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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of my queens is exhibiting VERY hygienic behavior. Lots of uncapping happening and the amount of brood for this queen is way behind others colonies in the same yard. No obvious disease present. She was open mated last June and is the daughter of a pure II VSH. Different mother than my previous posts. Her colony looked great last summer and fall, and is still viable, but will probably not produce a crop.

Is the genetic information worthy of keeping via grafting, or should I write her off as too hygienic?
 

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The behavior you describe is what concerns me about the VSH behavior. It it what I see when colonies express a measurably and relatively high level of VSH behavior.

If you are interested to see if it is a colony's expression is behavioral, remove a freshly laid frame of eggs from your overly hygienic colony and place the frame in another colony. I did this in the very early stages of the SMR project and found another colony would raise a beautiful frame of brood, whereas the highly expressive SMR colonies would cannibalize the same frames of brood left in their colony. Turns out it was not very sensitive/selective hygienic behavior...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The behavior you describe is what concerns me about the VSH behavior. It it what I see when colonies express a measurably and relatively high level of VSH behavior.

If you are interested to see if it is a colony's expression is behavioral, remove a freshly laid frame of eggs from your overly hygienic colony and place the frame in another colony. I did this in the very early stages of the SMR project and found another colony would raise a beautiful frame of brood, whereas the highly expressive SMR colonies would cannibalize the same frames of brood left in their colony. Turns out it was not very sensitive/selective hygienic behavior...
Hi Joe,

Thanks for responding. Yes, we share this concern about the hyper-VSH behavior. However, what prompts this question is perhaps there are some mites in this colony and they are simply performing their job as VSH bees, albeit at a level beyond what is required to survive the infestation. The issue might be a measure of degree and a second outcross may have more manageable levels of this behavior.
 

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Have you checked the mite populations in your colonies in the apiary in question? Maybe the mite pressure is high. Maybe an Alcohol wash is applicable. <http://www.elgon.es/diary/?p=354> The amount of brood may be due to a smaller cluster after winter than the others, not as good in overwintering as the others? I mean the smaller cluster (if so) depends on other traits than hyper hygienics. I would also recommend a VSH-test, getting a ratio of mites without offspring versus mites with offspring from a broodcomb with capped brood.<http://www.elgon.es/diary/?p=146>
If the VSH test gives high figure for mites without offspring at least above 30%, I would consider using the queen as a breeder, at least for a smaller number of queens.

One of my queens is exhibiting VERY hygienic behavior. Lots of uncapping happening and the amount of brood for this queen is way behind others colonies in the same yard. No obvious disease present. She was open mated last June and is the daughter of a pure II VSH. Different mother than my previous posts. Her colony looked great last summer and fall, and is still viable, but will probably not produce a crop.

Is the genetic information worthy of keeping via grafting, or should I write her off as too hygienic?
 
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