Postdoctoral research position on Varroa-mite resistant honey bees


Varroa destructor is the most important ectoparasite of the honey bee Apis mellifera and represents the greatest threat to colony survival. For instance, if the colony is left untreated, the development of Varroa populations within the colony, often leads to the colony decline and ultimately death.
However, despite the profound impact of Varroa parasitism on honey bee populations, some colonies in several parts of the world have been shown to successfully survive the parasite without any treatment. This is the case with some bee populations that we identified in France. This strongly suggests that some honey bees developed or already possessed defense mechanisms to successfully fight mite infestation (e.g. hygienic behavior, colony dynamics, immune defense). Part of the resistance may also be related to the selection of special strains or variants of the Varroa-transmitted viruses. The goal is therefore to identify the mechanisms underlying this natural resistance (at the individual and colony level), in order to progress toward a more sustainable control of Varroa population. We are therefore seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral associate to work on this program. This will require developing and implementing appropriate methodologies, analyzing and interpreting data, and working in close collaboration with members of the group “Bee Biology and Protection”. This work will span the spectrum from field surveys (colony monitoring) to lab experiments (analysis of virus and individual immunity).


The position will be funded for 3 years upon yearly renewal and should ideally start in the fall of 2016. Salary will be based on previous research experience and according to INRA regulation (~ 2400 euros, gross monthly salary).

Candidate profile
 PhD degree in Entomology or closely related discipline
 Strong background in insect physiology, pathology, molecular biology and statistical analysis of large data set
 Previous experience with field experiment and the management of honey bees
 Should not be allergic to bee sting
 Fluent in English
 Good scientific writing skills

How to apply
The application should include a detailed CV, a letter of interest including a short description of research experience, and name two academic references, who may subsequently be contacted. The documents should be sent by email within one file to Yves Le Conte and Cédric Alaux.
Application will be assessed until a suitable candidate is found.


Yves Le Conte,, Tel : +33 (0)4 32 72 26 01
Cédric Alaux,, Tel : +33 (0)4 32 72 26 19
UR 406 Abeilles et Environnement
Site Agroparc, CS 40509
84914 Avignon Cedex 9, France

Cedric Alaux
Postdoc_INRA_Varroa.pdf — 223 KB
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