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Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH)
An organic solution to mites and diseases


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'Pol-line' Hygienic Italian Breeder Queens with VSH

Pol-line hygienic breeder queenThe 'Pol-line' hygienic Italian queens have a combination of the best traits required for pollination and high honey production. They were developed by the USDA to express Varroa Sensitive Hygienic behavior (VSH) to an optimum degree to control mites and brood disease, while maintaining the high productivity required in today's challenging commercial beekeeping environment.

  • Early Spring build-up for pollination demandsHoney bee pollinating apples

  • Good brood production and large clusters for high honey production

  • Calm and gentle temperament for easy workability

  • Resistant to varroa, brood diseases, and tracheal mites

  • Golden yellow color

Background of the development of Pol-line queens

Bees with the trait of varroa sensitive hygiene (VSH), which have good resistance to the mites, were tested by researchers at the USDA Bee Breeding Lab in Baton Rouge, LA, for several seasons in a commercial migratory beekeeping operation focused on crop pollination.  Colonies were created from outcrossed VSH queens (that is, matings were not controlled, a method used by most large-scale beekeepers). Colonies were shipped nationwide and used to pollinate almonds in California, apples in New York, low-bush blueberries in Maine and cranberries in Massachusetts, followed by late summer honey production in New York.  VSH colonies performed well in terms of survival, populations of bees, and resistance to varroa mites.  The best-surviving VSH colonies from each year were propagated to form the Pol-line breeding population with enhanced genetics for both mite resistance and behavior related to crop pollination. 

Sources of instrumentally inseminated breeder queens:

Harbo Bee Co. - VSH from the originator - (225)766-5696 Louisiana - email:

VP Queen Bees - 864-348-3026 - South Carolina



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