Innovations in BeeBreed

Genotyping collective applications, 2.8.2023

Collective requests of genotypings allow sending series of samples for genotyping in boxes with a common request form. For details of operation, see the instruction manual.

Dataset types drone colony, worker, mixed semen, queen group, worker group and drone group, 10.7.2023


Studbook numbers could previously only be assigned to breeding queens and drone colonies. Now worker, mixed semen, queen group, worker group and drone group are added.

The record type is an extension of the previous click field “drone colony”, but with an extended functionality.

For drone colonies, the input option of a performance test (honey yield, traits, varroa resistance including brood tests and vitality test), the input of a license class other than 'D', and the record status options 'Performance test done' and 'Performance test cancelled' are omitted.

Datasets previously marked as drone colonies but containing any of these entries were upgraded to breeding queens.

The record type 'worker' is intended for genotyping a single worker. It only has the input option of a mother.

The record type “mixed semen” defines a “sire”, which can be referenced with this studbook number. It is possible to enter drone colonies.

The record type 'queen group' defines a sibling group of queens. It has only the input option of a mother and mating. It is used to represent unspecified sibling groups.

The record type 'worker group' defines workers via their mother and is mainly used to enter a group of laying worker bees whose drones are used for insemination.

The record type “drone group” is used to define a group of drones of a common mother, which are used for insemination, for example.

Dataset status “limited check”, “private record” and “planned colony”, 28.6.2023

The status of 'Limited Test (e.g. Mini-colony)' is for all types of reduced performance test that is successfully completed. It is especially intended for one-dron inseminated queens kept in MiniPlus hives.

The status 'private record' is intended for queens that do not belong to the official list of breeding queens. They are not released by the association and are not included in the breeding value estimation.

The status 'planned colony for breeding value prediction' is intended for hypothetical queens that are to be temporarily included in the breeding value estimation but do not otherwise belong to the breeding population. Performance data are not included here, so the queens have no effect on the breeding values of other queens. If the queen is later realised in this way, it must be assigned a different status. This data set does not need to be released. The breeding value is only calculated as long as the birth year is current.

Trial breeder and BeeBreed user account without studbook function, 28.6.2023

Administrators can create user accounts that do not have the full range of functions.

Trial breeders can enter and edit performance data and generate a studbook printout, but they are not included the breeding value estimation and cannot be released as official breeding queens. The functions for licensing and morphometric examinations are also not accessible. After completion, these records have the status 'private record'. Should the trial breeder later become a normal breeder, these data records may have to be converted into full-fledged performance tests.

Non-breeders can get BeeBreed access, whereby only functions under “Administration” can be called up, the menu “Breeding & Performance Data” is not accessible. It is suitable for managers of breeding sites, inseminators and administrators of breeders' groups, who have to be activated separately.

Genotyping application, 22.6.2023

The genotyping offer of the LIB is generally handled by BeeBreed. The genotyped queens are selected in BeeBreed, an application form is generated as a cover letter in BeeBreed and sent directly to the laboratory (IFN Schönow). The samples can only be processed if they are sent together with a request for genotyping, on which a barcode is printed, which allows direct reading into the laboratory software of the laboratory. Shipments to the laboratory without a corresponding request cannot be processed and will be discarded.

The request for genotyping will only be activated for associations and breeders who have concluded a corresponding agreement with the LIB. The rule will be that an association orders a certain number of genotypings, which serve a certain serve a specific purpose. Individual genotyping of queens of a breeder with their own invoicing is only a prior arrangement, e.g. for mating station heads.

The content of the agreement on genotyping is that the LIB will issue a collective invoice to the invoicee of the genotypings, which refer to all genotypings made under his responsibility. The responsible breeding administrator can allow breeders in his area of responsibility to apply for genotypings independently in the user administration. These must then be approved individually. Those entitled to genotyping may send in the samples themselves or nominate a breeder to send in the samples.

The functions are described in detail in the BeeBreed user manual.

Genomic breeding values, 22.6.2023

For genomic selection, the functions for displaying genomic breeding values have been revised. The functions are described in detail in the BeeBreed user manual.

Buttons “previous year” and “next year” in data inspection and data overview, 15.6.2023

Data inspection has now a handy function to skip to the next resp. previous year. It works for both test year and birth year.

Evaluation of vitality test, 8.6.2023

As additional breeding traits, the result of the vitality test, i.e. the continuation of a test colony over the next winter without Varroa treatment, can now also be entered. The evaluation is made by means of two parameters, the overwintering strength and the spring development. The type of assessment corresponds to the winter strength and spring development of the actual performance test, but it refers to the following season.

The vitality test refers to a period outside the regular performance test and is therefore not subject to approval by the administrator.

Assessment of disease severity and pathogen detection, 8.6.2023

From now on, the severity of a disease can be marked when reporting it. In addition, it can be marked whether a laboratory detection of the pathogen was carried out.

The severity is rated from 1 to 4, where, similar to the traits, 1 is the worst rating and 4 is the mildest rating. In contrast to the traits, however, in the case of no disease, “no disease” must be marked as usual (and not a 4 entered for each disease).

The mildest rating should only be given if the disease signs are only very mild and temporary, and do not affect the vitality state of the colony. The most severe rating should only be given if the colony is so severely damaged that the performance test has to be aborted anyway.

The following classification can serve as a guideline (which is also displayed as a hint when the mouse pointer hovers over the evaluation field):

  • 4 ... very slight and temporary manifestation
  • 3 ... slight manifestation Ausprägung
  • 2 ... moderate manifestation
  • 1 ... severe manifestation
As with the other properties, the tester must balance the gradation himself. It is important that the comparative assessment on the test apiary is correct in one test year. It is unrealistic for different examiners to give exactly the same disease classification anyway, especially since the environmental conditions on the test apiary already strongly influence the disease expression.

As with the traits, gradations can be given between the scores of with up to 2 decimal places.

The aim of this recording is targeted breeding for disease resistance, which is supported in the successive introduction of breeding values to resistance traits.

Backdating the date of breeding license, 1.6.2023

Administrators now have the possibility to enter the license date explicitly in the function “Edit data set”. If historical breeding values are available for this record in the BeeBreed database, they will be transferred to the Körschein.

Display of SMR, Recapping and Recapping infested, 14.12.2022

In the Data inspection, Overview over performance data and in the CSV export of the studbook print, the measured values of the brood investigation are now displayed, respectively their number.

Acute bee paralysis and black queen cell disease, 30.11.2022

In the performance data input, these two diseases are added.

Cookie and session, 10.11.2022

To enable the user login, the pre-filled forms and various database information to be temporarily stored on the server, a cookie is created on the user's own computer, which provides the key to this data. Due to current privacy law, the user must be made aware of this fact. Therefore, there is now a banner “By using this website, you agree to the use of cookies”, which must be confirmed once with “Accept”.

The lifetime of a session has been increased to one month. This means that you rarely have to log in again if you wish to do so.

When you click on “Restart page” (bottom right), both the session and all cookies are deleted.

Data field “examined brood cells” and “single infected brood cells”, 18.10.2022

The number of examined cells and the number of single infected cells found (to which the SMR examination refers) should now also be entered for brood examinations. These fields can also be imported in the data import under the identifiers “ZELLUNT” and “ZELL1INF”.

Genomic breeding values, 6.4.2022

The display of genomic breeding values is activated for breeders who have contributed samples to the GeSeBi project. In particular, a document (PDF) can be generated for each genotyped sample which, in addition to the master data and the pedigree (analogous to the breeding card or breeding licence), displays the genomic breeding values in the context of the classical breeding values and shows the genomic inbreeding values. There are two web pages for this purpose. The first one, linked in the menu 'Breeding & Performance Data', contains a list of all genotyped queens of the breeder. The second one is dedicated to an individual queen and gives the genomic breeding values as well as information about the laboratory process and the quality of the analysis.

These functions were released undocumented, as the process of generating new genotyping is not yet established.

Data field “Queen introduction date”, 2.11.2021

In the performance data input, a new data field “Queen introduction date” can be found in the Performance test section. The exact date of the introduction of the queen in the test colony can be entered here.

For the usual breeding data recording of the German and Austrian, the field is optional. The purpose of the introduction is mainly to better record the exact period of the performance test in southern European countries where the test year is not predetermined by the winter break. Also for the recording of shortened performance tests in single-drought insemination, the recording of the introduction is advantageous.

The consideration of this entry for the breeding value models is in preparation in connection with the detailed stock card data.

Transfer of the mite infestation measurement from the main input mask to the multiple measurements when clicking on the button “further measurements”, 2.11.2021

With the transfer, the corresponding measurement is removed from the main screen.

If the mite infestation measurement is entered in the main mask without date or week information, the missing date information in the multiple measurements is evaluated as an error. For the multiple measurements, the date information is indispensable for the organisation of the data.

Please save the changes as usual with the save buttons. If you leave the input masks without saving, undesired side effects may occur. If, for example, the multiple measurements are saved after the transfer, but the actual data set is not, the original mite infestation information remains in the data set, but is 'hidden' by the specified multiple measurements.

Automatic transfer of the line designation of the mother and increase of the generation sequence, 12.7.2021

If the mother (2a) of a queen has the same breeder code as the queen herself (1a), the line designation of the mother (if available) is transferred and the generation number, increased by one, is entered if available for the mother.

Automatic information about licensing applications by e-mail, 25.6.2021

Administrators can be automatically informed about incoming license applications by activating the corresponding setting in the user preferences.

Performance index in the license certificate, 25.6.2021

The performance index is now displayed in the license certificate, both in the breeding values of the licensed colony and in the list of breeding values as well as in the sibling colonies. The sibling colonies now contain a license mark -K or -D.

Explicit license class Av, 1.6.2021

With immediate effect, the license class Av is a separate license class in BeeBreed and is not automatically generated from the license class A, if the varroa traits have been collected and the varroa index is above 100. All queens licensed as A so far, where both Varroa traits were measured and which had a sufficiently high Varroa index at the time of licensing, were upgraded to the new explicit class Av. In future, the license class Av must be applied for, a corresponding option has been added to the respective dropdown bar in the data entry form.

Breeding planning with brood investigation breeding values (SMR, Recapping), 5.5.2021

The breeding values of brood tests are now fully included in the breeding planning. However, some issues have to be considered because not all queens have these breeding values. If breeding values for brood tests are included in the weighting for the total breeding value, queens that do not have such breeding values also do not have a total breeding value - the field remains open.

Breeding values of brood investigations (SMR, Recapping), 3.5.2021

From now on the breeding values for the results of brood investigations are available, namely for the 3 traits SMR (suppressed mite reproduction), recapping (proportion of recapped cells), recapping infected (proportion of recapped cells infected with Varroa mites). Unlike the rest of the breeding values, they are only available for a subpopulation, namely for the colonies in which a brood was investigated and their (also indirect) ancestors. In the pedigree browser the breeding values of the brood tests are displayed when they are available. In the functions “Breeding values selected by breeder”, “Breeding values of siblings” and “Breeding values selected by testing” these breeding values are only displayed if the selection box 'SMR breeding values' was ticked in the selection mask. In this case this setting acts as a filter - only queens for which the breeding values have been calculated are displayed. The breeding values of the brood tests can also be included in the weighting factors for the total breeding value. In the filter mask “Breeding values selected by breeder” you can also select filter criterion that the queen's own performance must be present. As with the other breeding values, a calculated breeding value without own performance is displayed in brackets.

Directors of insemination centres and inseminators, 13.4.2021

For the head of an insemination centre or an inseminator, his breeder code can be entered by the breed chairman. This code enables direct access to the contact form. In addition, the head of the breeding station or the breeder can be entrusted to edit breeding station data by means of the checkbox “Head may edit”. The specified breeder receives the corresponding editing function in the menu “Administration”.

Inseminator details, 1b breeding planning for inseminators, 6.4.2021

In the drone function of the inseminators, there is now a details page for each inseminator, which contains contact information in addition to all available matings. In “breed planning for inseminators” there is a new function “as 1b insemination”, which uses the drone colonies deposited with the inseminators.

Download breeding values, 16.2.2021

In the 3 types of tabular breeding value display (breeding values for selected queens, breeding values for sibling groups, breeding values of a specific test station) there is a new function that allows downloading the breeding values. The filtering and sorting criteria used for the breeding value table are exactly the same.

The file is downloaded as a CSV file that can be loaded into a spreadsheet program. If the automatic input does not lead to the correct result, please note that the individual columns are separated with semicolons and the character encoding is UTF-8 (Unicode).

Edit breeding data, 21.1.2021

In the performance data input two new buttons appear which forward to the next studbook number: “Save + to next studbook no.” and “To next studbook no.”. Important here: this only concerns data records for which datasets already exist. This also includes records that have been tested by other breeders. After the last studbook number, it goes back to the first one. These buttons do not appear when entering new records. Saving corresponds to “save despite warnings”. The button “Go to next studbook number” does not save the record. The new entry of a sibling group has been slightly revised again, because it sometimes led to problems because one could switch from new entry to data revision unnoticed. This can no longer happen because the function “After saving to re-enter next sibling (studbook number increased)” now always leads to the next higher studbook number that is still free and already existing studbook numbers are skipped.

Breeding values by test station, 20.1.2021

The function “Breeding values of a certain test station” now works more generally, and can also be used to show all queens of an association or a country. In other words, the mandatory fields are no longer required. If there are too many records (more than 100,000), an error message is shown. If there are too many records, the page will be very long and the response time will be correspondingly long.

Breeder award page for adminstrators, 7.1.2021

To support the Breeders' award of the D.I.B. and their national associations, there is a customisable filter mask for the selection of breeders and their queens. The functions might also be useful for other purposes.

Performance Index, 7.1.2021

The performance index is composed of equal shares of the breeding values for honey yield, gentleness, comb fit and swarming tendency. It will replace the “average of the breeding values of the 4 classical traits” mentioned in Breeding license B, which has the same intention but is more precise. The advantages of this index are:
  • The performance index is normalised in average and standard deviation to the test colonies of the last 5 years and is thus better suited for orientation within the population. It shares this property with the Varroa index and the total breeding value.
  • For the performance index, a reliability can be calculated directly from the mathematical model, which will replace the reliability of honey yield in the license classes. It also includes the information quality of the assessment of the properties.
  • The average does not have to be calculated separately by the breeder, the index is displayed directly.

Overview of performance data, 5.1.2021

Diseases and the types of mating were added. The counts of foreign tests were specified more precisely.

Breeding value display and breeding value search, 17.12.2020

In breeding value overviews, reliabilities are now displayed as a small number.

In the function “Breeding value results for selected queens” there are now also filter options for reliabilities and own measurements. Own measurements for Varroa index means that at least one of the Varroa traits was measured.

Breeding values when used as a drone colony, breeding planning for 1b mating, 17.12.2020

The regular breeding values include not only the genetics of the queen but also the genetic value of the drone semen with which the queen mated. The “breeding value for use as a drone colony”, on the other hand, refers exclusively to the genetics of the queen. It is displayed in the pedigree browser. Breeding planning can now also be used for 1b mating, mating with drones of a registered colony. The predicted breeding value is derived not only from the breeding value of the 2a colony but also from the “breeding value when used as a drone colony” of the 1b colony.

Printing of studbook and test report, 14.12.2020

The naming will be adapted to the common usage: a studbook is a test and breeding record of a single breeder, the test report summarises the performance tests of all breeders of an association.

New are the “Studbook including own queens tested by other examiners” and the “Test report including queens tested in other associations”, whereby the entries of foreign examiners are sorted downwards. The examinations of queens from other breeders are included in all cases, the variant previously referred to as “Studbook”, where only own and self-tested queens are shown, is omitted.

Studbook and test report can now be restricted to completed performance tests, i.e. excluding queens without performance test or aborted performance test as well as records not yet completed. Further options are the display of all completed records and the display of all records not yet completed.

Also new is the option to display the stud book, i.e. only queens related to one's own test, as an adminitrator. The special treatment that in the test report with not yet completed data records the not yet completed queens of other examiners are hidden, with the exception of the administrator's own queens, is no longer applicable.

Dispute records, 12.10.2020

In principle, each breeder assigns the stud book numbers under his own breeder identification. In many cases, however, it is the tester and not the breeder who creates the BeeBreed data record for queens that have been tested by others. So it is not forbidden to register a queen ID as 1a-queen that does not correspond to your own breeder ID. Normally this is done by mutual agreement and has only very rarely led to problems, mostly due to typing errors.

Until now, BeeBreed did not offer the possibility to complain about an incorrectly assigned queen code - the breeder had to find out who was responsible for the incorrect record and contact this person. Now there is a direct way to reclaim the studbook number.

Every breeder has the right to inspect performance tests of his own queens, even if he has not tested them himself. For the control of queens with own studbook numbers there is the function “Check colonies tested at other breeders” in Breeding & Performance Data. After calling this function you can select the queens of a certain year of birth. But if you leave the field “Year of birth” empty, all queens tested by other breeders are shown.

If there is a queen among these queens that is certainly not from your own breeding, click on the pencil symbol and you will get to the listing of the whole data set. Right at the beginning you will find the button “Dispute”. After pressing this button the queen code of the data set is changed. The portion of the queen code identifying the breeder is changed to the breeder number of the tester. If a record with this studbook number already exists for the examiner, the studbook number is incremented until a not yet assigned studbook number is found. In the end the inspector will find a data record with a new studbook number. However, it would also be useful in this case to inform the examiner.

Transferring data records, 9.10.2020

The transfer of data records to itself, which makes no sense in terms of content, is intercepted with an error message.

If an administrator registers the tester directly, the registration of the transmission is deleted.

Entry of sibling groups, 25.9.2020

The tick box “After saving to enter the next sibling” is now always displayed, even if you go to the record to revise it (the check mark is then not set).

If the studbook number incremented by one collides with an already existing record, this record is loaded (a new record was previously created, but because of an already existing studbook number, this leads to an error message when saving).

The function can be used to go sequentially through already existing data sets. This only makes sense with complete studbook numbers, otherwise you will be taken to the input of a new data record. Each data record is closed with “Save” (plus “Save despite warnings”).

Traffic light for susceptibility to disease, 14.2.2020

From this season on, the familial accumulation of susceptibility to disease will be analysed. The result will be presented in a simple classification. This means

Susceptibility to the disease probable, use for further breeding under special care
susceptibility to the disease average, offspring harmless
resistance to the disease likely, prefer for breeding
No statement can be made on the basis of the data available.

In general, three conditions must come together for the occurrence of chalkbrood, nosemosis or chronic bee paralysis: firstly, the infectious agent must be present in the apiary in a certain strength and infectivity, secondly, the environmental conditions must be more or less unfavourable, and thirdly, the bee must have a certain genetic susceptibility to the disease. The traffic light only deals with the third component, susceptibility, because only this can be taken into account in selection.

It goes without saying that the principles of general care dictate that, in the event of an illness, measures should be taken to contain the spread of the infection or to improve the site conditions. However, the disease traffic light has nothing to do with this, as it only describes the hereditary component of susceptibility. On the other hand, a selection against susceptibility to disease is only possible if some test sites have less favourable site conditions and an infection load, so that cases of disease occur and show differences in susceptibility.

The disease-proneness approach only takes into account stands where both sick and healthy people were present. The background is the recognition that each of these diseases is highly dependent on conditions. The fact that no diseases were found at a stand may also have been caused by favourable conditions, the absence of infectious agents, or by the non-recognition or non-reporting of the case of disease, and does not allow any conclusions to be drawn about the susceptibility of peoples to disease. In the same way, the information that all the peoples on a stand were ill can also be explained by unfavourable conditions, the particular extent or infectivity of the pathogens and also does not allow any conclusions to be drawn about the susceptibility of the peoples to disease.

The limits for the colour set were determined on the basis of validations using reported disease data. In fact, for most races it is not possible to make a statement; for most queens the traffic light is set to “grey”. The limits for the safety margins were chosen so conservatively that only when a family cluster is plausible was “red” highlighted. Conversely, “green” is only given when a family clustering of resistance can be identified, which naturally requires stands where cases of illness are reported.

At present, no systematic selection against susceptibility to disease can be made except for calcareous fry, because too small a proportion of the population can still be assessed. We are counting on more cases of disease being reported in the future, so that an increasing proportion of queens can be assessed, and only then can resistance be systematically selected.

The analysis of susceptibility to disease has only just been introduced and is therefore not part of breeding guidelines. There is explicitly no prohibition to breed from peoples rated “red”. The prohibition to breed from sick colonies, as stated in the DIB's breeding guidelines, has other, more far-reaching reasons, because a sick colony can potentially spread infectious agents. This is not what the disease susceptibility traffic light is about. Inclusion in the breeding guidelines would only make sense if a larger proportion of queens could be assessed.

A yellow rating is basically better than a grey one. A yellow traffic light shows that cases of illness have already occurred and been reported in more or less close relatives, and the line in question has not proved to be particularly susceptible. On the other hand, a grey assessment may conceal a high susceptibility, but this has not yet been shown, either because it has been tested so far on stands with no infection load, because the disease has not broken out due to favourable environmental conditions, or, most problematic, because cases of disease have not been reported. The last point in particular is decisive: any traffic light colour other than grey creates confidence that cases of illness are consistently reported and not concealed!

Breeding values for colony strength, spring development and overwintering in the main Carnica main population, 14.2.2020

The introduction of breeding values of the strength traits is intended to promote a more comprehensive assessment of breeding queens. These characteristics have long been part of the breeding guidelines anyway and have been carefully recorded by many breeders.

We do not intend a general selection on stronger colonies. A large colony is not generally desirable. On the contrary, it is much more helpful to know, for example, whether or not an above-average honey yield is caused by a larger colony. It is also an important secondary information for the evaluation of Varroa characteristics: is Varroa resistance only achieved by lower breeding activity, which is reflected in lower colony size, or is there a specific defence behaviour which inhibits the spread of mites even in large populations.

The breeding values for population strength and spring development also help to outline the suitability of breeding material for a particular beekeeping operation. While strong colony growth in spring is essential in some locations, moderate colony strength and development is much better for bee health in others.

The strength characteristics are not yet continuously recorded, which is reflected in a lower level of safety compared to gentleness, honeycomb fit and swarm inertia. The securities are displayed in the pedigree browser and provide an orientation.

Fundamental changes for breeding value models, 14.2.2020

In the calculation of the breeding values, model changes were made that

  • the differences in breeding values between siblings are more realistic,
  • realised breeding values better correspond to those estimated in the breeding planning,
  • the mating at tolerance mating stations with several 4a is better represented,
  • the mating at race mating stations is better represented,
  • the apairy mating is better reflected,
  • the colonies with extreme performance data are evaluated more realistically.
This is why there are sometimes strong differences between last year's and this year's breeding values.

Diseases, stud book printing, 7.1.2020

Since 2018, if no diseases have occurred, the corresponding selection box must be selected for this purpose; it is not pre-selected. This means that a data set can also be saved without the corresponding selection. With “Performance check completed” and “Performance check aborted” a warning is generated if no selection is made. In the studbook print a question mark is displayed for diseases if no selection has been made.

As before, the column is empty if “no disease” has been confirmed. If a disease has been selected, this disease is written as a number: 1 - lime brood, 2 - nosema, 4 - sack brood, 8 - European foulbrood, 16 - American foulbrood, 32 - deformed wings, 64 - bee paralysis.

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.