Bee queen on honeycomb with surrounded honeybees layong eggs

Breeding Program

Collecting honey bee semen

The WSU honey bee selection and Breeding Program continues into its second decade. The program provides selected honey bee stocks to beekeepers.

The WSU Breeding Program is focused toward developing honey bee stocks that exhibit a measure of resistance or tolerance to common honey bee pathogens and parasites. A related program coordinated by WSU designed to enhance US honey bee diversity through importation of honey bee semen from Old World sources, evaluation of progeny and release of germplasm to the queen production industry.

Honey bee queen being artificially inseminated.

Selection Methods for Honey Bee Breeding

This national award-winning video provides beekeepers with the knowledge they need to implement a successful breeding program. Used to develop the New World Carniolan breeding program more than 40 years ago, and in the development of The WSU project breeder queens, the closed population breeding program designed by Drs. Page and Laidlaw offers beekeepers a pragmatic way of stock selection and improvement. The video covers the basics of honey bee breeding, selection methods, and how to avoid costly mistakes that can lead to inbreeding.

Instrumental Insemination of Honey Bee Queens

The technique of instrumental insemination is presented here step by step. This video includes a brief historical overview, the procedures of semen collection, and insemination of queens include troubleshooting to avoid common mistakes. Procedures for the short-term semen storage and the shipping of semen are also presented.

Cryopreservation of Honey Bee Semen

See how to properly preserve honey bee semen cryogenically with Brandon Hopkins.