Again, without more information on the scope of this story, we're just guessing, but the story did mention varroa as part of the hygienic behaviors identified. That said, it is well known that freeze-killed brood assay does not identify varroa sensitive hygienic behavior, so if what is being developed is a broad-based set of hygienic behaviors (including varroa), then this IS very interesting.Having tools that I don't have access too doesn't help very much.
https://academic.oup.com/gbe/advance-article/doi/10.1093/gbe/evz018/5318327Again, without more information on the scope of this story, we're just guessing, but the story did mention varroa as part of the hygienic behaviors identified. That said, it is well known that freeze-killed brood assay does not identify varroa sensitive hygienic behavior, so if what is being developed is a broad-based set of hygienic behaviors (including varroa), then this IS very interesting.
If someone can find a link to the the original research paper please post it here.
I am a bit familiar with that study, a bunch of the authors are members of our provincial association and talk about it regularly at our annual and semi annual meetings. For those who go googly eyed reading the academic paper, the essence of the study is fairly strait forward. Two populations of bees, one being selected via traditional methods, the second population being selected via genetic analysis. The ultimate goal of this work is to end up with a method of selection via genetic analysis similar to the methods offered in the cattle industry, and do so in an affordable fashion. Instead of spending hours in the apiary doing things like freeze tests etc, just take a sample and send it off to the lab with 25 bucks. A week later get back a printout with a detailed analysis of the expectations for that sample. They aren't there yet, but that is the ultimate goal.
Last I read a few years ago, more than a dozen different genes were "flying in formation" to do the entire effort of detection, uncapping, removal of aborted bee embryo, and removal of adult and baby mites.I'd rather have the answers without the work.
So, are the uncapping genes and the grooming genes the same , connected or different?
I have a good amount of experience with VSH bees. Not just those being sold as "VSH", which are HIGHLY variable, but bees from a highly reputable source. Part of your comment is true. If a highly infested colony is simply given a VSH queen, it will likely struggle to overcome the infestation. But a relatively mite-free colony given a VSH queen can produce very good yields and remain with low mite levels. I've kept multi-year records of VSH vs good Italian bees and found the two very competitive. This was recorded in a non-migratory environment in the state of VA. One of the main problems facing VSH breeders is the lack of an easy and reliable way to assess the varroa resistance. That is why the information in this thread looks so promising. I'm sure this type of testing is still just a ways off, but I'm hopeful.It seems to me that the hygenic traits help mostly if the mite loads are very light, the hygenic bees keep it that way. If the mites get too much of a foothold, the VSH bees seem to loose too many workers to effectively fight off a massive mite infestation, both to mites and hygenic removals.
I am not certain of this, but my numbers do seem to gybe. I've only run a small % of VSH colonies, so this is just having a feel for my numbers. A more intensive study would perhaps determine any truth to it. It needs quantification by categories of colony strengths and % VSH expression vs. ectopic mite total and vs. alcohol wash mite population extrapolation, with attention paid to month of the year and local bloom duration after the period studied for each colony. Only then can year-long colony dynamics be determined.