Response of the honey bee Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera Apidae) to the presence of the ectoparasite Varroa destructor (Mesostigmata: Varroidae). I. The hygienic behaviour
2003 - Volume: 43 Issue: 3 pages: 249-254
The aim of this work was to evaluate the increase rate of Varroa destructor in two groups of honeybee colonies (Apis mellifera mellifera x Apis mellifera ligustica): a) 3 hygienic colonies and b) 3 non hygienic. The number of mites in brood cells was significatively higher in non hygienic colonies than hygienic ones (Chi2, p<0.05). However, the increase rates were no different at all six colonies selected for this study (Chi2, p<0.05). Detected mites are removed by honeybees and their reproductive cycle are stopped. If mites are not detected, they can normally complete their reproduction. At present, the hygeinic behaviour does not represent an efficient control method. This behavioural strategy only decrease the speed of mite population growth and the colonies will die if any chemical control method is not applied.
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