Open Access
Volume 38, Number 1, January-February 2007
Page(s) 67 - 76
Published online 16 January 2007
Apidologie 38 (2007) 67-76
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2006065

Field trial of honey bee colonies bred for mechanisms of resistance against Varroa destructor

Abdullah Ibrahim, Gary S. Reuter and Marla Spivak

University of Minnesota, Department of Entomology, 219 Hodson Hall, 1980 Folwell Ave., St. Paul, Minnesota, 55108, USA

(Received 16 March 2006 - Revised 9 June 2006 - Accepted 14 June 2006 - Published online 16 January 2007)

Abstract - We compared colonies selectively bred for both hygienic behavior and Suppression of Mite Reproduction (HYG/SMR) with colonies bred solely for hygienic behavior (HYG) and unselected control colonies. Colonies were evaluated for strength, brood viability, removal of freeze-killed brood, honey production, mite loads on adult bees and within worker brood, and mite reproductive success on worker brood for two years in two locations. By autumn in both years, the HYG/SMR colonies had significantly fewer mites on adult bees and in worker brood compared to the control colonies, and the HYG colonies had intermediate mite populations. Contrary to expectation, there were no differences among the lines in mite reproductive success. Further studies are required to determine if the genes and neural mechanisms that regulate the SMR trait are the same or different from those regulating hygienic behavior.

Key words: Apis mellifera / hygienic behavior / suppression of mite reproduction / breeding

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© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2007