INternational Bee Research Association - IBRA November 17, 2016
Many honey bee breeders today focus on selecting for varroa mite resistance. Dr Greg Hunt is a honey bee specialist in the Entomology Department at Purdue University in Indiana, USA. At Purdue, he and his team have been breeding a line of varroa resistant “Mite Biter” bees. Learn more about his work in our Scientist behind the Science interview published in the latest issue of Bee World.
The team is selecting for bees that groom varroa mites from themselves. Hunt says: “It’s based on the proportion of chewed mites falling from the bees, because we found that correlates with the bee’s ability to groom mites off. You can find this trait in stocks of bees that seem resistant, more tolerant of mites.”
He finds great interest among beekeepers, and they seem to want locally reared queens: “There is an interest in getting local queens, because we find that they survive our winters better than queens we buy from out of state. They have lower mite levels. Hobbyists want to buy their queens locally. We need to increase production capacity from what they call micro-breeders – like micro brewers.”
You can read the full article by Kirsten S. Traynor here (free to view): http://www.tandfonline.com/…/…/10.1080/0005772X.2016.1242948
IBRA Members also have access to all other papers in issue 93(2), and have full access to all articles in the Bee World back catalogue to Volume 1 in 1919:. You can join IBRA here: http://www.ibrabee.org.uk/2013-05-01-02…/2014-12-12-12-06-01