3.3. Testing criteria

At the Apimondia symposium “Controlled mating and selection of the honey bee” held in Lunz in 1972, technical recommendations for methods to evaluate the performance of bee colonies were developed (Ruttner, 1972) which still serve as an international standard for testing and selecting honey bees. However, much technical progress has been achieved since then, and today the beekeeping community is facing new challenges, first of all due to challenges posed by varroa, but also because of rapid environmental and climatic changes (Neumann and Carreck, 2010). Reviews of recent developments in breeding for resistance to Varroa destructor in Europe and the USA have been published by Büchler et al. (2010) and Rinderer et al. (2010) respectively.

The recommendations in the sections below were largely revised and approved by the members of COLOSS Working Group 4 who cooperated in a European-wide experiment with more than 600 test colonies for assessing the impact of genotype-environment interactions on the vitality of honey bee colonies (Costa et al., 2012.).

3.3.8. Additional test characters