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Back Yard Beekeepers Association

A club for the Hobbyist Beekeeper, based in Southwestern Connecticut

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  • April Regular Meeting - Alvaro De la Mora

April Regular Meeting - Alvaro De la Mora

  • Tuesday, April 25, 2023
  • 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
  • In-Person at Norfield Congregational Church


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The April regular meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 25th, 2023 at 7:30 pm.

Alvaro De la Mora will be giving two talks -  Breeding honey bee colonies for Low Varroa Growth (LVG) in Ontario & The use of single brood chambers vs double brood chambers.

Please note that we will be meeting in person but our speaker will be joining us via Zoom.

Breeding honey bee colonies for Low Varroa Growth (LVG) in Ontario

Honey bees (Apis mellifera) contribute to the production of more than 30% of the food consumed in Western societies, however bees are affected by different stressors such as the parasitic external mite Varroa destructor, which feeds upon the fat body tissue and haemolymph (blood) of bees, and transmits different pathogenic viruses such as the deformed wing virus (DWV). This mite is considered the main threat to honey bees and it has been associated to most of the overwinter colony losses in Canada. One alternative to the use of synthetical products to control the mite is establishing a breeding program to develop Varroa-resistant bee strains. Therefore, the breeding program implemented in this project was focused on selecting bees for Low and High Varroa population Growth (LVG and HVG, respectively). The two genotypes produced after three generations of selection, were assessed for gene expression, haemocyte (insect blood cells involved in cellular immunity) concentrations in haemolymph, DWV levels, grooming behaviour (related with natural Varroa-resistance), and overwinter colony mortality. The methodology used for this program has been adapted to be practical and replicable for queen breeders. Preliminary results showed that, in comparison with HVG bees, LVG bees had lower rates of mite population growth, higher percentage of mutilated mites by bees, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) associated with gustation and olfaction, higher concentrations of haemocytes, lower DWV levels, and lower overwinter mortality. Additionally, LVG bees showed faster and more intense grooming instances to the irritant used for grooming assays than HVG bees. 

Use of single brood chamber vs double broom chamber.

This talk shares the experience that the Honey Bee Research Centre at the University of Guelph has with the use of single brood chambers in their hives.

Alvaro De la Mora is a graduate student at the School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, under the supervision of Dr. Ernesto Guzman. Alvaro obtained a DVM degree from the National University of Mexico and a M.Sc. degree from the University of Zacatecas, Mexico. Alvaro has gained beekeeping experience by working for a commercial operation in Manitoba, Canada and also by starting his own beekeeping business. Over the course of the past 15 years, Alvaro has completed several internships at different academic institutions, participated in research projects on bee health and biology and has been a Teaching Assistant for Apiculture courses. He has presented talks to different audiences, and is author or coauthor of 13 scientific publications. 

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