Like other livestock breeders, queen producers are constantly working to improve the quality of stock they produce. When determining which colonies to graft from breeders will evaluate colonies on a variety of traits including productivity, fecundity, and temperament. Traditionally, selection has focused on breeding from colonies that produced large honey crops, reared abundant brood, and behaved in a docile manner. As pest and disease pressures have increased in recent years breeders have increasingly incorporated hygienic behavior as a criteria for selection. Hygienic behavior is a trait that helps colonies control several stressors including American Foulbrood, chalkbrood, and Varroa mites. Hygienic behavior is identified by performing a freeze kill test using liquid nitrogen. The testing process is described here. The BIP Tech Team performs testing for queen breeders around the country to identify colonies that are hygienic. These breeders produce hundreds of thousands of queens per year as well as packages and nucs that are distributed around the country. By helping queen producers breed a better bee the Bee Informed Partnership is impacting colonies nationwide. By supporting the Bee Informed Partnership you can help these and other efforts that help bees and beekeepers who look after them.
By helping queen breeders to select hygienic stock using the liquid nitrogen freeze kill method BIP Tech Transfer help to improve the quality of honey bee genetics throughout the country.