Plan Bee is a national genetic improvement program for bees. It uses innovative breeding technologies to transform the performance of Honey Bees in Australia.
Dr. Nadine Chapman from the University of Sydney is Plan Bee’s lead researcher. The BEE molecular laboratory and bee house at the university actually stands for Behaviour, Ecology, and Evolution.
The Plan Bee research involves an international literature study to determine what lessons can be applied to the Australian context, as well as working with people in the beekeeping industry and in the pollination sector. Dr. Chapman and her researchers work with the Department of Primary Industries to collect information on bee breeding colonies and crops to determine if there are traits related to pollination that can be included in breeding programs.
The aim of the research is to improve beekeeping so that beekeepers can have happy bees that will be more productive with fewer diseases. The large database on genetics will enable queen bee breeders to select their own stock for the traits that customers are interested in. This will lead ultimately to a sustainable queen bee breeding program.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM