Navigation Links
Building a better bee
Date:10/21/2008

DAVIS, CALIF. A UC Davis researcher known for her honey bee line "New World Carniolans" has crossed her bees with their Old World counterparts to enhance their positive characteristics.

"The bees are very gentle, very hygienic and very productive, and hopefully will confer increased resistance to pests and disease," said UC Davis bee breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey.

The Carniolan honey bee (Apis mellifera carnica) is a subspecies of the Western honey bee. The subspecies, which originated in Slovenia, is the second most popular among California beekeepers, after another Western honey bee subspecies, the Italian honey bee.

UC Cooperative Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen of UC Davis said genetic research of honey bees is critical for the bee industry.

"Although we spend a considerable amount of time trying to find short-term fixes to our honey bee disease and pest control problems, in the long run, the genetic solution of resistant stocks will be a better solution," Mussen said.

Cobey said her research program focuses on identifying, selecting and enhancing honey bee traits that show increasing levels of resistance to pests and diseases. She developed her line of Carniolans, a dark race of honey bees, in the early 1980s by back-crossing bees collected from throughout the United States to create a more pure strain.

"Over time, it has proven very productive, winter hardy, well-tempered and more resistant to pests and disease," she said. "For many years I have wanted to work with pure Carnica. Now I can."

Cobey imported semen from Germany in 2006 and again this year to make additional crosses. She said genetic diversity is critical in maintaining colony fitness and resisting pests and diseases.

The bee species now known as the Western honey bee was initially brought from Europe to America in 1622 and to California in 1853. Mussen and Cobey attribute the bees' decline to multiple factors: diseases, pesticides, parasites, malnutrition, stress, climate change, and colony collapse disorder, in which bees mysteriously abandon their hives.

Cobey collaborates with a team of scientists from Canada, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington states on the bee breeding program. They include viral researcher Michelle Flenniken, the newly selected Hagen-Dazs post-doctoral researcher at UC Davis; reproductive specialists John Pollard and Claire Plante of GeneSafe Technologies, Ltd., Guelph, Canada; apiculturists Steve Sheppard of Washington State University, Pullman, and Marla Spivak of the University of Minnesota, St. Paul; and USDA scientists Jeff Pettis and Judy Chenn of Beltsville, Md.

The scientists obtained permits from the USDA's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service to import semen for a three-year period, 2008 to 2010, from three honey bee subspecies, one from Italy, one from Germany and one from Turkey. To assure that the imported semen carries no diseases, the scientists established a quarantine area in an ecological preserve at WSU. The queens were recently released from the WSU quarantine and are now at UC Davis for evaluation and propagation.

The UC Davis scientist will report on her work at the California State Beekeepers' Association's 119th annual convention, Nov. 11 to 13 in Harrah's, Lake Tahoe, and at the Almond Board Convention in Modesto in early December.

The next step? Cobey and her team will develop protocol for the safe importation of honey bee gametes, eggs and semen. "At present, there is no standard for honey bees, as is common for mammals," she said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kathy Keatley Garvey
kegarvey@ucdavis.edu
530-754-6894
University of California - Davis
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Building a stronger roof over your head: 3 little pigs project begins first tests
2. Green roofs differ in building cooling, water handling capabilities
3. Building bridges between the clinic and the laboratory
4. 1/3 of reef-building corals face extinction
5. NJIT architect professor advocates best-building practices for high wind regions
6. Manchester clears first hurdle in €170 million biobank building boom
7. Building on pyramids of trash
8. UCI awarded $27.2 million for new stem cell building
9. Scientists make chemical cousin of DNA for use as new nanotechnology building block
10. In Todays Economy, You Can Strengthen Your Company by Building Your Brand
11. International workshop to address capacity building for rainforest leaders
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Building a better bee
(Date:11/15/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Bioinformatics ... ... The global bioinformatics market is projected ... in 2016, growing at a CAGR of 21.1% during the forecast ... by the growing demand for nucleic acid and protein sequencing, increasing ...
(Date:11/14/2016)... SANTA CLARA, Calif. , Nov. 14, ... of the biometric identification market, Frost & ... Global Frost & Sullivan Award for Visionary ... leading player in the biometric identification market ... a multi-modal verification solution for instant, seamless, ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016  The American College of ... Trade Show Executive Magazine as one of the fastest-growing ... May 25-27 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas ... the highest percentage of growth in each of the following ... exhibiting companies and number of attendees. The 2015 ACMG Annual ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/7/2016)... Baltimore, Maryland (PRWEB) , ... December 07, 2016 ... ... platform for digital pathology, announced today a new service to enable rapid migration ... in data upload has remained one of the factors limiting adoption of digital ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... /PRNewswire/ - SQI Diagnostics Inc. ("SQI" or the "Company") (TSX-V: SQD; OTCQX: ... and fiscal year ended September 30, 2016. ... , , ... diagnostics company that develops and commercializes proprietary technologies and products for ... Achieved revenues of $1.4 million more than tripling prior years revenue. ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... Symbios Technologies, Inc. ... the company has engaged in a collaborative research partnership with Colorado State University ... Office of the Vice President for Research. This agreement is designed to further ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... , Dec. 6, 2016  SRI International ... $150 million from the National Institutes of Health,s ... the Division of AIDS (NIAID-DAIDS) to support the ... non-vaccine pre-exposure (PreP) agents. Under the seven-year contract, ... product development services for candidate HIV-prevention products that ...
Breaking Biology Technology: