and requeen all my hives and nucs and we'll see how it goes. I may decide to treat so they aren't starting with a huge mite load that I'm quit sure they have right now. A few of my hives are already VSH queens. We shall see, I really don't mind treating with OAV, been doing it for years with good success, but the only way to know if the VSH breeder can really handle the mites is to try to go TF. I'm super pleased with the VSH queens I've gotten that are production queens from VPqueen breeders. They are gentle, great layers, produce plenty of honey. So they are going to be my go to queens with or without the VSH trait.

    Wish me luck!
    Robbin NW Florida(8A) / 14 hives / 5 Nucs / 6th Year / T {OAV & MMK}

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,168

    Default Re: Going to try TF again.

    good luck robbin!

    we're looking forward to hearing how your experience plays out with the vpqueens.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Tallapoosa, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    616

    Default Re: Going to try TF again.

    Wow, you are certainly going full speed into VSH with a breeder queen. Will you be selling queens to help cover your cost?
    I do wish you luck... I follow because I have had similar thoughts... and wish to know how it goes for you.
    Working to propagate my survivors and staying treatment free USDA Zone 7b

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
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    1,120

    Default Re: Going to try TF again.

    Haven't decided if I want to sell queens are not, I'm going to sell nucs as I've gotten really good at producing them and I over winter about 15 so I can get them to market while most are still building up. Selling nucs locally is really about covering some of my costs, it's not about making money. I work hard enough at my real job. :-)
    Robbin NW Florida(8A) / 14 hives / 5 Nucs / 6th Year / T {OAV & MMK}

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
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    1,120

    Default Re: Going to try TF again.

    I decided to pony up for a breeder because my grafts are only one generation out and buying a breeder is the only way to know that. Otherwise you have no idea how many generations you are out from the known genetics. The closer you are to the first generation, the stronger the VSH trait is likely to be.
    Robbin NW Florida(8A) / 14 hives / 5 Nucs / 6th Year / T {OAV & MMK}

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
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    1,120

    Default Re: Going to try TF again.

    Finally got my VSH Breeder. She's in a nuc with a push in cage. Had 5 production VSH queens coming, it's been two full days and still not here. Tomorrow will be 3 days. In this heat, I doubt very seriously they will make it.
    Robbin NW Florida(8A) / 14 hives / 5 Nucs / 6th Year / T {OAV & MMK}

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
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    Default Re: Going to try TF again.

    My Five VSH production queens came in today. They were all alive and are in nucs are hives tonight. :-) Decided to stay TF, Didn't treat last year because of health problems, have decided to skip it as I've got 10 new VSH production queens. I'll requeen in the spring from the new breeder.
    Robbin NW Florida(8A) / 14 hives / 5 Nucs / 6th Year / T {OAV & MMK}

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,168

    Default Re: Going to try TF again.

    happy to hear the queens survived the shipping. good luck robbin!
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  10. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    1,120

    Default Re: Going to try TF again.

    Released my VP Queens Breeder on Monday with some problems that left me worried.

    Great news, I checked on her highness this morning and she is fat and sassy.

    I've got 10 new VSH queens this year and a breeder to graft from next year. The number of varroa I find in the clean new oil trays is amazing. So my infestation is high. I did not treat last year or even tend the hives from summer on last year due to health issues. I am still considering treating going into fall to give the new VSH queens a fighting chance but right now I'm leaning toward leaving them be.
    Robbin NW Florida(8A) / 14 hives / 5 Nucs / 6th Year / T {OAV & MMK}

  11. #10

    Default Re: Going to try TF again.

    I have brought in a number of vsh queens. I found that if I introduced them into a highly mite infested colony they would limp along as so many capped brood were removed and the energy wasted in producing them in an already challenged colony was too much.
    Those that were treated and the mite loads low managed MUCH better.
    Good luck.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    6,791

    Default Re: Going to try TF again.

    VSH, Saskatraz, Ankle Biters....the list goes on. Good Luck with all of that.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Laurel Hill, Fl
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    Default Re: Going to try TF again.

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I have brought in a number of vsh queens. I found that if I introduced them into a highly mite infested colony they would limp along as so many capped brood were removed and the energy wasted in producing them in an already challenged colony was too much.
    Those that were treated and the mite loads low managed MUCH better.
    Good luck.
    That's the advice I was looking for. It's really not much work to treat with OAV, Got all the equipment, Think I'll give my girls a running start...
    Robbin NW Florida(8A) / 14 hives / 5 Nucs / 6th Year / T {OAV & MMK}

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
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    3,097

    Default Re: Going to try TF again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbin View Post
    That's the advice I was looking for. It's really not much work to treat with OAV, Got all the equipment, Think I'll give my girls a running start...
    Thinking back of my personal experience now, I would not waste a (somewhat) resistant queen on trying to turn around some colony.
    Just don't waste time and money.

    Instead, create a relatively mite-free start up which they can control forward on.
    I would create a shook swarm with no brood whatsoever.
    Then intro the new queen to them.
    Obviously, need to prop them by frames of stores or feeding.

    Not understanding this idea, I wasted two really good queens last year (by plunging them into high-mite situations).
    These two colonies held into February (my last two dead outs for the winter).
    Shame on me.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
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    3,153

    Default Re: Going to try TF again.

    In California when VSH became a thing and several queen breeders were touting it, all the other queen breeders were quick to claim it as well. I mean think about it, they’re not going to say thier queens are not VSH.

    I’m glad you guys are benefiting from VSH queens. I can only speak from my experience here but from what I’ve seen, it’s all BS.
    My opinions are based on a decade of beekeeping, book learning and watching YouTube videos.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
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    Default Re: Going to try TF again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    In California when VSH became a thing and several queen breeders were touting it, all the other queen breeders were quick to claim it as well. I mean think about it, they’re not going to say thier queens are not VSH.

    I’m glad you guys are benefiting from VSH queens. I can only speak from my experience here but from what I’ve seen, it’s all BS.
    Oh yea, I've bought VSH queens that weren't. But I got a little smarter and started picking the sellers off the breeder queens web site. Much better! I also love everything else about the queens and loved dealing with the seller. But even then I don't know how far and individual queen is from the VSH breeder. Is she an F1 or an F5. So I went straight to the source and bought my own artificially inseminated queen. I'll breed off her, and all my queens will be F1, locally mated from local drones. I'll let you know how it goes.

    I can tell you that I love the queens I bought. Calm, great layers, great production. No complaints.
    Robbin NW Florida(8A) / 14 hives / 5 Nucs / 6th Year / T {OAV & MMK}

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    NW Florida
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    1,141

    Default Re: Going to try TF again.

    That is good news.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  18. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    5,464

    Default Re: Going to try TF again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    In California when VSH became a thing and several queen breeders were touting it, all the other queen breeders were quick to claim it as well. I mean think about it, they’re not going to say thier queens are not VSH.

    I’m glad you guys are benefiting from VSH queens. I can only speak from my experience here but from what I’ve seen, it’s all BS.
    Interesting take on it, I probably agree. Even with some of the VSH II breeders I've had, expression can be highly variable with the breeders themselves and especially in the resulting progeny. I've noticed a lot of the CA breeders, such as Wootens etc... claim mite resistance as well or that they don't treat their breeders but their bees pretty much show they don't even have baseline mite tolerance and are highly susceptible.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Kamloops, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,407

    Default Re: Going to try TF again.

    I would be careful in assessing queens in new environments introduced to local bees. Local adaptation still has to happen. Its not plug and play. That goal is not realistic. Lots of factors can muddy the waters. The danger is throwing the baby out with the bath water. The key is establishing a trait, not a queen line within the local population of bees. A trait then can be evaluated properly as to its usefulness.

    When I first got my Saskatraz bees, I would say they were overall somewhat mediocre compared to imported Kona queens that produce lots of brood and honey, but at the expense of everything else so need to be treated. However, my bees overall have improved with the generations, not regressed. I now have hives that surpass everything I had the first year. The key is employing mechanisms that select useful traits. Natural selection is a useful baseline, then if one wants to get more specific, one can do further selection.

  20. #19

    Default Re: Going to try TF again.

    Quote Originally Posted by JRG13 View Post
    Interesting take on it, I probably agree. Even with some of the VSH II breeders I've had, expression can be highly variable with the breeders themselves and especially in the resulting progeny. I've noticed a lot of the CA breeders, such as Wootens etc... claim mite resistance as well or that they don't treat their breeders but their bees pretty much show they don't even have baseline mite tolerance and are highly susceptible.
    Arista Research is using one drone insemination to minimize variation in the fathers side to enable more precise evaluation. I have one of those, now two year old. The problem is how to judge the effect of one drone insemination in relation to other queens with multiple drones.
    I mean this one drone VSH queen hive looks terrible, brood is clearly suffering, barely survived last summer, dead bees in the cells not coming out, mites, sunken cell caps, this year looking the same, but because of better start the hive is stronger. Of course she should be compared to other one drone insemination queens.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    1,120

    Default Re: Going to try TF again.

    Actually I don't think the breeder queen's hive is what should be judged. I think all AI queens are single drone insemination. Her hive can't be as good at all the diverse jobs in a hive as a queen that is open mated with a bunch of drones. The real test is the F1 Daughters hives. First generation, open mated queens. The question is do those hives have a strong VSH trait and survive mites without treatments while getting the benefit of the open mated drones whose genes support all the other functions in the hive.

    In my case, I wanted the first generations queens to be open mated here on my farm. Only way to accomplish that was to buy a breeder and start grafting. I got 10 queens from a guy that uses VP queens breeders this year and love them. But I don't know if they are 1st generation or 5th, and I don't know how strong the VSH trait is. But they are such good queens they're going to stay thru next year. I'll graft and replace all the others in the spring and we'll see how it goes.

    The acid test is end of the year mite counts next year followed by the winter survival rate.
    Robbin NW Florida(8A) / 14 hives / 5 Nucs / 6th Year / T {OAV & MMK}

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