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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Multi-State Field Trials of ARS Russian Honey Bees 1. Responses to Varroa Destructor 1999,2000

Authors
item Rinderer, Thomas
item De Guzman, Lilia
item Delatte, Gary
item Stelzer, John
item Williams, Jon
item Beaman, Glenda
item Kuznetsov, Victor - RUSSIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENC
item Bigalk, M - GOLDEN RIDGE HONEY FARMS
item Bernard, S - BERNARD'S APIARIES
item Tubbs, H - TUBBS' APIARIES

Submitted to: American Bee Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 2001
Publication Date: September 1, 2001
Citation: RINDERER, T.E., DEGUZMAN, L.I., DELATTE, G.T., STELZER, J.A., WILLIAMS, J.L., BEAMAN, G.D., KUZNETSOV, V., BIGALK, M., BERNARD, S.J., TUBBS, H., MULTI-STATE FIELD TRIALS OF ARS RUSSIAN HONEY BEES #1. RESPONSES TO VARROA DESTRUCTOR 1999,2000, AMERICAN BEE JOURNAL, 2001, VOL. 141, pgs. 658-661, EDITION #9.

Interpretive Summary: Russian honey bees (ARS Primorsky stock) were evaluated in 1999 and 2000 in Iowa, Louisiana, and Mississippi for resistance to the parasitic mite, Varroa destructor. Populations of mites grew more slowly in Russian colonies than they did in domestic colonies. In 1999, Russian colonies averaged about half the number of mites found in domestic control colonies. In 2000, Russian colonies had an average mite population growth of 2.5 fold compared to a 17.3 fold increase predicted from growth models derived for domestic colonies. Hence, in all trials, ARS Primorsky honey bees showed strong resistance to V. destructor. Differences within and between queen lines indicates good potential to further increase this resistance through selective breeding.

Technical Abstract: Field trials of Russian honey bees (ARS Primorsky stock) propagated as queen lines from queens imported from the far- eastern province of Primorsky were conducted in 1999 and 2000 in Iowa, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Varroa destructor populations in Primorsky colonies grew more slowly and hence, had fewer numbers than they did in domestic colonies. Colonies of six Primorsky queen-lines evaluated in 1999 averaged about half the number of mites found in domestic control colonies. In 2000, colonies of 10 Primorsky queen lines in Louisiana supported an average V. destructor population growth of 2.5 fold increase across 91 days, far less than the 17.3 fold increase predicted from growth models derived for domestic colonies. Most colonies of the same 10 Primorsky queen-lines in Iowa and Mississippi had no (150 colonies) to very few (48 colonies) detectable V. destructor three months after being inoculated with about 100 mites. Hence, in all trials, ARS Primorsky honey bees showed strong resistance to V. destructor. Variance within and between queen lines indicates good potential to further increase this resistance through selective breeding.

Last Modified: 9/22/2014
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