1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
The main objective of this project is to develop a stock of honey bees that have increased resistance to parasitic mites as well as being good honey producers. The specific objectives are: 1) to identify population of Apis mellifera syriaca that are mite-resistant and possess good beekeeping traits, 2) to compare A. m. syriaca with the mite-resistant ARS Primorsky (Russian) honey bees from the United States, 3) to develop A. m. syriaca x Russian mite-resistant honey bee hybrids, and 4) to determine mechanisms of resistance.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
The project will serve as an additional testing for the Russian honey bees outside the United States.
3. Progress Report
Colonies of Apis mellifera (A.m.) syriaca have been identified using morphometric and DNA analyses. Daughter queens of these colonies have been produced and were brought to isolated locations for mating. About 30 A. m. syriaca colonies have been established. Historical A. m. syriaca samples that were stored at the Bee Research Institute (Oberusel, Germany), which will be used as reference samples, have been obtained. An attempt to import 20 Russian honey bee queens from the U.S. is in progress. A company has been selected to perform metagenomic analyses using Illumina GAIIx platform.