Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Descriptive Analysis of the Varroa Non-reproduction Trait in Honey Bee Colonies and Association with Other Traits Related to Varroa Resistance

Version 1 : Received: 7 July 2020 / Approved: 9 July 2020 / Online: 9 July 2020 (05:21:22 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Eynard, S.E.; Sann, C.; Basso, B.; Guirao, A.-L.; Le Conte, Y.; Servin, B.; Tison, L.; Vignal, A.; Mondet, F. Descriptive Analysis of the Varroa Non-Reproduction Trait in Honey Bee Colonies and Association with Other Traits Related to Varroa Resistance. Insects 2020, 11, 492. Eynard, S.E.; Sann, C.; Basso, B.; Guirao, A.-L.; Le Conte, Y.; Servin, B.; Tison, L.; Vignal, A.; Mondet, F. Descriptive Analysis of the Varroa Non-Reproduction Trait in Honey Bee Colonies and Association with Other Traits Related to Varroa Resistance. Insects 2020, 11, 492.

Journal reference: Insects 2020, 11, 492
DOI: 10.3390/insects11080492

Abstract

In the current context of worldwide honey bee colony losses, among which the varroa mite plays a major role, hope to improve honey bee health lies in part in the breeding of varroa resistant colonies. To do so, methods used to evaluate varroa resistance need better understanding. Repeatability and correlations between traits such as Mite Non-Reproduction (MNR), Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH) and hygienic behaviour are poorly known, due to practical limitations and to their underlying complexity. We investigate (i) the variability, (ii) repeatability of the MNR score and (iii) its correlation with other resistance traits. To reduce the inherent variability of MNR scores, we propose to apply an Empirical Bayes correction. On the short-term (ten days) MNR had a modest repeatability of 0.4 whereas on the long- term (a month) it had a low repeatability of 0.2, similar to other resistance traits. Within our dataset there was no correlation between MNR and VSH. Although MNR is amongst the most popular varroa resistance estimates in field studies, its underlying complex mechanism is not fully understood. Its lack of correlation with better described resistance traits and low repeatability suggest that MNR need to be interpreted cautiously, especially when used for selection.

Subject Areas

Apis mellifera; Varroa destructor; Mite non reproduction (MNR); Suppressed mite reproduction (SMR); Varroa sensitive hygiene (VSH); hygienic behaviour

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