Breeding for resistance to Varroa destructor in Europe

Breeding for resistance to Varroa destructor in Europe

Abstract – The rich variety of native honeybee subspecies and ecotypes in Europe offers a good genetic
resource for selection towards Varroa resistance. There are some examples of mite resistance that have developed as a consequence of natural selection in wild and managed European populations. However, most colonies are influenced by selective breeding and are intensively managed, including the regular use of miticides. We describe all characters used in European breeding programs to test for Va r ro a resistance. Some of them (e.g., mite population growth, hygienic behavior) have been implemented in large-scale selection programs and significant selection effects have been achieved. Survival tests of pre-selected breeder colonies and drone selection under infestation pressure are new attempts to strengthen effects of natural selection within selective breeding programs. Some perspectives for future breeding activities are discussed

Ralph Buchler(1), StefanBerg(2), YvesLeConte(3)
1Landesbetrieb Landwirtschaft Hessen, Bieneninstitut, Erlenstr.9, 35274 Kirchhain, Germany
2Bayerische Landesanstalt für Weinbau und Gartenbau, Fachzentrum Bienen, An der Steige 15,
97209 Veitshöchheim, Germany
3INRA, UMR 406, Abeilles et Environnement, Laboratoire Biologie et Protection de l’Abeille, Site Agroparc,
Domaine Saint-Paul, 84914 Avignon, France

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