This article by Dorian Pritchard was originally published in BIM 30 Winter 2008
The rich variety of native honeybee subspecies and ecotypes in Europe oﬀers a good genetic resource for selection towards Varroa resistance.
North Wales BIBBA groups have teamed up with South Clwyd Beekeepers and Bangor University.
The first study by Bangor concerned a survey of bee wings throughout South Clwyd. The wings were analysed using DrawWing and Morphplot. The samples were collected by BIBBA breeding groups and members of SCBKA and then tested by a number of BIBBA queen rearers and the Bangor researcher Elise Keller.
A similar study was conducted in 2015 by Bangor’s Sue Loughran and a third one in 2016 by Bangor’s Cheryl Owen.
Starting this winter it is hoped that a particularly interesting study will be conducted which compares the DNA of the samples collected in 2015 and 2016 with their wing patterns and behavioural traits.
The main problem of the black honeybee in Russia and European countries is the preservation of the indigenous gene pool purity; A new approach to the classification of the honeybee M mitotypes was suggested.
Professor Dave Goulson – Bees, Pesticide and Politics: the impact of neonicotinoids on UK bumblebees
abstract of thesis Catherine Eleanor Thompson:
While declines in managed honeybee colonies are well documented, little is known about the health and status of feral honeybee populations. To date no studies have considered the wider pathogen burden in feral colonies, whether they represent a genetically distinct population, a remnant native population or a unique source of genetic resistance.
Comparing Alternative Methods for Holding Virgin Honey Bee Queens for One Week in Mailing Cages before Mating
we compared the levels of hygiene in colonies headed by daughter queens reared from hygienic mother colonies that were either instrumentally inseminated with sperm from drones reared from hygienic colonies or allowed to mate naturally with naturally-occurring drones.
On average, colonies with queens from local origin survived 83 days longer compared to non-local origins (p < 0.001). This result demonstrates strong genotype by environment interactions. Consequently, the conservation of bee diversity and the support of local breeding activities must be prioritised in order to prevent colony losses, to optimize a sustainable productivity and to enable a continuous adaptation to environmental changes.
Honey bees are under constant pressure from a whole host of stresses—diseases, poor nutrition,sublethal effects of pesticides, and many others. While researchers have been aware for a number of years of a community of bacteria in adult bees that may aid with some of these stresses,Agricultural Research Service researchers have…