3.3.8. Additional test characters

With regard to specific needs, bees can be tested and selected for further traits. Pollen gathering, length of life and breeding for morphological characters are some examples for successful selection activities (Rinderer, 1986).

Further characters may be included to improve the disease resistance of bees. With regard to varroa resistance, various traits such as the grooming behaviour of bees, the post-capping period duration and others, have been discussed as potential selection criteria but have not been demonstrated to be effective.

However, testing and selection may be more effective if focused on fewer characters. Usually, each additional test parameter needs additional effort and results in additional stress for the colonies. Furthermore, simultaneous selection for several independent characters reduces the selection power for each single trait. Thus, the breeding success depends very much on a clearly defined selection goal and a consequent testing scheme.