Endangered animal species

Center for Selection and Performance Testing (CSTP) – Applied research on genetic improvement of bees

© Observatoire Français d'Apidologie

This project follows on from the construction of the Center for Selection and Performance Testing (CSTP), partly funded by Fondation Ensemble during a previous phase. The Foundation has now contributed to the funding of the Center’s laboratory, which is used by researchers from INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research), ITSAP (Technical and Scientific Institute for the Study of Bees and Pollination) and OFA (Observatoire Français d’Apidologie). The research conducted in this laboratory aims to improve the characteristics of the black bee of Provence.

To this end, various studies are being conducted:

  • Selective breeding on high quality specimens, either through controlled fertilization or by insemination.
  • Selection of queens, which are provided to the test network with a measurement protocol (hive strength, average honey production, etc.).
  • Selection of queens to be given at the end of the 2015 season to the beekeepers/apidologists/breeders who will have received training from OFA.

This initiative is part of OFA’s overall Program for 2015, which is divided into five projects:

  • In liaison with the OFA Selection Center, the setting up of 500 hives as part of its Performance Testing Network for an applied research program.
  • Maison de l’Apidologie: a training program leading to a qualification in beekeeping, with a focus on breeding and reproduction techniques, bee pathology and hive care.
  • Support for young beekeepers/apidologists/breeders in setting up breeding and reproduction colonies that will enhance the pollination required for sustainable agriculture.
  • Conservatoire de l’Abeille Noire Provençale (Center for the Conservation of the black bee in Provence), Porquerolles
  • Apitherapy research

According to the documentation supplied to the Foundation, the funds raised have contributed to the purchase of laboratory equipment (computers, measurement tools). To date, the CSTP has trained five beekeepers/apidologists/breeders.

In 2016, training is planned for 15 new beekeepers, and a research program on drone sperm will also be developed.

Find out more about the OFA in this video (in French) :

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