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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: An Evaluation of Far-Eastern Russian Honey Bees and Other Methods for the Control of Tracheal Mites

Authors
item De Guzman, Lilia
item Rinderer, Thomas
item Delatte, Gary
item Stelzer, John
item Beaman, Glenda
item Harper, Charlie - HARPER'S HONEY FARM

Submitted to: American Bee Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 2001
Publication Date: October 1, 2001
Citation: DEGUZMAN, L.I., RINDERER, T.E., DELATTE, G.T., STELZER, J.A., BEAMAN, G.D., HARPER, C., AN EVALUATION OF FAR-EASTERN RUSSIAN HONEY BEES AND OTHER METHODS FOR THE CONTROL OF TRACHEAL MITES, AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL, 2001, VOL. 141, pgs. 737-741, EDITION #10.

Interpretive Summary: The effects of several honey bee management tools on tracheal mite populations in domestic and ARS Primorsky honey bee colonies were evaluated after: 1) a single application of Beltsville formic acid (BFA) to hives with a solid bottom board, 2) a single application of BFA to hives with a screen bottom board, 3) no treatment with a screen bottom board, or 4) no treatment with a solid bottom board. The Primorsky honey bees exhibited strong resistance to tracheal mites by maintaining very low infestations regardless of the management tools employed. The domestic stock used in this experiment showed an unusually high susceptibility to tracheal mites. Further, one summer treatment of Beltsville formic acid (BFA) did not adequately control tracheal mite populations in highly susceptible colonies but may be useful in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs designed to control major honey bee pests and diseases. Screen bottom boards did not suppress tracheal mite populations, and did not strongly interfere with the effectiveness of BFA. We recommend that tracheal mite resistant stock is an essential component of an IPM program designed to control major honey bee pests and diseases. In areas favorable for the development of tracheal mite infestations, single treatments of BFA will reduce tracheal mite numbers and screen bottom boards will enhance the effectiveness of BFA.

Technical Abstract: The effects of several honey bee management tools on tracheal mite (Acarapis woodi) populations in domestic and ARS Primorsky honey bee colonies were evaluated after: 1) a single application of Beltsville formic acid (BFA) to hives with a solid bottom board, 2) a single application of BFA to hives with a screen bottom board, 3) no treatment with a screen bottom board, or 4) no treatment with a solid bottom board. Domestic colonies in hives with screen bottom boards or hives with solid bottom boards had final infestation levels of 73% and 70%. In domestic colonies, the use of a combination of BFA and a screen bottom board or BFA and a solid bottom board reduced tracheal mite infestation levels to 47% and 37%, respectively. Tracheal mite populations remained very low in Primorsky colonies regardless of the management tools employed. Several conclusions are apparent: 1) The ARS Primorsky honey bees tested exhibited strong resistance to tracheal mites and do not require treatment for tracheal mite control, 2) the commercial honey bee stock tested displayed very high susceptibility to tracheal mites, 3) one summer treatment of BFA did not adequately control tracheal mite populations in highly susceptible honey bee stock, 4) BFA showed moderate tracheal mite control and may be useful in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs designed to control major honey bee pests and diseases, and 5) while screen bottom boards did not suppress tracheal mite populations, they did not strongly interfere with the effectiveness of BFA in tracheal mite control.

Last Modified: 7/31/2014
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