Selection of honey bees with rapid development as a component of Varroa mite resistance

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Kralj, Jasna

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University of Guelph

Abstract

Varroa jacobsoni Oudemans, an ectoparasitic mite, reproduces in capped worker and drone cells of the honey bee, A. mellifera L. More rapid development of bees should reduce the reproductive rate of the mite. The major objective of this study was to determine the potential to select honey bees with an increased rate of development. Duration of development (mean ± SD) was highly variable for queens (15.6 ± 0.4 days), workers (1997: 20.1 ± 0.6 days; 1998: Trial 1:20.49 ± 0.56, Trial 2: 19.41 ± 0.70) and drones (23.1 ± 0.6 days). Duration of development of queens was related to both the source colony and to the rearing colony. Bees with more rapid overall development were sealed earlier, suggesting that both larval and pupal stages were shorter in duration. These results indicate that the selection of the top 10% of queens in the population would reduce the mean development of workers by 4.5 hours.

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Keywords

honey bees, rapid development, Varroa mite resistance, Varroa jacobsoni Oudeman, A. mellifera L.

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