Per Kryger

The influence of genetic origin and its interaction with environmental effects on the survival of Apis mellifera L. colonies in Europe

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Ralph Büchler, Germany
  • Cecilia Costa, Italy
  • Fani Hatjina, Greece
  • Sreten Andonov, Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of
  • Marina D Meixner, Germany
  • Yves Le Conte, France
  • Aleksandar Uzunov, Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of
  • Stefan Berg, Germany
  • Malgorzata Bienkowska, Poland
  • Maria Bouga, Greece
  • Maja Drazic, Croatia
  • Winfried Dyrba, Germany
  • Per Kryger
  • Beata Panasiuk, Poland
  • Hermann Pechhacher, Austria
  • Plamen Petrov, Bulgaria
  • Nikola Kezic, Croatia
  • Seppo Korpela, Finland
  • Jerzy Wilde, Poland
The survival and performance of 597 honey bee colonies, representing five subspecies and 16 different genotypes, were comparatively studied in 20 apiaries across Europe. Started in October 2009, 15.7% of the colonies survived without any therapeutic treatment against diseases until spring 2012. The survival duration was strongly affected by environmental factors (apiary effects) and, to a lesser degree, by the genotypes and origin of queens. Varroa was identified as a main cause of losses (38.4%), followed by queen problems (16.9%) and Nosema infection (7.3%). On average, colonies with queens from local origin survived 83 days longer compared to non-local origins (p < 0.001). This result demonstrates strong genotype by environment interactions. Consequently, the conservation of bee diversity and the support of local breeding activities must be prioritised in order to prevent colony losses, to optimize a sustainable productivity and to enable a continuous adaptation to environmental changes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Apicultural Research & Bee World
Pages (from-to)205-214
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Research areas

  • COLOSS, Genotype-Environment Interactions experiment, colony losses, survival duration, bee diversity, breeding, conservation

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