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Title: Finding and Selecting Russian Honey Bees to be Resistant to Varroa destructor

item Rinderer, Thomas
item De Guzman, Lilia

Submitted to: Proceedings of Apimondia Congress
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/5/2007
Publication Date: 9/8/2007
Citation: Apimondia 2007 Symposium, Melbourne, Australia, 09-07-07 to 09-15-07. Sponsored by the International Federation of Beekeepers Association.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: During the mid-1800’s, farmers from western Russia settled far-eastern Russia. Some brought Apis mellifera with them. The area is within the home range of Apis cerana and consequently within the home range of Varroa destructor. Preliminary studies suggested that the honey bee population in far-eastern Russia in the 1990’s showed indications of being resistant to Varroa destructor. Queens from the population were taken to the United States, quarantined and tested for resistance to Varroa destructor. The Russian honey bee colonies were quite resistant when compared to Italian honey bees in the United States. Numerous Russian queens were evaluated for resistance and a select few were used to found a closed breeding population that was selected for increased resistance to Varroa destructor and increased honey production. Results indicate that selection enhanced the level of resistance and the honey production in the selected stocks. Experimental field trials indicated that Russian honey bees were vastly superior to unselected Italian honey bee and slightly superior to the Italian colonies in honey production. Rinderer, T.E, de Guzman, L. I., Delatte, G.T., Stelzer, J.A., Lancaster, V.A., Kuznetsov, V., Beaman, L., Watts, R. & Harris, J.W. Resistance to the Parasitic Mite Varroa jacobsoni in Honey Bees from Far-Eastern Russia. Apidologie 32: 381-394. 2001.