Improving honey Bee Health and Pollination Sustainability with Mite-Resistant Bees
We continued selection and breeding of bees for resistance to Varroa mites and promoted their adoption by beekeepers. Significant progress was made in both research and extension activities. Updates on the breeding program were published in the two major US beekeeping trade journals, and on the honey bee health eXtension website. In the fall of 2010, we demonstrated improved mite-grooming behavior in selected lines compared to unselected sources in individual behavior in the laboratory and in field trials we found about six-fold higher levels of mites in colonies with unselected commercial queens compared to selected stocks, and higher levels of disease.
There were four objectives in the original proposal.
1) Increase mite-grooming traits in the Purdue honey bee breeding program.
2) Demonstrate the benefits of breeding for resistance to Varroa mites.
3) Promote the use of resistant stock by Midwest beekeepers.
4) Incorporate both VSH and grooming behavior traits in stocks.
1) Demonstrated increased grooming behavior of selected stock in individual bees.
2) Demonstrated lower levels of mite population growth in hives containing queens from the breeding program.
3) Demonstrated lower levels of disease and parasitic mite syndrome in hives containing queens from the breeding program.
4) Conducted two queen rearing classes.
5) Distributed ~1,500 queen cells from breeding program to Midwest beekeepers and other Midwest queen breeders.
Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes
Majenica Creek Honey Farm
5386 W 200 S
Hutington, IN 46750
Clover Blossom Honey Company
PO Box 75
LaFontaine, IN 46940
Office Phone: 7659812375
Hollow Log Honey Company
5677 W 700 S
Vallonia , IN 47281
Office Phone: 7653589003