With the growing importance of honeybees for the New Zealand primary industries sector, commercial beekeeping has become the next industry that can and should be the target of livestock breeding efforts. While elite queen breeders have been operating both in New Zealand and overseas for a number of years, no efforts have been made to introduce a structured breeding program on the level of commercial beekeeping operations. Commercial beekeepers rely on the breeding efforts undertaken by queen breeders to improve their populations. Currently, neither producers nor queen breeders have a way to verify progress made on a stud level in a commercial operation. In collaboration with a large-scale beekeeping company, we have developed strategies for data collection and genotyping in a commercial population of Apis mellifera Ligustica that is continuously supplied with elite queens. We aim to establish a commercial honeybee breeding program and hope to enable honey producer and queen breeder to gain a better understanding of the impact of stud level genetic improvement on a commercial level.

Gertje Petersen, Peter Fennessy, Peter Dearden

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume Electronic Poster Session - Genetic Gain - Breeding Strategies 2, , 863, 2018
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