Darwinian black box selection for resistance to settled invasive Varroa destructor parasites in honey bees

Tjeerd Blacquière, Willem Boot, Johan Calis, Arrigo Moro, Peter Neumann, Delphine Panziera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Established invasive species can pose a continuous threat to biodiversity and food security, thereby calling for sustainable mitigation. There is a consensus that the ubiquitous ecto-parasitic mite Varroa destructor, an invasive species from Asia, is the main biological threat to global apiculture with Apis mellifera. V. destructor has almost completely wiped out wild European honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations. The only remedy for apiculture, to date, is frequent control measures against the mite throughout the season, which prevents possible adaptations. While targeted breeding efforts have, so far, not achieved the selection of tolerant or resistant bees, natural selection approaches have succeeded at least seven times. Here, we propose to take advantage of natural selection for honey bee resistance by stopping mite treatment in managed colonies. The main principles are within population mating of the colonies’ own virgin queens and drones and selection based on survival and proliferous development of colonies. Being used for 10 years, it has shown to result in grosso modo ‘normal’ colonies with a high level of resistance to V. destructor. Here, we call for local groups of beekeepers and scientists to join a novel natural selection program that has started so far on three locations. This will eventually lead to several locally adapted V. destructor resistant honey bee populations around the world, and help global apiculture becoming more sustainable.

LanguageEnglish
Pages2519-2528
JournalBiological Invasions
Volume21
Issue number8
Early online date16 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

Fingerprint

Varroa destructor
apiculture
honey
bee
honey bees
parasite
natural selection
mite
parasites
Apis mellifera
invasive species
mites
parasitic mites
drones (insects)
beekeepers
food security
queen insects
Apoidea
control methods
mitigation

Keywords

  • Apis mellifera
  • Honey bee
  • Host parasite relationship
  • Natural selection
  • Resistance
  • Sustainable apiculture
  • Tolerance
  • Varroa destructor

Cite this

Blacquière, Tjeerd ; Boot, Willem ; Calis, Johan ; Moro, Arrigo ; Neumann, Peter ; Panziera, Delphine. / Darwinian black box selection for resistance to settled invasive Varroa destructor parasites in honey bees. In: Biological Invasions. 2019 ; Vol. 21, No. 8. pp. 2519-2528.
@article{a720a369354149e3bc76191488789bf8,
title = "Darwinian black box selection for resistance to settled invasive Varroa destructor parasites in honey bees",
abstract = "Established invasive species can pose a continuous threat to biodiversity and food security, thereby calling for sustainable mitigation. There is a consensus that the ubiquitous ecto-parasitic mite Varroa destructor, an invasive species from Asia, is the main biological threat to global apiculture with Apis mellifera. V. destructor has almost completely wiped out wild European honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations. The only remedy for apiculture, to date, is frequent control measures against the mite throughout the season, which prevents possible adaptations. While targeted breeding efforts have, so far, not achieved the selection of tolerant or resistant bees, natural selection approaches have succeeded at least seven times. Here, we propose to take advantage of natural selection for honey bee resistance by stopping mite treatment in managed colonies. The main principles are within population mating of the colonies’ own virgin queens and drones and selection based on survival and proliferous development of colonies. Being used for 10 years, it has shown to result in grosso modo ‘normal’ colonies with a high level of resistance to V. destructor. Here, we call for local groups of beekeepers and scientists to join a novel natural selection program that has started so far on three locations. This will eventually lead to several locally adapted V. destructor resistant honey bee populations around the world, and help global apiculture becoming more sustainable.",
keywords = "Apis mellifera, Honey bee, Host parasite relationship, Natural selection, Resistance, Sustainable apiculture, Tolerance, Varroa destructor",
author = "Tjeerd Blacqui{\`e}re and Willem Boot and Johan Calis and Arrigo Moro and Peter Neumann and Delphine Panziera",
year = "2019",
month = "8",
doi = "10.1007/s10530-019-02001-0",
language = "English",
volume = "21",
pages = "2519--2528",
journal = "Biological Invasions",
issn = "1387-3547",
publisher = "Springer Verlag",
number = "8",

}

Darwinian black box selection for resistance to settled invasive Varroa destructor parasites in honey bees. / Blacquière, Tjeerd; Boot, Willem; Calis, Johan; Moro, Arrigo; Neumann, Peter; Panziera, Delphine.

In: Biological Invasions, Vol. 21, No. 8, 08.2019, p. 2519-2528.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Darwinian black box selection for resistance to settled invasive Varroa destructor parasites in honey bees

AU - Blacquière, Tjeerd

AU - Boot, Willem

AU - Calis, Johan

AU - Moro, Arrigo

AU - Neumann, Peter

AU - Panziera, Delphine

PY - 2019/8

Y1 - 2019/8

N2 - Established invasive species can pose a continuous threat to biodiversity and food security, thereby calling for sustainable mitigation. There is a consensus that the ubiquitous ecto-parasitic mite Varroa destructor, an invasive species from Asia, is the main biological threat to global apiculture with Apis mellifera. V. destructor has almost completely wiped out wild European honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations. The only remedy for apiculture, to date, is frequent control measures against the mite throughout the season, which prevents possible adaptations. While targeted breeding efforts have, so far, not achieved the selection of tolerant or resistant bees, natural selection approaches have succeeded at least seven times. Here, we propose to take advantage of natural selection for honey bee resistance by stopping mite treatment in managed colonies. The main principles are within population mating of the colonies’ own virgin queens and drones and selection based on survival and proliferous development of colonies. Being used for 10 years, it has shown to result in grosso modo ‘normal’ colonies with a high level of resistance to V. destructor. Here, we call for local groups of beekeepers and scientists to join a novel natural selection program that has started so far on three locations. This will eventually lead to several locally adapted V. destructor resistant honey bee populations around the world, and help global apiculture becoming more sustainable.

AB - Established invasive species can pose a continuous threat to biodiversity and food security, thereby calling for sustainable mitigation. There is a consensus that the ubiquitous ecto-parasitic mite Varroa destructor, an invasive species from Asia, is the main biological threat to global apiculture with Apis mellifera. V. destructor has almost completely wiped out wild European honey bee (Apis mellifera) populations. The only remedy for apiculture, to date, is frequent control measures against the mite throughout the season, which prevents possible adaptations. While targeted breeding efforts have, so far, not achieved the selection of tolerant or resistant bees, natural selection approaches have succeeded at least seven times. Here, we propose to take advantage of natural selection for honey bee resistance by stopping mite treatment in managed colonies. The main principles are within population mating of the colonies’ own virgin queens and drones and selection based on survival and proliferous development of colonies. Being used for 10 years, it has shown to result in grosso modo ‘normal’ colonies with a high level of resistance to V. destructor. Here, we call for local groups of beekeepers and scientists to join a novel natural selection program that has started so far on three locations. This will eventually lead to several locally adapted V. destructor resistant honey bee populations around the world, and help global apiculture becoming more sustainable.

KW - Apis mellifera

KW - Honey bee

KW - Host parasite relationship

KW - Natural selection

KW - Resistance

KW - Sustainable apiculture

KW - Tolerance

KW - Varroa destructor

U2 - 10.1007/s10530-019-02001-0

DO - 10.1007/s10530-019-02001-0

M3 - Article

VL - 21

SP - 2519

EP - 2528

JO - Biological Invasions

T2 - Biological Invasions

JF - Biological Invasions

SN - 1387-3547

IS - 8

ER -