Varroa Sensitive Hygienic (VSH) Queens

Does anyone know of any independent/private queen producers in Australia offering VSH queens now?

How do VSH queens differ from those bred for regular ‘hygienic traits’? Are they more effective at managing varroa, or just more hygienic in general?

Any experience from those in countries with varroa? I’d love to know more about this.

There is a lot of information out there - some of the assays are for general hygiene and some are for varroa specific, I believe.

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I tried managing treatment-free with VSH queens for 2 years here in California. We had a 50% hive loss, usually over winter, until we started treating. It is a good tool, but for us, it was nowhere near the whole answer.


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Hello Dawn,

can I ask if you have any thoughts about the use of lithium to treat varroa?

interesting study here:

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Never tried it. No experience. I hesitate to talk much about things I haven’t tried myself, but thank you for asking! :blush:

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I’ve read more about it- and it seems more research is needed into long term affects on bees, possible issues with contamination of hive products, and real world field results. But it does look very promising.

still hoping this current outbreak in Australia is contained and eradicated. Best varroa treatment is NO varroa.

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The article underplays how effective oxalic acid and formic acid are - I guess with good reason because they are probably trying to accentuate the importance of their finding.

For better or for worse, we know a lot about lithium on people…

Would be interested to know how much of the fed lithium ends up in finished honey. Couldn’t find if there is much or any lithium in natural honey. Probably depends somewhat on location and if it is found naturally in the soil.

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work is being done in that area: