Two generations of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., selected for resistance to tracheal mites, Acarapis woodi (Rennie), were produced from a foundation stock. The mite resistant lines had significantly low mite abundances and prevalences in each selected generation. The high mite-resistant lines of the first selected generation showed resistance equal to that of bees that had undergone natural selection from tracheal mite infestations for 3 yr in New York. Additionally, the high mite-resistant lines of the second selected generation and Buckfast bees had significantly lower mite abundances and prevalences than honey bees from control colonies which had never been exposed to tracheal mite infestation in Ontario. These results corroborate studies that have shown that honey bees possess genetic components for tracheal mite resistance that can be readily enhanced in a breeding program. The two methods used for evaluating relative resistance of honey bees to tracheal mites, a short-term bioassay and evaluation in field colonies, were positively correlated (rs = 0.64, P < 0.001).
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Vol. 94 • No. 2