BEENOMIX Project:Genomic technologies andadvanced beekeeping techniquesfor the genetic selection of Apis mellifera

BEENOMIX Project:Genomic technologies and advanced beekeeping techniquesFor the genetic selection of Apis mellifera

BEENOMIX is a project that intends to develop, in the field of professional beekeeping, the introduction of genomic technologies and advanced beekeeping techniques for the protection and genetic improvement of Apis mellifera

BEENOMIX is a project that intends to develop, in the field of professional beekeeping, the introduction of genomic technologies and advanced beekeeping techniques for the protection and genetic improvement of Apis mellifera

The concept of the Project

Among domestic animals, the honey bee (Apis mellifera) has an extremely significant economic importance both for the production of honey, wax, pollen, propolis and royal jelly, but above all for its important role in the pollination of arboreal and herbaceous species essential for human nutrition.
Nonetheless, the genetic management of this species, both on a selective level and on that of biodiversity conservation, is quite problematic.

In fact, the reproductive moment escapes human control as the virgin queen is mated in free flight by a variable number of drones present in the environment.
Failure to control mating prevents an effective selective action of genetic improvement which can be done, at this point, mainly through the maternal side.
The Beenomix project was therefore created to develop a selective scheme based on the rigorous control of mating through a Isolated Mating Station and through the use of Instrumental Insemination (IS). Only precise control of the paternal contribution allows the effectiveness of the selection to be maximized.

The Beenomix team works on the most important phenotypes of economic and production relevance as well as on health aspects in which the genetic component can determine a substantial advantage in the defense of bees from pathogens and parasites.

The concept of the Project

Among domestic animals, the honey bee (Apis mellifera) has an extremely significant economic importance both for the production of honey, wax, pollen, propolis and royal jelly, but above all for its important role in the pollination of arboreal and herbaceous species essential for human nutrition.
Nonetheless, the genetic management of this species, both on a selective level and on that of biodiversity conservation, is quite problematic.

In fact, the reproductive moment escapes human control as the virgin queen is mated in free flight by a variable number of drones present in the environment.
Failure to control mating prevents an effective selective action of genetic improvement which can be done, at this point, mainly through the maternal side.
The Beenomix project was therefore created to develop a selective scheme based on the rigorous control of mating through a Isolated Mating Station and through the use of Instrumental Insemination (IS). Only precise control of the paternal contribution allows the effectiveness of the selection to be maximized.

The Beenomix team works on the most important phenotypes of economic and production relevance as well as on health aspects in which the genetic component can determine a substantial advantage in the defense of bees from pathogens and parasites.

Beenomix is a project that aims to:

Promote the detection of phenotypes according to standardized and repeatable methods for a precise genetic evaluation and a choice of breeders based on scientific methods

Develop the introduction of genomic technologies applied to genetic improvement in beekeeping

Organize selection within a precise scheme that maximizes genetic progress and minimizes the undesired effects of increased inbreeding

Develop strategies to select for resistance traits to Varroa Destructor, the main and most dangerous bee parasite

Spread selected genetics throughout the beekeeping sector, developing a Mating Area populated exclusively by selected males

Develop strategies to select for resistance traits to Varroa Destructor, the main and most dangerous bee parasite

Spread selected genetics throughout the beekeeping sector, developing a Mating Area populated exclusively by selected males

However, today beekeeping in Lombardy and Italy is suffering the growing impact of climate change:

Repeated thermal stress on the vegetation compromises the normal secretion of floral nectar and therefore prevents supplying enough natural food for the hives

Warm and short winters alter the normal population dynamics of the hives, compromising the success of wintering and normal spring development

The oviposition activity of the queen bee is interrupted more and more rarely and for increasingly shorter periods, favoring the proliferation of pathogens and parasites

In this scenario, it quickly becomes urgent toProvide for:

An effective action of selective improvement of behavioral characteristics that counteract the effects of climate change, such as the duration of the Winter Diapause and a balanced relationship between the quantity of bees present in the hive and the quantity of brood raised

Specific and targeted work for the selection of resistance traits to brood pathogens and to the most important bee parasitosis, Varroasis

Adequate dissemination and valorisation of the selected genetics to make the results progressively acquired by the Project available to beekeepers

An intense activity to disseminate the techniques and scientific approach used by the Project for the benefit of the entire regional and national beekeeping sector

The working group of Beenomix Project works to amplify the presence of favorable characteristics within the selected bee population and to spread the culture and practice of rational selection based on scientific criteria. Beenomix wants to propose a concrete model for managing Lombard and Italian bee populations that promotes sustainable selection that is attentive to the impact of climate change.

The working group of Beenomix Project works to amplify the presence of favorable characteristics within the selected bee population and to spread the culture and practice of rational selection based on scientific criteria. Beenomix wants to propose a concrete model for managing Lombard and Italian bee populations that promotes sustainable selection that is attentive to the impact of climate change.

BEENOMIX project summary

In parallel, the project aims to develop an innovative selective approach that promotes phenotype surveying in a standardized and repeatable manner and targeted use of FN (Natural Fertilization) in isolated station, and instrumental insemination, consistent with a precise selective scheme.