Free genetic testing is being offered to Australian queen bee breeders.
We sincerely thank everyone who has responded by providing samples or requested assistance to collect data for the database and samples for genetic testing.
Getting good quality DNA for genetic testing has been an ongoing problem and is leading to delays in testing.
So, what are we doing about it?
We have been investigating different options for DNA extraction. The new method is much more expensive, more than four times the price of the old method. That will mean that we can test fewer samples. We aim to find a less expensive solution without compromising on quality.
Currently we are investigating if more mature samples provide better quality DNA, and what is the youngest age of drones that we can use. Our service provider has noticed that darker, and therefore more developed/older, samples tend to work better. We have collected developing drones so that we can determine which age works the best. We are also investigating if different body parts work better. We will trial using the leg, thorax and head.
This work will enable us to pick the best strategy for the samples that we have already collected and give us the best protocol moving forward when collecting samples.
This article was peer reviewed by Erica Mo and Emily Noordyke.