Innovations in BeeBreed

BeeBreed Design, 7.10.2019

In addition to the optical redesign and the application of the principles for barrier-free websites, there are new functional elements in the website:

  • The BeeBreed logo leads back to the start page at any time, the LIB logo to the institute's website.
  • The user can log in and out any time, the corresponding controls remain in the header.
  • Below the main menu is the current position in the page hierarchy, also called "breadcrumb" which links to the parent pages.
  • The news can now be found in each of the main menu pages and are therefore easier to find than before.
  • In addition to the already existing references to the contact form, impression, privacy policy, the footer also contains a function called "page restart" that deletes all internal pre-assignments.
  • The address bar contains full HTML addresses - subpages can be saved as bookmarks.
  • The previous restriction that BeeBreed may under no circumstances be executed in several windows of the same browser is now eliminated.
In addition, there are improvements in detail as part of the update:
  • Many tables have clickable column headings that cause the tables to be sorted by this column. A second click on the same heading causes a reverse sort order. Clicking on another heading now sorts according to this heading, but does not override the effect of the previous sorting; in the case of the same fields of the new sort, the previous sorting applies. Up to 4 levels of sort order are stored. The replaces the very limited sorting options in some selection forms.
  • In the breeding value tables as well as in the pedigree browser is now marked when a queen was genotyped or drone sperm was frozen.
  • The splitting of the columns for the various functions of data entry has been improved and the legends and notes corrected.

Insemination station with fixed 4a, 7.10.2019

Inseminators are flexible in which drones they use. Therefore, the breeder generally has the responsibility to enter the correct 4a. The function “registered drone descendants of the inseminators” are offered drone peoples.

However, some insemination stations are handled in such a way that all queens are inseminated with the same drone material. These insemination stations can now be represented as a "insemination station with fixed 4a". They are managed as a mating station of mating type 1. In this type of insemination mixed drones from all drone colonies are used, while the drone colonies are not changed in the duration of the insemination station. The breeder, who has mated the queen in such a station, selects at the data input: “mating station” and not “artificial insemination”. Then, the code of the insemination station is entered but not the 4a, similarly to the mating stations. The insemination station with fixed 4a must not have the same code as a mating station. In the tables for data entry (data inspection, data entry, grain impression, etc.), these insemination stations are indicated as “Be 1”, in contrast to mating with flexible inseminators, which are referred to as "KB" or "KB (1b)".

Deputy administrator, 7.10.2019

Each administrator may appoint a breeder of his association as a deputy administrator who has the right to view and modify the records of the association. However, the licensing, user administration and document management are reserved for the administrator.

Mating security from race characteristic findings by year, 7.10.2019

In the details of a mating station, a new analysis is visible for registered and logged in breeders. Queens mated at a particular mating station whose colonies have been checked for race characteristics, and whose mother were also checked, are used to assert the mating security of a mating station. The total number of failed matings (queens with a negative result assuming its mother had a positive result) is shown by year together with a per cent figure of mating security. The year is clickable and leads to the mating station's details of this year. If several runs have been made, the first run will be displayed, and the page header will contain links to the other runs.

Specification of mating at 1b-insemination, 12.7.2019

Note that in different functions, the specification of mating colony at 1b-insemination differs, depending on whether the respective column refers to “mating partner” or “4a”. Thus, in the Data Inspection function, the code of the drone colony is shown, while in the Edit breeding data function the columns marked L4A, LV4A, Z4A, NR4A, and J4A, refer to the 4a, the mother of the drone colony. In the pedigree overview, both colonies are shown.

Revision of breeding cards, 12.7.2019

On the breeding cards, the pedigree is now displayed as described in the Körscheinen - including correct representation in 1b mating. Breeding cards can now also be issued for 1b mating. The input mask has been revised, the selection of the type of mating now corresponds to the data record input. By pressing the Enter key, the breeding card is now created directly. The file name now contains the studbook number.

Revision data entry, 10.7.2019

In the data entry function, the year of birth of the current year is preset, but if it is changed, it will remain at that value for subsequent calls to the form until it is changed. The year of birth can also be omitted - all queens are then shown.

Licence certificate print, 20th June 2019

The licence certificates are now adapted for a 1b-insemination and different runs of a mating station.

Further minor changes include the way tolerance mating stations are represented, breeding values are printed.

There is a direct licence print button in the main input form for performance data.

Revision of performance data input, 12th June 2019

For the recording of datasets, the type of mating is replaced by the simpler choice between (i) mating station, (ii) artificial insemination, and (iii) free mating. Based on the selection, appropriate input fields are shown. Only for artificial insemination, the breeder is responisble to enter the full information of mating, for the mating station it is sufficient to identify the facility used, and for free mating, no input fields are shown at all.

The mating station is identified by its code, the type of mating station and the father colony is entered by the association's administrator. After pressing check, the name and 4a of the mating station is shown. If you disagree with the information, please inform the administrator.

If a mating station is organized in different runs, it is obligatory to enter the run number.

For insemination, it must be differentiated between 1b-insemination and 4a-insemination. To make this distinction even clearer, the choice is reflected in the description of the mating colony, either „father colony (4a)“ or drone colony (1b).

New traits are added for Varroa social hygiene (VSH). They are entered as a percentage of SMR (Supressed mite reproduction) and recapping (percentage of re-capped cells) in the main input form next to the pin test.

When specifying a year, the century can be omitted, it is automatically completed. This feature is not yet implemented in all functions in BeeBreed.

Administrators can now directly transfer data records to another examiner, by modifying the examiner fields in the section Performance test. (Breeders do not see these fields, they can only enter their own performance tests.) The transfer is carried out directly. Note that if it transferred to another association, the administrator loses control over it immediately. Breeders can still apply for transfer of datasets. It is executed only if accepted by the receiving breeder.

The error checks have been throughly revised. Now, most of the checks are also applied for datasets "in progress". Only warnings that affect the completeness of a performance test will only be carried out after "performance test done". For queen codes of 2a and 4a, detailed warnings are shown, for instance, whether the queens are not approved, not released, not registered at all, or whether the breeder number or even the association number does not exist. So the efforts of the breeders to correctly register pedigrees are better supported.

The internal structure of web programming has been improved, so that previous functional restrictions are eliminated. It is now possible to edit datasets simultaneously in different browser windows. From now on, multiple measurements can also be entered for newly created datasets. They are stored even if still no breed book number assigned is. Should the actual data record not be saved afterwards, the multiple measurements are not lost. They can be found as records without studbook number.

Input of multiple measurements (stockcard, Smartbees stockcard, Varroa infestation measurements) has been revised and is now clearer. As in the main input screen, there is now a "check" button that merely checks, does not save and does no leave the input form. The button "Check + Save" checks, and in the case without warnings, the data will be saved in the database. This is releveant if, for example, the internet connection is interrupted - previously the data had been lost. The previous link "back" is replaced with the buttons "check + save + back" and "back without saving" for a clear discrimination. Also, the function "Delete all data" is documented more clearly. Note that this feature is usually not needed because when deleting an entire record also the associated multiple measurements are automatically deleted. There is a new delete button for a single line.

The input of several drone colonies (1b) or father coloniess (4a) was integrated into the input mask. There is a new option to delete a single line.

When creating a new data record, there is now explicit information "After saving enter the next sibling (studbook number increased by one)". Now this function can also be switched off.

At the top of the page there are now duplicate buttons for the variaous check and save operations and the stock cards.

Pressing the enter key will check the data (not save), for both the main input form and multiple measurements.

Data inspection, 7.3.2019

This functions shows the datasets for a specified season, while, in addition to the „ release performance data“ function, the data itself is also displayed. A click on the queen's code leads directly to the edit function.

For the administrator this is a powerful to to oversee and modify the associations data.

Overview over performance data, 27.1.2019

This function shows the number of datasets by status (completed, released) and summarizes the report of Varroa traits. In addition, averages, mimima and maxima are shown.

The administrator can either see a summary over the whole association or a specific breeder.

Here, a new user interaction concept is used for the first time. The separate pages to enter the filter (e.g. year of birth) and the display of results are replaced by single page where the filter is on top and the results are displayed below. Please note the refresh button which updates the results list. Later, this concept will be used for the modification of other pages.

List of authorities approved for subspecies testing by morphometrical tools,

available in Info section.

Data import, 6. Dezember 2018

Data can now be imported in tabular data, see separate documentation in Info section.

Multiple Varroa infestation measurements in studbook printing, 18th November 2018

Now, a multiple Varroa measurements are printed in studbook printing. As space is limited, it is restricted to 7 resp. 8 print characters which normally suffices for 3 measurements.

Hive records data use, 5th November 2018

If hive records are entered, the dataset status is set to ``performance test complete´´, and the performance entries in the main dataset form are blank, ``Check´´ and ``Check + Save´´ will fill these entries with a summary of the hive records:

  • Honey yields will be added.
  • The evaluations of aggressiveness are averaged.
  • The evaluations of calmness are averaged.
  • For swarming behaviour, the worst evaluation is used.
  • Pintest results are averaged.
  • Pintest wating hours are averaged.
If the tester has entered a final evaluation, the hive records' data is ignored, as we assume, the final evalution of the tester is more substantial. If an automatic summary is preferred, simply blank the field in the main form.

The new button ``Check´´ checks the dataset without leaving the form nor writing the dataset.

Entering mating stations for administrators, 23th October 2018

The input function of mating station information has been reworked. From now on, the administrator can enter the codes of drone colonies, for the benefit of more transparency of mating station management. For instance, phenotypical analysis of drone colonies undertaken for the mating station can now be assigned to the mating station.

Input of several drone ancestries (4a) is not restricted to AGT tolerance mating stations, for instance for race mating stations (type 4). The information on unsecure mating stations is still useful for breeding value estimation and is encouraged. Of cource, line mating stations (type 2 and 3) should be set up with a single 4a.

Mating stations set up with registered colonies (regardless of ancestry) can now be entered straightforwardly.

The input mask now involves the checks if the entered 4a exists in BeeBreed as a registered colony and is licensed, to reduce the chance of errors.

These changes only affect administrators, not breeders.

Multiple Varroa infestation measurements, 6th September 2018

A confusing ambiguity when entering Vorroa infestation levels is removed. There is still the possibility to enter a single infestation level in the main dataset form. However, once more measurements is used ot enter more measurements, the section in the main dataset mask changes to a single button multiple measurements.

Dataset status, August 2018

The marking of a dataset Performance test complete is refined with the following options:
in process
New datasets start with this setting. Datasets in process are not subjected to breeding value estimation and are invisible to several functions in BeeBreed. After the dataset is completed, one of the categories below shall be selected. Older datasets in process should be avoided.
Performance test complete
For normal tested breeding colonies, as before.
performance test cancelled
For breeding value estimation also the ill and weak colonies, whose perfomance test is cancelled, are of crucial importance, even if it occurs early in the year. The performance data are considered in a limited way.
without performance test
For a number of reasons, untested colonies are registered. One example is a drone colony subjected to phenomenolgical analysis, which need to be registered for identification. Older colonies without perfomance tests are only included in breeding value estimation if the are ancestor to other colonies.
The field above are exclusive.
drone colony
Here, drone colonies can be marked as such.
This field can be ticked in addition as, occasionally, drone colonies have controlled mating and are used as a full breeding colony.

Minor changes in data input, August 2018

In Analysis of race characteristics only colonies with such a report are listed. Datasets in preparation (Performance test completed not set) are now included. Users that used this function for an overview over all tested colonies, use Edit breeding data (for breeders) or release performance data (for administrators) instead. In dataset editing, the concordance of the mating (4a) with the data of the mating stations are tested even if the dataset is not completed (Performance test complete). Errors in the pedigree shall be reported as early as possible.

Innovations in User management August 2018

Formerly, only administrators were able to enter user's personal data. It is motivated by the legals status of BeeBreed as a service to breeding associations no individual breeders. Thus, administrators have the full responsibility of data, including personal. The principle does not change, however, administrators can now allow breeders to modify personal data. The Administrative functions are not disabled for normal breeders but contain a single function (beside re-login) of user adminstration, where the breeder can edit personal data including options regarding the display of personal information and password. Please note, that this is only allowed of the administrator has enabled this. Please note that a changed and forgotten password can not be retrieved. The only way is to ask the association's administrator to set a new password.

The data policy options are now also available in user management. They are:

The breeder agrees that personal data is stored and processed in BeeBreed.
If disabled, we will remove all personal information from our database after checking. Use of BeeBreed is still possible but restriced. Licences, breeding certificates, studbooks are not fully valid without breeder's name. The association may exclude this breeder from the breeding program.
Agreed that performance data is processed in BeeBreed and the association.
This statement has been slightly corrected. It is about the eligibility, to use performance data for breeding values, which includes checking by the administrator and the calculation from out side. If disabled, the colonies are not used for breeding value estimation.
Agreed to be contacted via the contact form.
For this function to work it is important that a valid and unaltered e-mail address is registered. Unless the option below is ticked, this e-mail address is never displayed. The interested reader can compile a message which is send to the e-mail address by BeeBreed, but the address is not disclosed.
Agreed that the name is displayed in BeeBreed.
This refers to the contact section and on information displayed in pedigree browser. Please note that this setting only refers to publically displayed web pages. In the breeding license, the breeding certificate, only available to you and the administrator, it is printed regardless.
Agreed that the place of residence is displayed in BeeBreed.
On traditional documents, breeders are often identified by name and place of residence only. Please use this option to show yourself as breeder in this form without disclosing your full postal address.
Agreed that the postal address is displayed in BeeBreed.
This refers to the contact section and on information displayed in pedigree browser.
Agreed that the telephone numbers are displayed in BeeBreed.
All three numbers, telephone, mobile, fax, are shown in the contact section and in the breeder info linked in pedigree browser.
Agreed that the e-mail address is displayed in BeeBreed.
E-mail address is displayed in contact section and breeder's info. For spam protection is not displayed fully as text but partly with tiny images. Therefore, copy-paste does not work.
User information Line, Homepage, and Remarks can not be suppressed as their exclusive purpose is to be publically displayed. If you do not want them to be displayed, delete them.

New Contact list in July 2018

The display of association's administrators and breeders were updated to the new options to selectively display of name, address, telephone number, e-mail adress. More informaitons are displayed in the tables than before.

Innovations in Beebreed in June/July 2018

The display functions of breeding values have been throughly revised. Mainly, direct lins between the different screens simplify the work.

The core is the improved pedigree browser. The initial table shows the full information of the breeder and tester, which formerly required an extra click on the contact links (which is still needed to get to the contact form). Links below lead to other queens on the same apiary, to siblings and half siblings. For users logged in there is a link to edit the data set. In the pedigree you can click on the queens and mating places. The latter leads to details which now includes list of daughters of the 4a (drone colony mother of the mating station), list of colonies mated. For users logged in there is also a summary of phenotypical race analysis reports.

The main entrance point to the pedigree browser is the "Breeding value results for selected queens". Here, queens can be filtered and weighting factors can be adjusted. The weighting factors are now automatically adjusted to sum up to 100% so that experimenting with them gets easier. The queens are now given as full codes which can be clicked (instead of the small triangle symbol). Additionally, the apiary is given which links to the list of breeding values of an apiary. There also also direct links to breed planning which uses the queen's code to the respective function.

For logged in users with the appropriate rights there is also a link to edit the dataset.

In the pedigree the ancestors are clickable as well as the descendents in the lists below. Also mating places are clickable leading to the details. In the case of 1b-mating in the box of 1b the specified colony is displayed, the 4a box holds its mother.

The easiest way to the Pedigree Browser is via breeding values for selected queens. Filter criteria can be given. The efficiency of the database access has been largely improved, now up to 40000 queens can be listed. The click on any queen code leads to the Pedigree Browser.

The input of weighting factors have an additional feature. Previously, they had to add up to 100, otherwise an error was reported. Now the factors are adjusted - it is much easier to experiment with different factor combinations.

The web mask is completely flexible for the traits. Traits are determined by population, the SmartBees population have a different trait combination.

In the listing of breeding values, the components of the queen codes are not distributed through several columns, they are combined with dashes. They are clickable, the separate small triangle with this funciton is removed. Novelty, the testing apiary is given, which links directly to the "breeding values of an apiary".

Breeding values are in brackets if they are not based on an own performance for this trait. Licence class Av now also appears in the listing of breeding values.

The details of a mating station have been enlarged with a listing of the daughter colonies of the 4a. Normally, the drone colonies itself are not registered but this list gives a clear indication of the genetic quality of the mating station. Also, a list of registered queens mated there is now given.

For logged in users, a detailed summary of the relevant phenotypical race analysis reports of the mating station is given. Four categories are shown: drones of daughter colonies of the 4a, drones and worker bees of colonies mated there, and worker bees of the next generation. The relevance of these categories differ which is indicated.

The function of the "Back" Buttons have been changed. The button marked "Back" is identical to the browser's back function which leads to the previous page whatever it was. There is an additional link which leads to the hierachtically higher page. For the selection forms this is the "breeding values" menu. In the results pages there is a link to the selection form pages. This has a number of intersting applications. Often, the results page can be reached via the Pedigree Browser etc. but the respective results can be refined by going to the selection form.

In the breeding planning of mating stations and inseminators, each individiual inbreeding value no longer has to be accessed on the details page - they are listed in the final column.

In the function "breeding values of a testing apiary" the year can left blank. In this case, all colonies of the respective tester are displayed - which can be reduced with the "licensed" checkbox. Note the distinction between queen's birth year and year of testing here. Normally, the queen is tested in the next year after birth but in special situations this may differ. The apiary's code hold the year of testing.

Innovations in Beebreed of the 11th May 2018 update

International Nomenclature

With the integration of many new countries in the course of the SmartBees project, the current nomenclature surpasses its limits. For the national funding of breeding, the unambiguous identification of a particular country is important.

Therefore, each code is preceded by a two letter code identifying the country. This is the case for queens, associations, mating stations, inseminators, breeders and testers.

This also affects current data. In nearly all associations, only the country code is prefixed, the numbers stay the same. Only in the centrally organized Norwegian and Belgian breeding, association numbers change.

Country code

The code consists of two uppercase letters on ISO 3166-ALPHA-2. For Germany DE, for Austria AT, for Switzerland CH, Netherlands NE, Belgium BE, Italy IT. The lettercode is identical to internet domain contries, just uppercase letters.

In the current data stock there are a few queens without a valid association number which will be displayd by lowercase letters (ca Carnica, me Mellifera, li Ligustica).


The complete list of all associations can be found here.

Normally, association numbers represent legal associations with one exception: is an association responsible for different bee races/populations, they hold several numbers - one for each race. For instance, Norwegian Breeders Association holds NO-1 for A.m.mellifera and NO-2 for A.m.carnica.

Bee races and populations

Up to now, BeeBreed represented thoroughbred Carnica-, Mellifera- and Ligustica breeding, (Siciliana breeding was configured but not active.) with separate nomenclatures. From now on, there is only a single nomenclature, the bee race or population is identified by the association cade.

Up to now, each subspecies was considered as a population. In the breeding programs now added, there are obviously distinct populations for the same subspecies. In some cases, they are natural hybrids (Friuli carnicaxligustica), in other cases the belonging is not finally resolved (Romanian Carpatica bee might be a subspecies or is a natural hybrid between carnica and Macedonica). Therfore, the separation into subspecies is refined to a separation into populations.

For any practical purposes in Beebreed, a population consists of queens where a common breding value estimation was performed. Because the breeding values are normalized of the population's avergage of the last 5 years, you can compare only breeding values within a population, in the same way that in the current situation you could compare only the breeding values among Carnica queens and not with a Mellifera queen.

The current Carnica population will be called Carnica/main population. There are other Carnica populations, Carnica/Slowenia for instance. Please note that the breeding value of 100 in the Slowenian population means something different the 100 in the Carnica main population. Therfore, the population must be selected before breeding values are displayed.

In some cases, BeeBreed's classification of a population may change over time, e.g. when the Slowenian population is intergrated into main population.

User identification

The country code is now also part of the users identification.


Mating will be recorded with more details in the future, especially for artificial insemination. For mating stations, the details were already gathered in the mating stations database.

Inseminator's directory

Up to now, inseminators are included in the list of mating stations, with the consequence, that the entry had to be renewed every year. This is adapted to the situation in mating stations but does not fit the practice of most inseminators.

In artificial insemination, there are different ways, sometimes there is a individual solution for a single inseminated queen. Therfore, the responsibility of recording the correct ancestry data and insemination details is shifted to the breeder (or tester), the person who creates the data set.

There will be a separate directory for inseminators. In contrast to the mating station, it does not have to be renewed every year. The number is valid for all years. For an inseminater, a list of ancestries can be deposited, where this inseminator collected the drones. But only as a list of suggestions. The record of the breeder recorded in the data set has precedence.

1b mating

If the insemination is performed with drones from a single registered and tested colony, called 1b mating, this should be recorded as such. This is an advantage by the new relationship calculation.

Up to now, 4a mating was assumed for all cases: drone colonies with a common mother colony supplied the drones. Therefore, in the case of a 1b-insemination, not this colony but its mother colony must have been recorded. If the 1b colony was entered, the relationships were off. In future, the type of artifical inseminations can be specified as really performed, also in older data.

Flexible entry of paternal descent

Up to now, only in tolerance mating stations the case of several 4a colonies were recordable, in the mating stations directory. This will be extended to the record of a single queen. Please note, that in this case the calculation of relationships is problematic - a difficult situation for the breeding value estimation, and is generally not recommended. The main incentive is the truthful record what is actually done in a particular mating.

Number of drone colonies

While for a mating station, the adminstrator records the number of drone colonies, for artificial insemination the responsibility is the breeder's to record the correct number.

Number of drones

In natural mating, the number of drones is not controlled but in artifical insemination the number of drones can be recorded. For mixed sperma it is the total number of drones but for successively drawn out sperma it is somewhat lower, depending on the technique of the inseminator. If in doubt, leave this field open.

Year of examination

Up to now, it is assumed that the year is tested in the next year after birth. In southern countries and for certain types of artifically inseminated colonies this may not be the case, and it can be recorded. Normally, the entry can remain as the initial value.

Date or week for Varroa infestation

Up to now, Varroa infestation could be given without any date information. In fact, the number of Varroa mites changes dramatically over the course of the year. Therefore, either the date or calender week must be given.

Multiple measurements

Up to now, multiple measurements could only been given for Varroa infestation measurements. Now, any performance parameter can be given for a given date. Thus, BeeBreed can be used as an electronic stock card, as there is a remark field for every date.

Multiple measurements can be activated by a click on "multiple measurements". Every line refers to a specific date of inspection.

If the tester does not want to give a final evaluation for each performance parameter, it can be left open. Once, "Performance test complete" is selected, the information from multiple measurements will be condensed to a total evalution: honey yields are added, for swarming, the worst value is copied, for the other parameter the average is calulated.

Relationships according to Brascamps model

Relationships are calculated according to Bijma & Brascamp 2014, Genetics Selection Evolution 46:53. Until last year, relationships were calculated according to Bienefeld et al. 1989, Apidologie 20:439-450.

In the breed planning function inbreeding coefficients are displayed which are closely related to relationships: the relationship of the 2a and 4a colony is double the inbreeding coefficient.

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