Research Project Details

Project Details

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Genetic Evaluation of Australian Honeybees using BLUP procedures
Summary Following an Industry Workshop organised by Prof. Ben Oldroyd, consultation with the Horner family (Flora Glen, Rylstone) indicates that they have records of honeybee pedigree and production data, in paper format, which if transferred to a database, would allow 3 types of genetic analysis:
Estimation of genetic parameters (heritabilities and genetic correlations) amongst a range of production and bee and hive health and hygiene traits
Estimation of genetic progress achieved over the last (up to) 25 years for these traits
Estimation of the genetic merit of the current Queens on hand, allowing more accurate selection for production and health traits, better decisions on matings, and an indication of the genetic merit of external sources of Queens.
The results will underpin 3 opportunities:
More accurate selection in the Flora Glen breeding program , allowing faster genetic progress in all traits
Demonstration of the rates of progress for these traits that could be achieved across the industry, and hence a “proofofprinciple” for faster genetic progress across the industry
A platform for analysis of genetic relationships with other breeding programs, including overseas, upon which to make informed decisions on approaches to breeding for both traits that can be measured in Australian programs now, and via links with overseas, for Varroa resistance.
Program Honey Bee
Research organisation University of New England
Objective summary The project will generate 3 outputs and outcomes which will contribute to genetic improvement of honeybees in Australia:
Genetic parameters for a range of production and health traits, likely representative of parameters for the wider Australian population. These parameters will include heritabilities and genetic correlations, knowledge of which is essential to achieving rapid and appropriately balanced genetic improvement.
Estimated genetic trends for all traits measured in the program over at least 5 and up to 25 years. This information will reinforce confidence that genetic progress is possible, and will also provide the basis for estimating how much more rapid progress can be if modern genetic evaluation methods are applied.
A documented example of actual progress achieved and methods used to achieve it, to inform all Australian breeders. This will include simple, clear recommendations on what data should be collected and how to use the results of genetic evaluation in making rapid genetic progress.
Project Stage Closed
Project start date Sunday, June 01, 2014
Project completion date Monday, August 31, 2015
Journal articles from project Not Available
National priority Frontier technologies for building and transforming Australian industries
Rural priority Adoption of R&D
RIRDC goal HBE-Increase productivity and profitability of beekeepers
Principal researcher Robert Banks
Research manager Dave Alden
Admin contact Kathryn Dougall