Researchers looked for areas that differ between the unhygienic bees (left) and hygienic bees (right). / Photo: York University
The key to breeding disease-resistant honey bees could lie in a group of genes – known for controlling hygienic behavior – that enable colonies to limit the spread of harmful mites and bacteria, according to genomics research conducted at York University.
Some worker honey bees detect and remove sick and dead larvae and pupae from their colonies. This hygienic behavior, which has a strong genetic component, is known to improve the colony’s chance of survival. The researchers narrowed in on the “clean” genes that influence this be….