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Descriptive Analysis of the Varroa Non-Reproduction Trait in Honey Bee Colonies and Association with Other Traits Related to Varroa Resistance.

TitleDescriptive Analysis of the Varroa Non-Reproduction Trait in Honey Bee Colonies and Association with Other Traits Related to Varroa Resistance.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsEynard, SE, Sann, C, Basso, B, Guirao, A-L, Le Conte, Y, Servin, B, Tison, L, Vignal, A, Mondet, F
JournalInsects
Volume11
Issue8
Date Published2020 Aug 01
ISSN2075-4450
Abstract

In the current context of worldwide honey bee colony losses, among which the varroa mite plays a major role, the hope to improve honey bee health lies in part in the breeding of varroa resistant colonies. To do so, methods used to evaluate varroa resistance need better understanding. Repeatability and correlations between traits such as mite non-reproduction (MNR), varroa sensitive hygiene (VSH), and hygienic behavior are poorly known, due to practical limitations and to their underlying complexity. We investigate (i) the variability, (ii) the repeatability of the MNR score, and (iii) its correlation with other resistance traits. To reduce the inherent variability of MNR scores, we propose to apply an empirical Bayes correction. In the short-term (ten days), MNR had a modest repeatability of 0.4, whereas in the long-term (a month), it had a low repeatability of 0.2, similar to other resistance traits. Within our dataset, there was no correlation between MNR and VSH. Although MNR is amongst the most popular varroa resistance estimates in field studies, its underlying complex mechanism is not fully understood. Its lack of correlation with better described resistance traits and low repeatability suggest that MNR needs to be interpreted cautiously, especially when used for selection.

DOI10.3390/insects11080492
Alternate JournalInsects
PubMed ID32752279
PubMed Central IDPMC7469219
Grant ListProjet MOSAR RT 2015-776 / / Ministère de l'Agriculture, de l'Agroalimentaire et de la Forêt /
BeeStrong pia p3a - Investissement d'avenir / / Ministère de l'Agriculture, de l'Agroalimentaire et de la Forêt /
Feaga 2017-2019 OptiVar / / European Agricultural Guarantee Fund /