Free Access
Volume 30, Number 2-3, 1999
Dynamics and control of Varroa parasitism on Apis
Page(s) 183 - 196
Apidologie 30 (1999) 183-196
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19990208

Selecting honey bees for resistance to Varroa jacobsoni

John R. Harbo and Jeffrey W. Harris

USDA-ARS, Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology Laboratory, 1157 Ben Hur Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70820, USA

Abstract - This report describes a systematic approach to selecting honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) for resistance to Varroa jacobsoni Oudemans. The equation (P1 (ab)n = P2) describes the growth of the mite population in a colony of honey bees that has a constant supply of worker brood. P1 and P, are the initial and final mite populations, a is population change while mites are in brood cells, b is population change outside brood cells and n is the number of reproductive cycles of the mite. By comparing the growth of mite populations in each colony (P2/P1), one can determine which bees are more resistant to mites. The values of a, b and n provide details about the growth of the mite population by identifying which portion of the mite's reproductive cycle was affected. Selection should be based on specific characteristics of bees rather than on general changes in mite populations. When specific characteristics of bees affect different components of the reproductive cycle of the mite, it may be possible to combine the characteristics to produce bees that are more resistant to mites. © Inra/DIB/AGIB/Elsevier, Paris

Key words: Apis mellifera / mite / Varroa jacobsoni / resistant population / selective breeding