Bee breeders are trying to develop queen bees that pass along traits of disease and pest resistance, gentleness, productivity and winter hardiness. Probably the most important trait that can be bred into queen bees is a hygienic trait for fighting varroa mites that can kill off a bee colony.

A Washington Post article investigates one possible option to counter bee colony collapse disorder. Bees that have a hygienic trait or are “neatniks” for removing the corpses of dead bees or destroying cells infected with the mites in a hive, which can break the life cycle of the mite, is the goal.

The article investigates the hesitation of bee breeders to use artificial insemination or to quit using large amount of medication.

Read the full article here.