1 Department of Agroecology - Entomology and Plant Pathology, Department of Agroecology, Science and Technology, Aarhus University2 LLH, Bee Institute3 Faculty of Agricultural Science and Food4 Länderinstitut für Bienenkunde Hohen Neuendorf e.V.5 Consiglio per la Ricerca e la sperimentazione in Agricoltura - Unità di ricerca di apicoltura e bachicoltura6 Hellenic Institute of Apiculture7 Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb8 Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota9 Apiculture Division, Faculty of Animal Bioengineering, Warmia and Mazury University10 Department of Agroecology - Entomology and Plant Pathology, Department of Agroecology, Science and Technology, Aarhus University
Here we cover a wide range of methods currently in use and recommended in modern queen rearing, selection and breeding. The recommendations are meant to equally serve as standards for both scientific and practical beekeeping purposes. The basic conditions and different management techniques for queen rearing are described, including recommendations for suitable technical equipment. As the success of breeding programmes strongly depends on the selective mating of queens, a subchapter is dedicated to the management and quality control of mating stations. Recommendations for the handling and quality control of queens complete the queen rearing section. The improvement of colony traits usually depends on a comparative testing of colonies. Standardized recommendations for the organization of performance tests and the measurement of the most common selection characters are presented. Statistical methods and data preconditions for the estimation of breeding values which integrate pedigree and performance data from as many colonies as possible are described as the most efficient selection method for large populations. Alternative breeding programmes for small populations or certain scientific questions are briefly mentioned, including also an overview of the young and fast developing field of molecular selection tools. Because the subject of queen rearing and selection is too large to be covered within this paper, plenty of references are given to facilitate comprehensive studies.
Journal of Apicultural Research and Bee World, 2013, Vol 52, Issue 1