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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: A Technique for Marking Individual Varroa Mites

Author
item Harris, Jeffrey

Submitted to: Journal of Apicultural Research
Publication Type: Research Notes
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 2000
Publication Date: January 1, 2001
Citation: Harris, J.W. 2001. A Technique for Marking Individual Varroa Mites. Journal of Apicultural Research. 40(1):35-36.

Interpretive Summary: This paper describes a simple procedure for marking individual varroa mites with tags made of polyester glitter. The glitter tags were attached to mites with a cyanoacrylate ester as the adhesive. The reproduction from mites marked with glitter tags was not different than expected from unmarked mites. Therefore, the use of these glitter tags could be important in studies in which specific groups of mites need to be followed throughout their lives. Additionally, this study showed that marked mites can be released into a colony of bees and recovered from the capped brood two weeks after their introduction.

Technical Abstract: This paper describes a simple procedure for marking individual varroa mites with tags made of polyester glitter. The glitter tags were attached to mites with a cyanoacrylate ester as the adhesive. This method had distinct advantages over the use of paint or melted beeswax to mark mites. Toxicity to the cyanoacrylate ester was zero, but 15-20% of mites marked with paint died within 24-36 h of being painted. Melted beeswax was difficult to apply to mites, and the droplet size placed onto mites was highly variable. Large tags of beeswax caused agitated locomotor activity from the mites. Finally, the reproduction from mites marked with glitter tags was not different than expected from unmarked mites. Therefore, the use of these glitter tags could be important in studies in which co-horts of mites need to be followed throughout their lives. Additionally, this study showed that marked mites can be released into a colony of bees and recovered from the capped brood two weeks after their introduction.

Last Modified: 8/27/2014
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