Dry Creek Apiary specializes in selectively bred honey bees. Using an in house instrumental (artificial) insemination and diagnostic testing, we maintain some of the highest mite and disease resistant honey bees in the industry.
Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH):
VSH is a USDA developed dual gene trait that allows honey bees to detect and then remove reproducing mites in worker brood. Due to VSH involving two genes, VSH can be expressed in multiple levels. A 100% expressing colony will allow no mites to reproduce within worker brood, a 75% expressing colony will keep varroa reproduction to half, and a 50% expressing colony will keep varroa reproduction to two thirds. Due to our testing and insemination capabilities, we can keep our breeder colonies at 100% ensure maximum VSH expression.
Tracheal Mite Resistance:
Our colonies are entirely tracheal mite resistant, period.
We outcross our VSH lines to various lines containing grooming and mite attacking traits. While difficult to detect due to our already low mite counts, these traits help pick off the mites residing outside of the brood.
We produce queens exclusively from colonies with 98% or greater hygienic behavior. This behavior causes bees to remove diseased, damaged, dying and dead brood at a very high rate. This helps reduce or eliminate brood diseases like American foul brood, European foul brood and chalk brood.
Our testing and insemination capabilities allows us to heavily outcross lines, and then bring them back specific traits to our high standards. We have added WSU Caucasian and Carniolan from their European germplasm import projects. These outcrosses ensure our lines are genetically diverse, healthy and have the maximum number of possible sex alleles ensuring excellent brood patterns. We purchase and test any interesting line of bee, and if they meet our evaluations we seed their genetic material through out population. We are currently seeking and evaluating claimed viral resistant lines for incorporation into our population.
Supermating is the process of thoroughly mixing the germplasm from 100s of drones prior to inseminating queens. This allows a single queen to have genetic material from 100 or more drones instead of 8-14 drones. A genetically diverse colony is a healthy colony.