Can the frequency of reduced Varroa destructor fecundity in honey bee (Apis mellifera) pupae be increased by selection?Gloria Degrandi-Hoffmana, Robert E. Pageb, Joseph Martina and M. Kim Fondrkb
a Carl Hayden Bee Research Center, USDA-ARS, 2000 East Allen Road, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
b Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
(Received 22 March 2001; revised 4 September 2001; accepted 12 April 2002)
Crosses were made between queens and drones from 16 different commercial sources of European honeybees to determine if reproductive rates for Varroa destructor differed. Worker brood from four different crosses averaged 4.2 mites per cell and were chosen as the high mite reproduction group. Four others averaged 2.4 mites per cell and were chosen for the low mite reproduction group. A second set of crosses within the high and low mite reproduction groups were made and the worker offspring tested for differences in mite fecundity. Worker brood of the high and low mite reproduction lines did not differ significantly in the average number of mites per cell. The proportion of infested cells with non-reproductive mites also was not affected by selection. These results suggest that the frequency of larval or pupal characteristics that we measured in worker honeybees that might influence mite reproductive rates cannot be increased by selection based on average mite fecundity.
Key words: Varroa destructor / Apis mellifera / genetic crosses / selection / mite fecundity
Correspondence and reprints: Gloria Degrandi-Hoffman
© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2002