Relationship Between Hygienic Behavior and Varroa destructor Mites in Colonies Producing Honey or Royal Jelly
Keywords:bee breeding, heritability, genetic correlation, phenotypic correlation, Bayesian inference
Genetic and phenotypic parameters for hygienic behavior, invasion and infestation rates, total and effective reproduction of Varroa destructor in Africanized honeybee colonies producing honey (20 hives) or royal jelly (30 mini-hives) were analyzed. The significance of monthly fixed effects, type of product (honey and royal jelly) and their interactions were verified through generalized linear model procedures. Software WinBugs (Bayesian Inference Using Gibbs Sampling) with Bayesian inference was employed for (co)variance estimates. The average values for colonies producing honey or royal jelly were 74.38 and 71.40% for hygienic behavior in 24 hours; infestation rates 8.30 and 11.40%; invasion rates 9.50 and 7.50%; total reproduction 1.02 and 0.55%; effective reproduction was 0.62 and 0.33%, respectively. The additive genetic variance for invasion (0.16), total reproduction (0.25) and effective reproduction (0.94) rates of the mite were higher than estimates for hygienic behavior in 24 hours (0.05) and infestation rate (0.04). Mean heritability for hygienic behavior, infestation and invasion rates, total and effective reproduction of the mite were .58, 0.54, 0.56, 0.63 and 0.61, respectively. The genetic correlation of -0.48 for hygienic behavior with total reproduction rate of Varroa destructor shows that hygienic behavior may be the most interesting trait for selection. Besides a heritability of high magnitude, when combined with the total reproduction rate of the mite, it has a high and antagonistic correlation. Consequently, in cases of high infestation of Varroa destructor, the selection for hygienic behavior would decrease the reproduction rate of the mite.
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