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Reproduction of Varroa destructor in worker brood of Africanized honey bees (Apis mellifera).

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-07, 22:45 authored by Luis Medina Medina, Stephen J Martin, Laura Espinosa-Montaño, Francis Ratnieks
Reproduction and population growth of Varroa destructor was studied in ten naturally infested, Africanized honey bee (AHB) (Apis mellifera) colonies in Yucatan, Mexico. Between February 1997 and January 1998 monthly records of the amount of pollen, honey, sealed worker and drone brood were recorded. In addition, mite infestation levels of adult bees and worker brood and the fecundity of the mites reproducing in worker cells were determined. The mean number of sealed worker brood cells (10,070 +/- 1,790) remained fairly constant over the experimental period in each colony. However, the presence and amount of sealed drone brood was very variable. One colony had drone brood for 10 months and another for only 1 month. Both the mean infestation level of worker brood (18.1 +/- 8.4%) and adult bees (3.5 +/- 1.3%) remained fairly constant over the study period and did not increase rapidly as is normally observed in European honey bees. In fact, the estimated mean number of mites fell from 3,500 in February 1997 to 2,380 in January 1998. In May 2000 the mean mite population in the study colonies was still only 1,821 mites. The fertility level of mites in this study was much higher (83-96%) than in AHB in Brazil (25-57%). and similar to that found in EHB (76-94%). Mite fertility remained high throughout the entire study and was not influenced by the amount of pollen, honey or worker brood in the colonies.


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Experimental and Applied Acarology







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  • Evolution, Behaviour and Environment Publications

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