Naturally occurring resistance to Varroa destructor in the Western honey bee (Apis mellifera)

Grindrod, IR 2022, Naturally occurring resistance to Varroa destructor in the Western honey bee (Apis mellifera) , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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The honey bee is an important social insect; it along with other bee species can be regarded as a keystone organism. The pollination services bees provide are invaluable not only in terms of human health and food security, with an estimated worth of €153 billion to food production (Gallai et al., 2009), but also for the health of whole ecosystems (Hung et al., 2018). However, despite their importance, honey bee populations in the modern age face an unprecedented array of stressors (VanEngelsdorp & Meixner, 2009). Arguably one of the most important of these is the combination of the parasitic mite Varroa destructor and the virus it vectors, deformed wing virus (DWV) (Rosenkranz et al., 2010). Chemical control methods that have been developed are not only potentially harmful to the bees themselves but are also ultimately unsustainable (Blacquière et al., 2019). Over-time honey bees can develop resistance to the mite and thus survive without treatment and such populations have been observed in number of regions across the globe (Allsopp, 2006; Kruitwagen et al., 2017; Oddie et al., 2018; Martin, 2020; Mullin et al., 2010; Underwood, Traver, & Lopez-Uribe, 2019). Natural Varroa resistance is defined as the ability of a population to survive long term without any treatment for Varroa within a given environment (Büchler et al., 2010). It is clear that resistant populations have several traits in common that may help them to survive Varroa infestations. However, it is also apparent that resistance is not simple and as such the full mechanism behind it is thus far unknown (Büchler, Berg & Le Conte, 2010). Therefore, the main aim of this thesis is to understand the development and maintenance of natural Varroa resistance with a view to encouraging the development of resistant populations worldwide.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Martin, SJ (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences
Funders: bee disease insurance UK
Depositing User: Isobel Rebecca Grindrod
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2022 10:25
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2022 02:30

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