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Author Topic: vsh queens....the miracle cure or snake oil?  (Read 2020 times)
greenbtree
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« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2013, 01:59:31 PM »

I am no expert and have been doing this for only 4 years, but Bjorn has it right.  Hit the problem from multiple directions.  I do believe that some lines are better than others - but not for every location.  I have done well by splitting off my most successful hives.  Some of my less successful hives I have split to prevent swarming, and often as not they are less successful too.  My son has a hive at my place he calls the "derp" hive, they struggle every spring with tracheal mites, and then shake them off later.  The split we did - same problem.  Oddly, those hives do very well with varroa.  In horticulture or animal breeding,  adapting to local conditions tends to have advantages.  Any living thing will react to any challenge worse if they are already stressed.  A cow adapted to the tropics is going to have more respiratory problems in Iowa, not because they are prone to respiratory trouble, but because they are so stressed from the cold.  I have trouble believing bees would be any different.  I also use screened bottom boards, and let the bees build their own comb on empty, wired frames.  I also have drone comb frames that I have yet to use because I haven't needed to yet.  But I am prepared to go to that if I have to.  So far I have not had trouble with varroa.  It is probably about time for individuals from cold foreign climes to chime in and tell us we are all idiots, but so far this is what has worked for me.

JC
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"Rise again, rise again - though your heart it be broken, or life about to end.  No matter what you've lost, be it a home, a love, a friend, like the Mary Ellen Carter rise again!"
10framer
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« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2013, 08:40:44 PM »

green, iowa is a cold foreign clime compared to dixie.  i'll be passing through your fine state in may. 
my big plan is to produce my own queens i'm just curious about the experience others have had with the vsh queens.  i've got a couple coming in may and i'll use them to either re-queen my two most infested hives or maybe makes splits of those two hives and compare to see if the new workers do actually start uncapping infested brood a month down the road.  i've got two hives right now that i have very high hopes for and after clover plays out and i make my first splits if those hives have been the producers i think they will be they will donate the eggs for the queens in my early splits.  if i see the vsh bees dragging larvae out i'll throw some drone combs in their brood chambers to try to skew the drone population.  so that hopefully my late season queens will mate with at least a few of them.  and carry the trait over into next year's bees.
how did the bees do building around the wire?  i was planning on trying that myself because i'd like to have most of the old comb i have now weeded out by spring of 2014. 
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2013, 06:10:02 PM »

> i want to believe that selective breeding is part of the answer to the varroa problems.

I believe it is.  But focusing on one small trait, in my opinion, is not how you accomplish productive selection.  You need to look at the whole picture.  Who knows how many traits go into having a successful colony?  I don't, but if I'm not treating, I can tell a successful colony when I see it.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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10framer
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« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2013, 09:11:46 PM »

^^^^^ that's kind of how i'm looking at it.  i think i want that trait in the mix but ultimately the bees that do well without treatment are the ones that get to stay in the gene pool.   
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greenbtree
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« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2013, 01:16:40 AM »

As far as I can tell, they act as if the wire doesn't even exist.  I get same rate of building and quality of comb whether there is wire or nothing at all.

JC
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"Rise again, rise again - though your heart it be broken, or life about to end.  No matter what you've lost, be it a home, a love, a friend, like the Mary Ellen Carter rise again!"
10framer
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« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2013, 11:16:37 AM »

As far as I can tell, they act as if the wire doesn't even exist.  I get same rate of building and quality of comb whether there is wire or nothing at all.

JC

good, that's what i wanted to hear.  i'm boing to wire mine and go foundationless.  if i do this in my honey supers is it safe to assume the comb will stand up to extracting?
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