Multitrait selection breeding plans for honey bees (Apis Mellifera) : design and efficiency

Project: PhD

Project Details


French beekeepers are in demand for references and methods to structure and optimize their selection work, particularly to jointly consider different breeding goals: productivity, and resilience defined as a good general resistance to diseases and pests (primarily the mite Varroa destructor) as well as a strong food autonomy to limit the supply of syrup and candy sugar to colonies when floral resources are insufficient. The project aims at meeting this strong demand from the bee industry by developing sustainable breeding objectives and selection programs to efficiently manage beekeeping productions. The core of the project is the design of multi-criteria breeding plans for honey bees and the assessment of their potential efficiencies through the joint analysis of field data and simulated ones for theoretically designed breeding plans. The three main questions to be addressed are : 1) How should be defined the multitrait breeding goal to get the right compromise between the stakeholders’ interests for production and resilience traits? 2) How accurately can be estimated the corresponding genetic parameters according to the data and population structure? 3) Given the inaccuracy of the genetic parameters’ estimates in honeybee populations linked to uncertainty in pedigrees and complexity of colony performance, which breeding strategy should be recommended to get robust selection decisions to maximize genetic gain while maintaining low inbreeding levels?
Effective start/end date1/01/22 → …


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