Home | Saskatraz Project Review 2010 | Saskatraz Hybrid Project | Availability | Research | Presentations |Contact


Pedigrees | Characteristics

The Saskatraz Hybrid Project
Albert J. Robertson,
Meadow Ridge Enterprises LTD.
a.j.robertson@saskatraz.com
Phone (306)-373-9140  cell 270-6627

Saskatraz breeding stock available in 2017.

All breeding stock is selected and certified

Saskatraz stock is selected + bred in Saskatchewan for honey production, wintering ability and resistance to mites and brood diseases.

Saskatraz stock is available as queen cells, Saskatraz hybrid production (OHB-USA) and Saskatraz production and breeder queens (Sask.) in 2017.

2017 Saskatraz Lines:

S14

S88

SG20

S28

S93

SG44

S96

SL25

SG50

S113

SY26

SJH

S136

SGT29

SBH-CH

  • Queen cells from tested Saskatraz breeders ($20 CDN)

  • Saskatraz Breeder Queens available from June to August

    • Out-crossed mated breeder queens in 3 hole cages ($200 CDN)

    • Out-crossed mated breeder queens in 5 frame nucs ($400 CDN)

    • Closed population mated breeder queens in 3 hole cages ($500 CDN)

  • A limited number of nucs with Saskatraz hybrid queens are available in the spring of 2017

  • Saskatraz hybrid production queens are produced at Olivarez honey Bees Inc. (OHB) in Northern California (Orland area) from April 15th to August 2017. These hybrids will produce pure Canadian Saskatraz drones for stud use.

    • 1-10 - $31 USD 

    • 11-49 - $30.50 USD

    • 50-99 - $30 USD

    • 100+ - $29.00 USD

  • Saskatraz production queens produced in Saskatchewan at Meadow Ridge Enterprise Ltd. are available from June to August 2017.

    • $40 CDN

Ordering Information

  • Please order 21 days in advance if possible.

Shipping Information

  • Shipping is through Air Canada Cargo or Canada Post Priority Mail. 

  • All shipments are UNINSURED, but the risk is minimal.

Please email us at a.j.robertson@saskatraz.com anytime if you have questions.

Saskatraz Hybrid Production Update 2017

Saskatraz hybrid production queens now available only from OHB in USA (www.ohbees.com)

 Saskatraz hybrids are produced in Northern California (Orland area) by Olivarez honey Bees Inc.(OHB), using Saskatraz breeder queens constructed in Saskatchewan, Canada by Meadow Ridge Enterprises LTD (Breeder, Albert J. Robertson). A detailed review of the Saskatraz project (established 2005) including breeding methods, published research articles, power point presentations and information on individual breeding families, including Saskatraz hybrids can be found at www.saskatraz.com.

 Saskatraz breeder queens are selected for honey production, wintering ability, temperament, tracheal mite resistance, varroa tolerance/resistance and brood diseases. The Saskatraz breeding program uses recurrent natural selection to select for varroa tolerance in productive colonies with good economic traits. We have found varroa tolerance is not a stable trait, with considerable variability in the daughters of selected breeder queen’s. In the last 3 or 4 years, we have crossed high VSH lines with our naturally selected colonies to try and increase stability of the varroa tolerant trait. This looks to be promising and new lines are currently being evaluated. However, we have also noted that treatment with some synthetic miticides, although initially effective in lowering phoretic varroa infestations, may negatively affect the colonies ability to cope with subsequent mite infestations. Some miticide treatments may also result in increased virus infections, particularly in varroa susceptible phenotypes. (Unpublished data)

 Saskatraz hybrids are being produced in Northern California using virgin queens from diverse families of Saskatraz breeder queens and open mating them with unrelated drone populations in the Orland area. These queens produce workers (F1 generation) with diverse genetic backgrounds, generally resulting in increased colony vigor. Analyses of Saskatraz hybrid colonies in Canada is showing fast spring build up and increases in honey production.

Use of Saskatraz hybrid stock in your apiaries should provide drone populations which will increase the frequency of alleles for honey production and varroa tolerance, as well as other economic traits. This is because drones from the hybrids carry the genetics of their mother, the breeder queen.

 Summary of Saskatraz breeder queen traits:

·        -  Excellent honey production

·        -  Good wintering ability

·         - Selected for increased varroa tolerance and resistance to brood diseases.

·         - Show increased hygienic behavior

The Saskatraz Hybrid Project

Background

A long term objective of the Saskatraz project is to produce Saskatraz production queens in adequate numbers, at reasonable prices, for commercial bee keepers, in the spring of the year. Our original plan was to export breeder queens to Chile, and set up a breeding and commercial queen production operation. In our original feasibility study an agricultural company with land and resources was willing to take on this project in isolated valleys in the Andes Mountains. We have to date failed to achieve export status to Chile, but with some of the recent advances in our work with diagnostic microarrays and multiplex PCR, we may be able to achieve export status in the near future. However, an alternative strategy was initiated in November 2011. This arose because of requests by commercial beekeepers, for larger numbers of Saskatraz production queens, from Saskatraz breeders.

Saskatraz hybrid production plan

In November 2011 we attended the California State Beekeepers Association meetings, and met with two queen producers interested in multiplying our stock. They are located in northern California, near Orland. Twelve breeder queens from 6 of our best families, selected for honey production, wintering ability, as well as varroa and tracheal mite tolerance were sent to a California queen producer collaborator in September, 2011. Nine of the breeders are performing well and will serve to initiate the project.

I will be going to Orland, California on March 14th to help set up the crosses with virgin queens from Saskatraz breeders. Prior to shipping the breeder queens in September of 2011, we tested the progeny from each breeder for known viruses and nosema species. This helps to eliminate possible transmission of pathogens to the breeder queen progeny. We are pursuing diagnostic methods to improve this screen, and will be making this a routine practice with our breeding stock. We have the option of crossing our virgins with drones from Carniolan and mixed Italian stock. The queen producers have been incorporating VSH breeding stock into their breeding populations for several years. It will be interesting to test their drone populations for viruses, nosema and traits associated with varroa tolerance. We have identified putative molecular markers correlated with varroa tolerance over the last few years and can currently identify these phenotypes in some of our breeding families. The hybrids will be tested in Canada to follow the transmission of desired traits.

Hybrid Queens

1. What characteristics will these hybrid queens have?

The virgin queens will be of 100% Canadian, Saskatraz ancestry, because they are raised from the larvae of the original breeders. They will produce 100% Canadian Saskatraz drones, because the drones are produced by the queens’ germ cells after meiosis. They are haploid and are not fertilized by the queen prior to laying like female workers. All of the drones have Canadian Saskatraz grandfathers. Remember that drones have no father just grandfather’s. This makes the Saskatraz hybrids valuable for any breeding program, and allows queen breeders to re-construct near pure Saskatraz family phenotypes .This can be achieved by backcrossing Saskatraz virgin queens to apiaries composed of the hybrid stock.

2. How do we construct near pure Saskatraz family lines, or colony phenotypes?

Since we will have Saskatraz hybrids available from this project, for at least 6 different families (S28, S84, S88, S86, S113, S125) we can choose which line of drones we wish to use to cross to the virgins we produce from a Saskatraz breeder, or any other breeder queen. Queen cells from selected colony phenotypes can also be purchased from the Saskatraz breeding program, and backcrossed to the Saskatraz hybrid colonies of choice. This should be done in a closed population mating situation with 36-40 hybrid colonies per mating apiary. No more than 10 nucs per apiary should be mated in any 10 day interval. Replacement nucs produced in this way should stabilize the traits we have selected for in the Saskatraz breeding program, and increase the heritability (gene frequency ) of important economic traits ,such as honey production and varroa tolerance. Since all of our breeding families have a high degree of genetic diversity built into them, there is little chance of inbreeding depression.

3. What can we expect from the Saskatraz hybrid colonies when established?

The hybrid stock will be available from May 1 until July or later. Establishment of the hybrid queens the first 3 weeks in May in 4 to 5 frame nucs, with some brood will give you strong colonies going into the honey flow. Supplying some drone comb should give you fertile drones in 5 to 6 weeks. Since the Canadian queens have mated with California drone populations, they will be carrying sacs of semen from these drones. Their female worker bees will be fertilized with this drone semen so the workers will be hybrid. Since the California drone populations are not closely related, or somewhat divergent from the Saskatraz stock we can expect some increased vigor in the hybrid worker population. It will be interesting to follow the Saskatraz hybrid colony performance. We do not recommend grafting from any of the hybrid queens, no matter how good their performance. The best use of these hybrid colonies for breeding purposes will be for the production of drones.

4. Queen Acceptance.

A number of beekeepers purchasing commercial queens from a number of different sources have complained about the rate of queen acceptance. We have used a method developed in association with instrumental insemination techniques which gives us consistent and excellent acceptance. We treat the queens and attendants in the shipping cages with CO2, until queen and attendants are just anesthetised, remove all the workers and leave the queen in the cage. We try to introduce the queen to a queen less nuc (48 hours or more old) with in 3 or four hours .We will provide this treatment procedure for beekeepers purchasing stock from the Saskatraz program, since we have the equipment to provide the service.  CO2 treatment and removing all attendants also helps to remove any pathogens or parasites

Summary.

We are optimistic about this project and will be providing Saskatraz hybrid queens for reasonable prices. We feel this is an economical way to disseminate the genetics we have developed to commercial beekeepers. It will also help us to continue our Saskatraz breeding program, since all stock sales revenues go towards and are required for maintaining the breeding program.

*All Saskatraz stock certified by the breeder

Pedigrees of Saskatraz lines released since 2006

Key: First two letters = Queen breeder initials

BL = Blue

BF = Buckfast

SC = Supercede

up = Unknown Progeny

Y = Yellow

C = Carniolan

S = Year of Selection

bc = Backcross

YB = Yellow/Blue

T = Tracheal

d = Daughter

cp = Close Population

R = Russian

RP = Russian Purple

sw = Swarm

x = Cross

SAT 14: JP-04/2-R6: (2006S)

SAT 17: JP-04/2-BF 12: (2006S)

SAT 23: WH-04: (2006S)

SAT 28: MR-04: TS x R/BL-40: (2004) SC: (2006S)

SAT 30: MR-04: CT x MR cp-02: SH-04

SAT 34: MR-04: BL/R x SAT (2004): (2006S)

SAT 65: YG-06: USBL R-05: SW-2006 x SAT: SC 2007: (2008S)

SAT 84: MR-06: up x SAT-06 (2008S)

SAT 85: MR-06: BL/R-04 (2006S) SAT 34 d x SAT-06 (2008S)

SAT 86: MR-06: CT x MR cp-02: SH-04 (2006S) SAT 30d bc (2008S)

SAT 87: MR-06: TS x R/BL-40 x SAT 2006: (2008S)

SAT 88: MR-06: Y/BL/R x RP30-2006: SC x RP 30-2006 (2008S)

SAT 93: MR-06: BL/R x SAT (2004) SAT 34 d x RP 30-06 (2008S)

SAT 96: TR-07: MR SAT 34 x RP 30-06 x B: TR-07 (2008S)

SAT 113: MR-12: S86 d Selected (2012S)

SAT 136: MR-12: S23A d Selected (2012S)

SL25: HIGH VSH x to survival colonies (S14, S28, S96)

SY26: HIGH VSH x to survival colonies (S14, S28, S96)

SGT29: reselected out cross (S28, S30, S65): (2013S)

SG20: S125C inseminated with drone semen from high VSH colonies: 2012

SG44: S125C inseminated with drone semen from high VSH colonies: 2012

SG50: S23A inseminated with drone semen from high VSH colonies: 2012

SJH: 2010: Carniolan survival colony: (2016S)

SBHCH: 2011: Carniolan survival colony: (2016S)

 Characteristics of Saskatraz Families

These characters are subjective and based on original breeders and reselected progeny. Progeny may vary considerably in all breeders derived from the originals because of genetic processes and multiple mating. All families have good to excellent wintering ability in Saskatchewan, intermediate to excellent hygienic behavior and acceptable temperament. SAT-34 and some daughters show aggressive behavior. SAT-84 shows a VSH (varroa sensitive hygiene) phenotype.

E=Excellent; VG=Very Good; G=Good; M=Moderate; F=Fair; P=Poor.

 

Honey Production

Varroa Tolerance

Tracheal Mite Resistance

Chalkbrood Resistance

SAT 14

E

F

VG

E

SAT 17

VG

F

E

E

SAT 23

F

P

E

E

SAT 28

G-VG

VG

VG

E

SAT 30

E

G

G

E

SAT 34

M

VG

E

E

SAT 65

VG

VG

VG

E

SAT 84

M-F

VG

VG

E

SAT 85

F-M

G-VG

VG

E

SAT 86

G-VG

F

G

E

SAT 87

G

G

VG

E

SAT 88

G

VG

VG

E

SAT 93

M-F

G-VG

VG

E

SAT 96

VG

G

VG

E

SAT 113

E

E

VG

E

SAT 136

VG

F

VG

E

SL25

G

VG

VG

E

SY26

VG

VG

VG

E

SGT29

G

G

VG

E

SG20

E

G

VG

E

SG44

G

VG

VG

E

SG50

G

F

VG

E

SJH

M

G

VG

E

SBHCH

M

G

VG

E

Trade Mark & Registration


Home | Saskatraz Project Review 2010 | Saskatraz Hybrid Project | Availability | Research | Presentations |Contact