Irish Research Council-funded Scholar's search for 'The Bee Genes' featured in the Irish Times
Due to the prevalence of Varroa mites, honeybee colonies in Ireland and elsewhere are in serious decline. This has a deleterious effect on the efficacy of pollination in crop plants and wild flora with a consequential negative impact on economy and biodiversity.
The ultimate aim of Keith Browne, an IRC-funded Scholar based at NUIG, is to increase the mite and pathogen resistance of Irish honeybee colonies along with re-establishing wild colonies of the Irish bee.
“We are trying to do two things: establish a breeding programme with the aim of increasing the amount of honeybees in Ireland that have resistance to Varroa. In doing that, not only do you treat the mite, you give the bees greater disease resistance,” Browne says. “We are also trying to look for any wild Irish bees that might still exist in the environment.”
The full article can be read here.