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Pick-Up Day and Time

Pick-up will be in Lake Orion on or after July 12th. Queens are marked in advance of pickup as a courtesy.


Up to 10 queens shipped UPS overnight express for flat rate $35.00
When ordering queens for shipping please use Tier 1 Shipping

F1 VSH Harbo Queens

These queens are grafted from our instrumentally inseminated VSH Harbo queen from Dr. John Harbo himself. Harbo breeder queens carry the alleles for varroa-sensitive hygiene. Harbo queens do not represent any special breed, race, or pedigreed line. Their purpose is to transfer varroa resistance to the customer’s bee population.

The breeder queen has been artificially inseminated with VSH semen. Each of her daughter queens will produce varroa-resistant colonies — even if those daughter queens mate with a customer’s drones that do not carry the VSH alleles. Moreover, all the drones produced in colonies headed by a daughter queen will produce drones that carry all of the VSH alleles, further contributing to the spread of VSH. (Taken from: https://www.harbobeeco.com/)

What is VSH?
1. Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH) is not the same as freeze-kill or pin-kill hygiene and cannot be measured with those methods.

2. Bees with the VSH trait express mite resistance by disrupting mite reproduction in worker brood that is aged 4-6 days post-capping.  Mites on adult bees and mites in younger and older stages of worker brood are not affected. See: Measure VSH tab.

3. Very useful in measuring VSH is the fact that VSH bees do not disturb a varroa-infested cell if the mite is not producing progeny. In a typical varroa-susceptible colony non-reproducing mites commonly occupy about 5-15 percent of the varroa-infested cells. When one finds a higher proportion of infested cells with non-reproducing mites, that colony has some VSH alleles. If the only varroa-infested cells in a sample contain non-reproducing mites, the bees are 100% VSH.

4. The VSH trait is expressed only by adult worker bees that are at least one week old. Therefore, when a VSH queen is introduced to a varroa-susceptible colony of bees, the mite population will continue to grow for the next 35 days.

5. It takes about 20 days for all of the mites to pass through this three-day vulnerable period in their reproduction. Therefore, it will take at least 55 days following the introduction of a VSH queen for her progeny to fully control a mite population.

6. VSH does not result in poor brood pattern unless one introduces a VSH queen to a colony with a high rate of varroa infestation. In that case, one may notice 3 weeks of spotty brood that begins about 7 weeks after a VSH queen is introduced. After the 10th week, VSH bees will have reduced the mite population and brood removal will move into maintenance mode with minimal removal. If a VSH queen produces a poor brood pattern in her first month, the issue is not caused by VSH.

7. The VSH trait does not seem to control mites in drone brood, but we do not recommend drone brood removal. It is not necessary with VSH.

8. VSH is not a pedigreed stock. The VSH trait represents only a tiny fraction of a bee’s genome, so bees with VSH can be as diverse as any existing bee population and the trait can be added to any stock.

(Taken from: https://www.harbobeeco.com/vsh/)

What is the significance of VSH?

A valuable feature of VSH is that bees will express a high level of mite resistance when a colony contains as little as 50% of the alleles for VSH. A simple way to produce such a colony is to raise daughter queens from a VSH breeder and allow the daughters to naturally mate. This is good news for queen producers. They can rear VSH queens, mate them to any drones, and those queens will produce colonies that require no chemical control for varroa. Another benefit is that beekeepers can have mite-resistant colonies without destroying their existing bee populations –populations that may be well adapted to certain locales or have desirable beekeeping qualities. (Taken from: https://www.harbobeeco.com/vsh/)

Select Type of Queen

Virgin, Mated, Cell

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