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Testing Honey Bee Colonies for Hygienic Behaviour
Brighton, United Kingdom
Hygiene is a natural behaviour of honey bee workers that helps confer resistance to brood diseases and to Varroa. As with many honey bee behaviours, hygiene is heritable meaning that whether or not a colony is hygienic can be influenced by breeding. Hygiene is found in British honey bees but only about 10% of British colonies are hygienic. Thus, hygiene can be increased by bee breeding.
The workshop is targeted at more experienced beekeepers who are interested in queen rearing and breeding. It will give background on hygiene and then show beekeepers how to test their own colonies for hygiene using the freeze-killed brood bioassay. Colonies found to be hygienic can then be used in bee breeding and queen rearing.
The workshop will be taught by Professor Francis Ratnieks, Dr. Karin Alton, Mr. Norman Carreck and Mr. Gianluigi Bigio of the Laboratory of Apiculture & Social Insects (LASI) at the University of Sussex. This session is aimed at helping beekeepers benefit from scientific knowledge.
We will be opening hives, so please bring your bee suit or suitable protective clothing.
Attendance is free but a small charge will be made at the door for materials and refreshments.
For more information and a map of campus with the location of the workshops, please visit our website, www.sussex.ac.uk/lasi
LASI is investigating hygienic behaviour as part of the Sussex Plan for Honey Bee Health & Well Being
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