WSU Selection and Bee Breeding Program

At the Northwest-Corner Beekeepers Conference in the fall of 2005, Dr. Marina Meixner, Ph.D. reported the results of the Washington State University Selection and Bee Breeding Program that began in 2002. The project’s original goal was to include honeybee stock from all over the United States, in an attempt to improve genetic diversity.

Olympic Wilderness Apiary Wild Survivor Stock was submitted in 2002 at the onset of the program.

Each candidate colony was evaluated and selected for the following traits:

    • Overwintering ability
    • Temperament (acceptable for inclusion: bees workable w/o gloves)
    • Honey Production
    • Mite resistance (SMR)
    • Hygienic Behavior
    • Spring Build up

In 2003 Washington State Bee Association President, Jerry Tate informed Area Representative, Bob Smith that Olympic Wilderness Apiary stock had been accepted for inclusion in both the WSU and its sister project operated by Cornell University.

In 2004, we learned our Olympic Wilderness Stock had not only survived WSU’s selection criteria process but was also chosen as one of the final eight individual stock lines being used in their extended stock breeding program.

At the conference in 2005 Dr. Meixner further reported these same 8 lines have continued to expand and evolve into 2005 and beyond.

OWA is proud to be part of that program!

…As a side note
Although the Cornell University leg of the joint study with WSU was plagued by difficulties from the start and was eventually terminated, we did receive a very encouraging letter regarding our queen stock performance from Dr. Nicholas Calderone, Associate Professor of the Department of Entomology. read more about that here.