Breeding And Selecting For Colonylevel Traits

Unlike all other livestock, the productivity of honey bee colonies does not depend primarily on individual physiological traits, like growth rate, but on social traits, like honey hoarding and defensiveness. Even a trait like disease resistance is strongly influenced by social factors (e.g. hygienic behaviour) (Evans et al., 2006), as well as by the individual's innate immune system. Thus, when beekeepers seek to genetically improve honey bee stocks they are primarily interested in improving colony-level behavioural traits, rather than physiological ones of individual workers.

The genetic improvement of honey bees for commercial beekeeping is beset with problems. As mentioned in the Introduction, because of the genetic load imposed by the sex locus, the effects of inbreeding are severe in honey bees. Therefore, the design of a successful selection program must minimize the rate of inbreeding (Page and Laidlaw, 1982; Ruttner, 1988; Ebbersten, 1996; Laidlaw and Page, 1997). One breeding design that is useful in making genetic progress and minimizing the effects of inbreeding is shown in Fig. 9. In this design, a series of breeding lines is maintained. Each year the best queen within each line is used to be the mother of the next generation. This queen also contributes drones to a pooled

A. Standard selection program

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How To Become A Bee Keeping Pro

How To Become A Bee Keeping Pro

Companies that have beekeeping stuff deal with all the equipment that is required for this business, like attire for bee keeping which is essential from head to torso, full body suits and just head gear. Along with this equipment they also sell journals and books on beekeeping to help people to understand this field better. Some of the better known beekeeping companies have been in the business for more than a hundred years.

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