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What have we been up to? (APR 2014)
Like everyone else, we’re gearing up for a busy spring season! We didn’t have very good overwintering success, in large part because we were doing research so late into the fall last year that we didn’t really give the bees a chance to recover before winter. But with late mite treatments, uniting lots of hives together, and getting some last-minute sugar feed on them, we were able to get through with ~25 colonies this spring. Jennifer also installed another 25 packages in late March, mostly to build up the combs for our 100 mating nuclei that we’ll be using heavily this year. The main research that we have planned is to start up our large-scale project on in vitro queen rearing to select for “queenliness”. In doing so, we’ll need to perform a lot of genetic crosses using instrumental insemination, so we’ll need to raise a lot of queens and drones! We’ll also be doing several other experiments on small hive beetle biocontrol, the behavior and viral infection of varroa mites, and which virgin queens win the fatal duels over their rivals!
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