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immediate: 18/11/16] 



 New Special Issue of Bee World on bee breeding 


The new issue 93(2) of Bee World is a Special Issue devoted to the important subject of bee breeding. For many years, beekeepers in Europe, especially in Germany, have been selectively breeding bees for improved performance. Fewer beekeepers in the USA breed their own bees. 

Bee World Editor Kirsten Traynor says: “When my husband and I started keeping bees in the United States and mentioned we wanted to breed our own queens, we were told quite adamantly ‘You don’t breed queens. You buy them’. Undeterred by a challenge, we drove almost 2,000 km one-way to participate in a queen rearing class in Nebraska. Thankfully the industry is changing and there are now many local options to learn the basics of queen rearing in the United States. We still lack the organized mating stations and mating islands common in Europe, but breeding cooperatives are now forming”. 

The issue contains a range of articles from both Europe and the USA. Elizabeth Walsh & Juliana Rangel from Texas A&M University, USA describe local honey bee queen production and quality. Susan Cobey of Washington State University, USA provides an introduction to the instrumental insemination of honey bee queens. Many bee breeders today focus on selecting for resistance to the parasitic varroa mite. In a “Scientist behind the science” interview, Greg Hunt of Purdue University, USA describes his selection program to produce “Mite-Biter” bees. This can be compared and contrasted to the varroa resistance efforts in Germany, described by Ralph Büchler and Aleksandar Uzunov of the Landesbetrieb Landwirtschaft Hessen, Kirchhain, Germany. In another article, Kaspar Bienefeld of the Institute for Bee Research, Hohen Neuendorf, Germany explores the importance of genetic diversity in breeding programs. 

Bee breeding can be most successful where beekeepers work as a team. Dr Traynor points out that: “To improve queen quality, cooperatives of small scale beekeepers often work together. Such breeding co-ops have long existed in many European countries. Often dedicated individuals give generously of their time and knowledge to help other beekeepers learn how to graft and rear queens.” 



Dr Kirsten Traynor, Editor, Bee World: +1 240 439 3053 Email: 


1. The special issue of Bee World on bee breeding is available here:- 

2. The International Bee Research Association (IBRA), founded in 1949 is the world’s longest established apicultural research publisher and promotes the value of bees by providing information on bee science and beekeeping worldwide. 

3. In association with the Taylor & Francis Group, IBRA publishes Bee World, founded by the Apis Club in 1919. This is now an accessible and topical journal containing the latest bee research, news, reviews and other relevant information for the bee scientist, beekeeper, and anyone with an interest in bees. It is published four times a year: 

4. In association with the Taylor & Francis Group, IBRA publishes the peer-reviewed scientific journal the Journal of Apicultural Research, founded by IBRA in 1962. It includes original research articles, theoretical papers; scientific notes and comments; together with authoritative reviews on scientific aspects of the biology, ecology, natural history, conservation and culture of all types of bee. It is published five times a year. The ISI Impact Factor (2015) is 2.084 and the ISI 5-year Impact Factor is 2.003: 

5. IBRA publishes and sells books on bee science, bee conservation and beekeeping and also provides bee information services. IBRA is a Registered Charity, and its Council of Trustees boasts some of the world’s leading bee scientists. 

6. IBRA membership rates 2016:- 

IBRA Membership including Bee World (£36 €42 $US45) IBRA Membership including online Journal of Apicultural Research (£90 €105 $US112) IBRA Membership including online and print Journal of Apicultural Research (£150 €175 $US187) 

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