An estimate of the heritability of worker longevity or length of life in the honeybee
Charles P. Milne, Jr.
Heritability of longevity or length of life of worker honeybees (Apis mellifera) was estimated from the variance components of half-sib families. Measurements were made of the life-spans of worker progeny from 27 free-mated queens which were the daughters of 6 queens. The heritability of length of life-span was estimated to be 0.196 ± 0.024. Selection for longer life, therefore, appears feasible and a correlated increase in colony honey production, depending upon the magnitude of the genetic correlation between these two traits, should also be possible.
heritability, life span, longevity, genetic correlation