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Title: Breeding for Resistance to Varroa Destructor in North America.

item Rinderer, Thomas
item Harris, Jeffrey
item HUNT, GREGORY - Purdue University
item De Guzman, Lilia

Submitted to: Apidologie
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/30/2010
Publication Date: 6/17/2010
Citation: Rinderer, T.E., Harris, J.W., Hunt, G.J., De Guzman, L.I. 2010. Breeding for Resistance to Varroa Destructor in North America. Apidologie. 41(3):409-424.

Interpretive Summary: This is a review of all the honey bee breeding, behavioral, and genetics studies in North America that relate to breeding bees resistant to Varroa destructor. It highlights the successful developments of Russian honey bees and the varroa sensitive hygienic trait, the only two programs worldwide to produce honey bees that are resistant to varroa. It also reviews other traits that might be used to enhance current breeding programs or begin new ones. Finally, it explores the potential of molecular genetics to contribute to breeding bees resistant to varroa mites.

Technical Abstract: Breeding for resistance to Varroa destructor in North America provides the long-term solution to the economic troubles the mite brings. This review reports the development of two breeding successes that have produced honey bees of commercial quality that do not require pesticide treatment to control varroa, and highlights other traits that could be combined to increase resistance. Breeding work continues with these stocks to enhance their commercial utility. This work requires knowledge of the mechanisms of resistance that can be further developed or improved in selected stocks and studied with molecular techniques as a prelude to marker-assisted selection.