Project Number: 6050-21000-014-02
Start Date: Jan 01, 2011
End Date: May 31, 2014
In November 2010, in Kansas, 250 commercial colonies will be manipulated to standardize their mite populations. This will be done by 1) Equalizing colony strength, 2) Heavily treating colonies with multiple miticides. To obtain Australian stock for evaluation, Australian queen breeders will be asked to provide 20 sister queens reared by their standard procedures. Where possible, queens will be control mated. Each group of 20 sisters will constitute a ‘line’ for the purposes of the study. Queens will be mailed to the University of Sydney where they will be clipped and given a unique tag before shipping. The Australian queens (n = 20 per line) will be sent to Baton Rouge in March 2011 and introduced to the Varroa-standardized colonies. American queens of three lines (Varroa-Sensitive Hygiene – VSH, Russian and standard U.S. commercial; n = 20 per line) will be introduced simultaneously. Queens will be randomly allocated to colonies. Colonies will be visually inspected in May, July, September and November 2011, and the population of Varroa evaluated for each colony by standard techniques (de Guzman et al. 2007). Evaluations will be performed without knowledge of each queen’s origins (including the U.S. queens). Mean mite population growth will be compared among breeding lines using ANOVA.