Anyone else have experience with them I want to know if I just have a crappy one or is this just common.
Did you get a breeder VSH Queen or commercial queens that were reported to contain VSH traits?
I ask because when maintaining VSH lines, sometimes they get to closely related and the pattern suffers.
I can assure you and anyone else interested that bees with high VSH expression can also have tight patterns and produce really well.
Another reason for the poor pattern might be virus. I've seen some ( 1 in 100 or 1 in 200) VSH stock queens that seem susceptible to virus and
will show a poor pattern. The seem like they never have enough bees to keep the population up.
These are rare though.