Introduction, Selection criteria and Inspection forms

Dear beekeeper,
Welcome to 2016, the second full year of the joint NIHBS/NUIG breeding programme to increase the prevalence of honey bee colonies in Ireland that are tolerant of the parasitic mite, Varroa destructor.
The programme continues into another year with the support of all parties involved because it is seen as part of the best long-term approach to assist Apis mellifera mellifera in a recovery from Varroa. NUIG look forward to another year assisting beekeepers in the first moves towards improving the Varroa tolerance of their honey bee population however additional participants are essential if the programme is to yield a successful outcome for NIHBS members and other beekeepers.
If you have already submitted Varroa counts, thank you. Please continue to do so using the same colonies as before. We ask that all beekeepers who submit counts also include the very important additional information about the colonies. These are necessary to understand their characteristics in order that desired traits can be kept in the population.
VERY IMPORTANT; PLEASE NOTE : This year the Varroa counts will take place in two discrete windows of time as leaving it open-ended last year appeared to create some confusion.
COUNT 1:  Between the 7th and 22nd of May but before any anti-Varroa treatment.       If you treat early, conduct the count before treatment irrespective of the date.
COUNT 2: Between the 13th and 28th of August but before anti-Varroa treatment.      If you treat early, conduct the count before treatment irrespective of the date.

Download more information here.

Introduction to breeding programme

Aims objectives and overview

Frequently asked questions

Sugar shaker method

Colony Inspection form printable version

Colony Inspection form Excel version

Colony Inspection form completion notes