Susan Cobey

Susan Cobey
Washington State University | WSU · Department of Entomology

About

44
Publications
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Introduction
Susan Cobey currently works at the Department of Entomology, Washington State University. Her focus is stock improvement, the selection and breeding of honey bees. Her main current project is honey bee germplasm importation from native European honey bee subspecies to diversity the U.S. honey bee gene pool. She also operates Honey Bee Insemiantion Service, providing hands on training, specialized equipment and a custom service for the instrumental insemination of honey bee queens..
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (44)
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Asian giant hornet (AGH) or Japanese giant hornet, Vespa mandarinia, recently found in British Columbia, Canada, and in Washington State, poses a significant threat to European honey bee (EHB), Apis mellifera, colonies and is a public health issue. The AGH is the world’s largest species of horne, native to temperate and tropical low mountains a...
Article
Full-text available
This study shows how the addition of a saline solution to drone semen and the pre- and post-insemination care of honey bee queens affect both the number of sperm in the spermatheca and the condition of the oviducts. Queens were instrumentally inseminated and stored under various conditions. These conditions included being held in mailing cages with...
Article
Full-text available
Honey bees are an important agricultural species; however, relatively little work has been done to improve artificial reproductive technologies for this animal. The collection and distribution of germplasm for breeding and conservation is critical for improving managed honey bee populations and conserving threatened subspecies. The most efficient m...
Article
This series of articles focuses on the Washington State University Project to diversify the U.S. Honey bee gene pool. Last month Cecilia Costa, Marco Lodesani and Fausto Ridolfi gave a brief history and overview of bee breeding in Italy. Here we focus on the introduction of stocks from Italy. Future articles will focus on the germplasm importations...
Article
Full-text available
Honey bee queens are highly polyandrous and mate in flight. Instrumental insemination is an essential tool that provides complete control of honey bee mating for research and breeding purposes. The technique requires specialized equipment to anesthetize and immobilize the queen and to collect and deliver semen from the drones. Semen is harvested fr...
Chapter
The many problems that currently face the U.S. honey bee population has underscored the need for sufficient genetic diversity at the colony, breeding, and population levels. Genetic diversity has been reduced by three distinct bottleneck events, namely the limited historical importation of subspecies and queens, the selection pressure of parasites...
Article
Full-text available
Instrumental insemination, a reliable method to control honey bee mating, is an essential tool for research and stock improvement. A review of studies compare colony performance of instrumentally inseminated queens, IIQs, and naturally mated queens, NMQs. Factors affecting queen performance are also reviewed. The collective results of the data demo...
Article
"Banking" refers to incubator or nursery colonies used to hold and maintain caged queens or maturing queen cells. The practice of banking allows efficient use of cell builders and flexibility in scheduling the requeening of colonies. Banks are also used to hold virgin queens and drones for instrumental insemination.
Article
Rearing your own queens is one of the more interesting and rewarding aspects of beekeeping. It provides a means to maintain young, vigorous queens in colonies and is the foundation of good colony management. This also enables a degree of selection for desirable colony characteristics.
Article
New Zealand is a small, pristine country with breathtakingly beautiful and diverse landscapes of mountains, glaciers, rivers, forests, wild coastlines, and white sand beaches. The rainforests, active volcanoes, thermal geysers and boiling mud are impressive feats of nature. Lightly populated, the 4 million people are mainly concentrated in a few la...
Article
Apis mellifera queens were reared to evaluate the performance of Naturally Mated (NM) and instrumentally inseminated (II) queens, using Doolittle grafting method. A group of twelve queen cells was introduced to five frames nucleus colonies and virgins allowed to mate naturally. A second group of 14 queen cells was confined to cages and instrumental...
Article
The queen, mother of all individuals in a hive, determines the inherited characteristics of the colony. Her success, productivity and lifespan are dependent upon the number and genetic diversity of drones with whom she mates.
Article
The queen and her colony's survival is dependent upon her ability to maintain a large population. During peak season she will lay more than her own body weight in eggs, producing an impressive 1500 to 2000 eggs a day. Her paired ovaries contain about 360 ovarioles, where the eggs are produced (Snodgrass, 1956). She must store enough sperm to fertil...
Article
The honey bee colony, often referred to as a super-organism, is a populous, genetically diverse and highly cooperative society. Every individual bee is dependant upon the colony for its survival. Multiple mating of the queen creates an intricate social structure of relationships within the colony. Complex behavior patterns are remarkably flexible i...
Article
Plant and animal breeding are responsible for major advances in agriculture, enhancing economically valued traits as well as minimizing the impact of pests and diseases. Controlled mating is the basic foundation of all stock improvement programs. This has been difficult to control in honey bees because they multiple mate in flight. Instrumental ins...
Article
Chile is spectacular in its array of landscapes, with a wide range of climatic regions and vegetation. This diversity harbors great beekeeping potential. Here, beekeepers can enjoy several consecutive spring seasons, following the flows north and south.
Article
Australia, the only continent apparently still free of parasitic mites, hopes to maintain this highly coveted status. Varroa destructor is an increasing concern with the recent finds in New Zealand. Beekeepers are aware of its potential impact. The warm climate, nearly year round brood production: in most areas, and-the large feral bee populations...
Article
Full-text available
A study was conducted to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that affect learning in honeybees. Two F1 supersister queens were produced from a cross between two established lines that had been selected for differences in the speed at which they reverse a learned discrimination between odors. Different families of haploid drones from two of thes...
Article
Honeybees must track changing distributions of food resources in their environment. We evaluated the genetic basis for interindividual differences in this ability by selecting lines of honeybees that differed in their tendency to reverse a learned discrimination between two odours. We show that individual variation in reversal learning performance,...
Article
Varroa on its original host, the Eastern honey bee, Apis cerana, is considered an insignificant pest. It did not become a concern to beekeepers until it made the cross species jump to the Western (European) honey bee, Apis mellifera. It is an amazing story; how this tiny mite evolved into an independent parasite and became a major pest to spread al...
Article
Our primary objective was to identify techniques to transform the genome of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) with foreign DNA constructs. The strategy we adopted was to linearize foreign DNA and introduce it with sperm during the instrumental insemination of virgin queen honey bees. We analysed extracts from larvae within the same cohort and isolated...
Article
U.S. beekeepers must now learn to deal with another exotic pest, the South African small hive beetle. While these beetles are destroying strong, healthy colonies in the U.S, they are considered a minor pest in South Africa. The introduction of exotic species, accidentally or intentionally, often creates more complex and unforeseen problems when the...
Article
We examined the use of synthetic queen and worker honey bee pheromones to improve the rate of success requeening colonies. Most of the experiments used queen mandibular pheromone (QMP) added to colonies prior to or during new queen introduction, but we also tested worker Nasanov pheromone. No experiments demonstrated any increases in requeening suc...
Article
Beekeepers universally view resistant honey bee stocks as the best solution to the problem of parasitic mites. Resistant stocks would also help to eliminate or at least minimize the need of chemical control treatments in colonies, thereby reducing costs and protecting the healthy image of hive products.
Article
The beekeeping industry needs to take an active role in selective breeding to address current industry problems. Stock improvement is an effective means to lessen the impact of parasitic mites and the effects of African bees. This will minimize the use and cost of chemical controls which will also reduce the risk of contamination of hive products....
Article
Successful bidirectional selection for discriminative olfactory learning is reported for drone honey bees (Apis mellifera). Learning performance was evaluated using a discrimination conditioning procedure that required drones to discriminate between an appetitively reinforced odorant and one that was followed by punishment. Selective breeding produ...
Article
Conducted a series of experiments testing, under controlled conditions, the influence of age, caste, and genotype on the expression of learning performance in honey bees. Studies were begun no earlier than 3 days postemergence to ensure an acute olfactory sense. Results indicate that, under conditions and when genotype was not manipulated, neither...
Article
Proboscis extension conditioning of honeybee workers was used to study the processing of odorants when bees were conditioned to binary mixtures. Responses to a set of pure floral odors and pheromones after conditioning have already been described. When bees are conditioned to certain mixtures of odorants, the response to both components is equal to...
Article
Full-text available
Field experiments conducted between 1991 and 1993 demonstrated that treating colonies of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., continuously with vegetable oil depressed populations of tracheal mites Acarapis woodi (Rennie). In 1992-1993, continuous exposure to oil patties, with or without the antibiotic Terramycin, produced significant control of mites. F...
Article
Mandibular glands of Naturally Mated (NM) and Instrumentally Inseminated (II)Apis melliferaL. queens were extracted after 1 and 2-weeks of oviposition and bioassayed against worker honeybees. NM extracts evoked higher response than II extracts with no effect for week or interaction between week and mating type. Mandibular glands analysis of NM II h...
Article
Summary Proboscis extension conditioning of honeybee workers was used to study the processing of odorants when bees were conditioned to binary mixtures. Responses to a set of pure floral odors and pheromones after conditioning have already been described. When bees are conditioned to certain mixtures of odorants, the response to both components is...

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