Selecting and producing virus-resistant honey bees
Award last edited on: 1/20/2023

Sponsored Program
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Principal Investigator
Daniel Weaver

Company Information

B Weaver Apiaries Inc (AKA: BeeWeaver Honey Farm)

6301 Highland Hills Drive
Austin, TX 78731
   (512) 565-4693
Location: Single
Congr. District: 37
County: Travis

Phase I

Contract Number: 2022-01178
Start Date: 5/19/2022    Completed: 1/31/2023
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Selecting and producing virus-resistant honey bees: Ensuring food security improving beekeeping sustainability and enhancing pollination efficiency by reducing colony losses. USDA SBIR Phase I Application to Priority Area 8.2 Health of Pollinators for Fiscal Year 2022Award Project Summary: Honey bees provide ca. $20B to the US agricultural economy in pollination services and hive products. Deformed wing virus (DWV) is a principal pathogen of honey bees reducing life spans and colony mortality. This project connects a commercial honey bee breeder with new technologies for breeding virus-resistant honey bee stock. Specifically a lab-based assay using viruses tagged with a luminescent probe can swiftly identify breeding stock that resists virus infection. This project will screen existing honey bee breeding lines by testing the viral resistance of (haploid) male bees. Bees with extreme resistance will provide semen for artificial insemination of queen breeding stock. Two generations of directed breeding will result in stably resistant lineages that can be used as commercial breeder queens. The method should also provide viral resistance to other important bee viruses and regardless offers a plausible tool for disease mitigation generally. Nevertheless certified queens that resist this one devastating virus have a market potential of up to $5M annually.

Phase II

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