Implementation of a selective project, expanded and advanced compared to what was carried out with the previous project (Beenomix), which will enhance new phenotypic characteristics, in addition to the traditional ones, aimed at mitigating the undesirable effects of climate change.
The selective scheme to be created will be based on the availability of an SFC in which the VQ (Virgin Queens) of each selective cycle, obtained by the "traslarvae" from the best mothers of the previous cycle, will be fertilized. The SFC will be populated by drones produced by a limited number of DPQ (Drone Producing Queens). daughters of the best individual selected in the previous cycle.
Within this selective scheme, a diagnostic tool will be developed and used to maximize the the genetic variability present at the SDL locus, to guard against possible unwanted effects deriving from consanguinity and therefore to guarantee greater vitality of the broods laid by the VQ fertilized by the drones produced by the selected DPQs and operating in the SFC.
The selection will make use of BLUP genetic indices for the identification of the reproducers, that will also include kinship relations between families.
Creation of a free fertilization service open to the public in a specific Drone Congregation Area (DCA), starting from the second year of the project. This area, populated by selected drones typical of the TG selected in point 1, will make it possible to provide the Lombardy beekeeping sector with a complete, free of charge and advanced model for the protection, enhancement and public use of the results of a genetic improvement plan in beekeeping, also providing an operational tool of immediate usefulness for companies in Lombardy.
Creation of a DNA-custom panel capable of clearly defining the membership of an individual to the TG Ligustica, Carnica, Buckfast, Sicula and Mellifera as well as new and synthetic TGs such as the one selected in point 1.
Realization of a specific Varroa Tolerance (VT) index for the selection on the containment of the Varroa Destructor infestation rate, including it in the genetic evaluation mentioned in point 4, which includes the HB + VGR phenotypes. In this regard, we will also proceed to the development of effective field strategies for measuring the VGR phenotype on a large number of colonies, in line with what has already been done for the HB phenotype as part of the BEENOMIX Project (2016-2018). The validation of this aggregate HB + VGR index may also be based on VSH (Varroa Sensitive Hygiene) genes, thanks to the genetic information already available to the OG.
Validate the performance: of families guided by fertilized queens in an open environment over the ones fertilized in a MA, in order to prove their efficiency and make all the necessary technical modifications aimed at maximizing the benefit of the beekeepers that will employ this method.