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Meixner M.D.,LLH Bieneninstitut Kirchhain | Costa C.,Italian Agricultural Research Council | Kryger P.,University of Aarhus | Hatjina F.,Hellenic Institute of Apiculture | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Apicultural Research | Year: 2010

Beekeepers in Europe, North America and other parts of the world have repeatedly been afflicted by elevated and sometimes unexplained colony losses. Multiple factors have been considered in connection with increased winter losses. In addition to national programmes investigating possible causes for increased honey bee mortality, scientists collaborate at an international level on different aspects of bee health within the COLOSS network. Within this network, Working Group 4 explores aspects of genetic diversity in relation to the vitality and health of honey bee populations. In this paper, we briefly review the genetic diversity of honey bees in Europe, discuss the effects of beekeeping and selective breeding on honey bee populations under the aspect of genetic diversity and bee health, and review the current status of EU legislation with respect to protection of native bee populations. We introduce and discuss recent approaches in honey bee selective breeding to improve disease resistance by introducing traits related to colony vitality. Finally, we present the aims of WG4 within the COLOSS network and briefly introduce our experimental approach. © 2010 IBRA. Source

Ivanova E.,Plovdiv University | Bouga M.,Agricultural University of Athens | Staykova T.,Plovdiv University | Mladenovic M.,University of Belgrade | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Apicultural Research | Year: 2012

The genetic variability of honey bee populations, representing Apis mellifera macedonica, Apis mellifera cecropia and Apis mellifera carnica subspecies from the Balkan Peninsula countries of Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Montenegro, was studied using alloenzymic analysis of six enzyme systems (MDH-1, ME, EST-3, ALP, PGM and HK) corresponding to 6 loci. All loci were found to be polymorphic in most of the populations studied. The observed heterozygosity was found to range from 0.161 to 0.276. Allele frequencies of all loci were used to estimate Nei's (1972) genetic distance, which was found to range between 0.001 and 0.101 among the populations studied. UPGMA and neighbourjoining phylogenetic trees obtained by genetic distance matrix methods show that the honey bee populations from Bulgaria and Greece were clustered together, as were those from Serbia and Montenegro. Source

Charistos L.,Hellenic Institute of Apiculture | Hatjina F.,Hellenic Institute of Apiculture | Bouga M.,Agricultural University of Athens | Mladenovic M.,University of Belgrade | Maistros A.D.,MELETITIKI S.E.M H Ltd
Journal of Apicultural Science | Year: 2014

Honey bees collected from 32 different localities in Greece were studied based on the geometric morphometrics approach using the coordinates of 19 landmarks located at wing vein intersections. Procrustes analysis, principal component analysis, and Canonical variate analysis (CVA) detected population variability among the studied samples. According to the Principal component analysis (PCA) of pooled data from each locality, the most differentiated populations were the populations from the Aegean island localities Astypalaia, Chios, and Kythira. However, the populations with the most distant according to the canonical variate analysis performed on all measurements were the populations from Heraklion and Chania (both from Crete island). These results can be used as a starting point for the use of geometric morphometrics in the discrimination of honey bee populations in Greece and the establishment of conservation areas for local honey bee populations. Source

Buchler R.,Bee Institute | Costa C.,Italian Agricultural Research Council | Hatjina F.,Hellenic Institute of Apiculture | Andonov S.,Faculty for Agricultural Science and Food | And 15 more authors.
Journal of Apicultural Research | Year: 2014

The survival and performance of 597 honey bee colonies, representing five subspecies and 16 different genotypes, were comparatively studied in 20 apiaries across Europe. Started in October 2009, 15.7% of the colonies survived without any therapeutic treatment against diseases until spring 2012. The survival duration was strongly affected by environmental factors (apiary effects) and, to a lesser degree, by the genotypes and origin of queens. Varroa was identified as a main cause of losses (38.4%), followed by queen problems (16.9%) and Nosema infection (7.3%). On average, colonies with queens from local origin survived 83 days longer compared to non-local origins (p < 0.001). This result demonstrates strong genotype by environment interactions. Consequently, the conservation of bee diversity and the support of local breeding activities must be prioritised in order to prevent colony losses, to optimize a sustainable productivity and to enable a continuous adaptation to environmental changes. © IBRA 2014. Source

Carreck N.L.,International Bee Research Association | Carreck N.L.,University of Sussex | Andree M.,University of California Cooperative Extension | Brent C.S.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Apicultural Research | Year: 2013

An understanding of the anatomy and functions of internal and external structures is fundamental to many studies on the honey bee Apis mellifera. Similarly, proficiency in dissection techniques is vital for many more complex procedures. In this paper, which is a prelude to the other papers of the COLOSS BEEBOOK, we outline basic honey bee anatomy and basic dissection techniques. © IBRA 2013. Source

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