How do we breed our hygienic bees?
Steve Taber and Tom Parisian began Honey Bee Genetics in 1979 with a goal of breeding a disease resistant stock of hygienic bees with an ability to overcome American Foulbrood. He gained expertise by breeding bees for specific characteristics that led to changes in hygienic and resistant behavior in the entire breeding line. Later, this stock was also shown to have resistance traits linked to Chalkbrood Disease.
In 1993, the USDA chose Honey Bee Genetics to breed a “Yugo” Carniolan stock via instrumental insemination. Originally from the Carnica Mountains in Yugoslavia where Carniolan honey bees (Apis mellifera carnica) along with Asian honey bees (Apis cerana) are thought to have been parasitized by Varroa mites for many years and show natural resistance to them. As the Varroa destructor mite became more prevalent in the US and other areas of the world, research in Germany and Minnesota have shown that hygienic and resistance related traits give bees the ability to mitigate Varroa mite infestations and related diseases.
Honey Bee Genetics was purchased by the Tauzer Family in April 2020. Tauzer Apiaries has a long standing relationship with Honey Bee Genetics and wanted to sustain the important queen rearing practices began by Tom and Steve so long ago. Mark Tauzer and the Tauzer Family have been beekeeping and raising queens since 1973.
Today, Honey Bee Genetics still follows the same successful breeding techniques of continuously testing our stock for these traits and carefully breeding our queens to produce stock with specific hygienic traits that help create resistance to Varroa mites and other diseases.
Honey Bee Genetics partners with the USDA and Bee Informed to test their breeding stocks for hygienic behaviors.