Washington Sate University has been collecting Honey bee germplasm (semen) from Old World endemic populations to diversity the U.S. honey bee gene pool. Working with cooperating California queen producers, these stocks have been incorporated into their domestic breeding programs, making them available to benefit the beekeeping industry. We have also re- introduced Caucasians bees, Apis mellifera caucasica, known for its propensity to use propolis, a self-medication for pathogens. A review of this project will be presented with emphasis on our 2017 trip to collect A. mellifera ligustica in Italy and A. mellifera carnica in Slovenia.

Presenter: Susan Cobey, Washington State University

Susan Cobey’s focus is enhancement of honey bee stocks and improvement of colony health through breeding.  She holds a 50% appointment with Washington State University and also runs Honey Bee Insemination Service. With the WSU Bee Team, her main project is the collection and incorporation of germplasm, collected from superior stocks around the world, into domestic breeding programs. An acknowledged international authority in the field of honey bee breeding and instrumental insemination, she has over 30 years of experience in managing the New World Carniolan closed population program. Her experience includes management of Honey Bee Research Laboratories at the Ohio University State and the University of California, Davis.