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Very nicely recaps the VSH trait, and includes very nice pictures and graphics. Thank you for sharing!

For a hands-on tutorial on how to put that into practice, I've always liked the explanation in this SARE project: http://www.sare.org/Learning-Center...s/Text-Version/Breeding-for-Hygienic-Behavior

The only drawback is using liquid nitrogen to flash freeze the brood. A low cost alternative would be cutting off sections of comb and freezing overnight.

Personally, I feel that this is an important trait to promote when breeding my own queens. The test is fairly straightforward.
 

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Freeze killed brood is not a test for VSH.

DEKNOW
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh, I see, the link from merince. No...agreed frozen brood removal isn't VSH.
 

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Yes, that passage indicates the author doesn't understand the subject.
 

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Yes, that passage indicates the author doesn't understand the subject.
Very interesting. The authors are Jeffrey Harris, Robert Danka and José Villa, USDA-ARS

Jeffrey W. Harris, Department of Entomology, Louisiana State University
USDA Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology Laboratory
Research Entomologist
Adjunct Associate Professor
B.S. 1985 Auburn University at Montogomery
M.S. 1990 Louisiana State University
Ph.D. 1996 Louisisna State University

Robert Danka and José Villa are both listed as research staff with USDA-ARS for Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology research here: http://www.ars.usda.gov/PandP/docs.htm?docid=2747
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Without getting into a debate over general hygienic vs varroa sensitive hygienic bees, I would simply say that in the article I linked, the researchers went to great lengths to use heavily varroa infested, capped worker brood for their testing. The result is a very specific detection of varroa. General hygienic testing, using frozen brood, would, in my opinion, result in a less specific detection....with potential to include VSH but also many other possibilities.
Hardly worth an argument....in my mind.
 

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Very interesting. The authors are Jeffrey Harris, Robert Danka and José Villa, USDA-ARS
No, they are not the authors...they are the references. Whomever wrote the article doesn't understand the subject. The author(s) is unnamed.
 

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No, they are not the authors...they are the references. Whomever wrote the article doesn't understand the subject. The author(s) is unnamed.
Right above the section called "Chronology of References with Open Access Links" there is this:
Page authors: Jeffrey Harris, Robert Danka and José Villa, USDA-ARS
 

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Huh...that is odd. It's hard to know what a 'page author' is in this context, and one wonders who the 'page editor' might be.

I've got some other questions for Jeff Harris, and will point this out to him.

Regardless, that particular statement jumped out at me even scanning it on my phone...it is simply not an accurate statement.

deknow
 

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...I don't think the answer will be any kind of 'earth shattering'. It's been pretty well established that HYG and VSH are not the same, and that selecting for one doesn't select for the other. It isn't really a 'matter of opinion'.

Jeff did a talk recently for the Philly Beekeepers Guild about VSH....if they have permission to put it up online I expect they will. The blurb on their website sounded interesting:
VSH Bees – Moving from Selecting Lines to a Stock of Bees
7 p.m., Mandell Hall, Room 114, Delaware Valley College Campus
Join Dr. Jeff Harris, assistant professor of apiculture in the Department of Biochemistry, Entomology and Plant Pathology at Mississippi State University, for a VIDEO-link seminar on beekeeping. (19 miles from Philadelphia - 700 E Butler Ave., Doylestown, PA 18901 Get Directions call 1.800.2.DelVal

Seminar Summary
Although queens produced from pure lines of Varroa sensitive hygiene (VSH) bees retain a useful level of resistance after they have been mated with other bee stocks, their level of resistance is diminished to about half. Additionally, pure VSH lines suffer from narrow selection that has reduced their genetic variability, and many purebred VSH queens need to be supported heavily for their colonies to survive. Jeff believes that by narrowly focusing on a single trait, his previous breeding efforts missed the chance of producing a more sustainable stock with the VSH trait selected along with a suite of other important traits. This talk will provide his new goals of producing a uniform stock of bees with a higher expression of VSH while retaining as much genetic variation as possible.

Difficulties in selecting for VSH traits have made breeding for resistance to varroa mites difficult. Some new strategies will be offered as alternatives to the detailed selection of complex behavioral traits. With these approaches, it is hoped that beekeepers, beginning with already selected stock can focus on measuring mite population levels as a primary selection tool to enhance resistance to varroa mites (or any disease being considered). A strategy for eliminating the most susceptible bees from the breeding pool while retaining colonies that have some resistance will be emphasized as an approach to keeping multiple resistance traits in the population.
 

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Dean,

That is an interesting seminar summary! Perhaps I may be missing something, but I think that has been the broad objective all along, but focusing on a trait such as VSH, makes it a bit challenging.
 

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Olivarez breeds for both hygienic and VSH in their queens, so it isn't out of the ordinary to breed for more than one type of hygienic trait, no matter the category it falls into: Minnesota or VSH.

Many of these breeders look for other desirable traits while breeding for VSH/hygienic as well.

'Mite infertility' is considered to be the main VSH trait, but you can select for more traits since your nose is in the brood comb anyways.

:rolleyes:

You have to have had experience in classical 'hands on' invertebrate genetics to appreciate how much latitude you truly have.

There's always something else that you can select for with careful observation, a steady hand, and a good dissection scope.
 
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