Dan Conlon – Looking for Queens in all the Right Places
The focus of this presentation will be on techniques and procedures being used to make long term improvement in honeybees. Selection, testing, confirming results have worked to make improvements in those Russian breeding lines managed by RHBA members and the staff at the Bee Lab. This is a model for bee breeding that uses proven Queen rearing techniques and new science: DNA sampling & preserving Drone sperm (Genetic banking). After twenty years we have proven these selection techniques work and have made permanent improvement in mite tolerance.
- Brief history of Russian Program
- Overview of the selection process
- Differences in managing Russian bees
- Tips for backyard beekeepers on improving Queen performance
About the Speaker
Dan Conlon owns Warm Colors Apiary in South Deerfield, Massachusetts. WCA operates 1200 colonies for honey production, and 200 colonies for Queen production. WCA raises Queens from select Russian Honeybee breeding lines for mite tolerance and improved honey production.
In the late 1990s when Tracheal and Varroa mites were introduced to the U.S., beekeepers lost millions of colonies, successful apiaries went out of business, and bee breeders lost important genetics in our breeding lines. The rush to find mite treatments had brought beekeepers tools temporarily saving bees, but this has never been the long-range solution. Identifying natural defenses in bees, and amplifying those heritable behaviors by careful genetic selection has been ongoing at the ARS-USDA Bee Lab in Baton Rouge, LA. Most of what we know and understand regarding bee defenses and immunity to disease has come from lab researchers under the direction of Tom Rinderer (Director – now retired).
Dan is currently President of the Russian Honeybee Breeders association. The RHBA works closely with the ARS-USDA Bee Lab, to preserve the genetic diversity and continue to select for Varroa tolerance, disease resistance and honey production.
Our general membership meetings are held on the last Tuesday of most months at 7:30 PM at the Norfield Church in Weston, CT.
Please see our Calendar of Events for details.
64 Norfield Rd
Weston, CT 06883
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