Honey bees are not native to the U.S., introduced as a small subset sampling by early colonists before the 1922 US Honey Bee Act, restricted importations. This foundation population has been propagated to establish our beekeeping industry today. Over time, several genetic bottleneck events have reduced the diversity. Genetic diversity are the raw tools for selection. Research has shown that the maintenance of genetic diversity at the colony level is an important contributor to colony health, and genetic diversity at the population level increases the ability to select important traits; such as productivity and resistance to pests & diseases. The impact of germplasm from Europe into our domestic breeding programs will be presented.

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.