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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Population Dynamics of Varroa Mites in Honey Bee Colonies: Part 1 - the Varroa Pop Program

item Degrandi-Hoffman, Gloria

Submitted to: American Bee Journal
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 10, 2005
Publication Date: July 20, 2005
Citation: DeGrandi-Hoffman, G., Curry, R. The population dynamics of Varroa mites in honey bee colonies: Part I - The VARROAPOP program. Amer. Bee J. 2005. Vol. 145(7):592-595.

Interpretive Summary: This manuscript is the first of a 3-part series describing the population dynamics of honey bees and Varroa mites in colonies. A mathematical model called VARROAPOP is used to simulate the growth of honey bee and mite populations and predict the effects of Varroa of colony survival. In Part-1 we desdcribe the VARROAPOP program and how predictions on colony and Varroa population sizes are made. We also show results from studies where we compared actual and preducted Varroa population growth and mite mortality from miticides. We concluded that the VARROAPOP accurately predicts Varroa population dynamics and that the program can be used to direct management decisions to control Varroa in colonies.

Technical Abstract: A mathematical model of population interactions between Varroa destructor and a honey bee colony is described. The program bases colony population growth on weather conditions, time of year, initial colony population size, queen fecundity, and worker longevity. Varroa population growth is predicted as a function of the initial Varroa population size, reproductive rate, and survivorship. The application of miticides also can be included in the simulation. The impact of Varroa on colony growth and survival is from reduced longevity of adult worker bees emerging from cells that have been infested by more than one foundress mites. Results from validation tests also are reported and indicate that the model generates predictions of weekly mite-drop, and mortality from miticide applications that are similar to those from actual colonies.

Last Modified: 4/21/2015
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