Summer 2016 project update

Project BeeOmics is now well under-way, with all the BC colony samples already processed and the Alberta samples rolling in. Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec will be following soon. From these samples (and with a lot of extra helping hands), we are starting to get a look at the molecular differences between the colonies. Once all the data is in, we will relate this information to the other traits we’re measuring (aggression, honey production, innate immunity, hygienic behavior, etc.). What we hope to find are groups of genes or proteins linked to each trait, creating a molecular signature, or fingerprint, that we can use in the same way we are now for hygienic behaviour. When the project is complete, we should be able to take samples from a beekeeper’s breeder colonies, read their molecular fingerprint and use this information to suggest which colonies to breed from to get the nicest, healthiest bees in the next generation. All without taking rigorous notes or doing your own tests! We are excited to share some preliminary data soon.

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