Application of a Modified Selection Index for Honey Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

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Nine different genetic families of honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) were compared using summed z-scores (phenotypic values) and a modified selection index (Imod). Imod values incorporated both the phenotypic scores of the different traits and the economic weightings of these traits, as determined by a survey of commercial Ontario beekeepers. Largely because of the high weight all beekeepers place on honey production, a distinct difference between line rankings based on phenotypic scores and Imod scores was apparent, thereby emphasizing the need to properly weight the traits being evaluated to select bee stocks most valuable for beekeepers. Furthermore, when beekeepers who made >10% of their income from queen and nucleus colony sales assigned relative values to the traits used in the Imod calculations, the results differed from those based on weightings assigned by honey producers. Our results underscore the difficulties the North American beekeeping industry must overcome to devise effective methods of evaluating colonies for breeding purposes.

Keywords: Apis mellifera; bee breeding; beekeeping; honey production; mite resistance; z-scores

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2000

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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