Bee Breeder-Geneticist Susan Cobey to Deliver Keynote Address at International Beekeeping Symposium in Argentina
Sept. 20, 2011
Bee breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
DAVIS--Bee breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey will deliver the keynote address at the beekeeping technology symposium on Production of Live Material at the 42nd Annual Apimondia International Beekeeping Congress, set Sept. 21-25 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Cobey, who has a dual appointment at the University of California, Davis, and Washington State University, will speak Friday, Sept. 23 on “Changes and Developments in the Queen and Package Bee Industry.”
In addition, Cobey and fellow bee researcher Walter “Steve” Sheppard, professor and chair of the Department of Entomology at Washington State University, Pullman, will present a poster, “Collaborative Stock Enhancement Project to Increase Genetic Diversity of U.S. Honey Bee Populations,” on Thursday, Sept. 22.
Cobey’s research focuses on identifying, selecting and enhancing honey bee stocks that show increasing levels of resistance to pests and diseases. Cobey developed the New World Carniolan stock, a dark, winter hardy race of honey bees, in the early 1980s by back-crossing stocks collected from throughout the United States and Canada to create a more pure strain. Stock imported from the German Carnica Association has recently been added to enhance this breeding program. In collaborations with Steve Sheppard, they are importing honey bee germplasm to increase genetic diversity in the U.S. honey bee gene pool. In addition, stock from the Republic of Georgia has been imported to re-establish the subspecies Apis mellifera caucasica, another dark race of bee that is not currently recognizable in the U.S.
A critical aspect of this program is the technology transfer of beekeeping skills. Cobey teaches queen bee rearing and queen bee inseminations classes every spring at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility.
Cobey, who has taught the specialized classes since the early 1980s, draws researchers and beekeepers from throughout the world, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rico, England, Egypt, France, Spain India, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Korea, Kuwait, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay and Venezuela, Columbia.
By invitation, she’s also taught several classes in the host countries of Argentina, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica Egypt, Jamaica, Mexico, Turkey and South Africa.
Other upcoming events and speaking engagements include:
Oct. 4-7: Cobey will teach bee breeding techniques and instrumental insemination of queen bees in Santiago, Chile. The event is sponsored by Ceapimayor, Beekeeping Centre for Entrepreneurship; and the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry at the University of Chile.
Oct. 20-23: British Columbia Beekeepers' Convention, Vancouver, B.C.
Oct 27-29: Washington State Beekeepers' Convention, Federal Way, Wash.
Nov. 15-17: California State Beekeepers' Convention, Rohnert Park, Calif.
Nov. 17-19: Oregon Beekeepers' Association, Seaside, Ore.
Jan. 4-8: American Honey Producers' Association, Phoenix, Ariz.
Jan. 10-14: American Beekeeping Federation. Las Vegas
Also next year, Cobey is scheduled to speak on "Importation of Honey Bee Germplasm to Increase Genetic Diversity in Domestic Breeding Stocks” on May 2 at a UC Davis Department of Entomology noon hour seminar. (Site to be announced)
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology