A recent abundance of studies investigating causes of honey bee (Apis mellifera) colony losses has led to enhanced recommendations in management practices with particular emphasis on breeding for resistant bee stocks. Here we review the latest advances in research which could improve the future of breeding programs. We discuss diversity in colonies particularly in breeding programs, giving ... [Show full abstract] special emphasis to recent improvement in cryopreservation of honey bee germplasm. We also review factors that affect the health and reproductive quality of queens and drones. We briefly discuss how techniques developed by scientists are finding more regular usage with breeders in the assessment of reproductive caste health and quality and in determining best management practices for breeding programs.