VSH queens

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Mummzie

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Tasman
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but I was saving these hives for this experiment plus these were varoa tolerant queens I was testing.
John, I have been doing bee breeding studies, and would value your assessment of the queens.
Were the VSH queens only in those 4 hives? Did you notice an increase of uncapping or brood removal as the varoa load increased?
Were they open mated Queens or Instrument Inseminated?
 
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The short answer is no. The longer answer is that I was very keen on breeding resistant queens in the early days from my own strain of bee's with over 50 years of selection behind them. I went to a course and learned A I . At this time I had a large area where I was the only beekeeper and I was planning to use these hives for testing and breeding up. Along came the manuka boom along with carniolan bees and to be honest I just lost enthusiasm because it all became just too hard. These days I struggle to maintain a decent strain of bee with quietness, high production, wasp resistance and disease resistance without worrying about varoa resistance as well.
When I started beekeeping there were some beautiful bees but on average New Zealand's bees were pretty nasty and unproductive.
There was slow but positive improvement for many years with varoa finally taking out the last of the feral hives and a lot of the let's be polite and call them natural beekeepers. For a few magical years we had stunning bees with well over 80% close to breeder quality and it was usual to go to an apiary and find every single hive as full as the one next to it.
Today's bees are definitely still better than they were 50 years ago but I don't think that anything close to what they were 10 years ago especially with regards to temperament, evenness and disease resistance.
 


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