Development and implementation of protocols to enable importation of improved honey bee genetics to Australia (MT18019)
What’s it all about?
This investment is laying the groundwork to allow the first importation of desirable honey bee germplasm into Australia, with a focus on sourcing genetic material from bees with a tolerance to Varroa mite and its associated viruses.
Import of and access to this material for breeding purposes will allow both the honey bee and horticulture industries to prepare for the threat of Varroa, by pre-emptively establishing Varroa-tolerant genetics in Australia’s honey bee population.
Specific project activities include…
- Exploring and updating virus testing protocols for honey bee germplasm, to allow testing of imported material for biosecurity risks
- Building capacity for receiving imported germplasm through the new Post-Entry Quarantine facility at Mickleham in Victoria
- Establishing relationships with overseas honey bee breeding programs that are selecting for Varroa tolerance, and identifying suitable sources of Varroa-tolerant germplasm for importation (an element of which includes reviewing and recommending germplasm selection protocols).
The project team will also evaluate the first successfully imported and propagated Varroa-tolerant germplasm prior to its release to industry.