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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Observations of the Ectoparasitic Bee Mite Varroa Destructor (Acari: Varroidae) in Honey Bee (Apis Mellifera L.) Cells Infected with Chalkbrood (Ascosphphaera Apis)

item Sammataro, Diana
item Finley-Short, Jennifer

Submitted to: Journal of Apicultural Research
Publication Type: Research Notes
Publication Acceptance Date: December 11, 2003
Publication Date: January 29, 2004
Citation: Sammataro, D., Finley, J. Observations of the ectoparasitic bee mite Varroa destructor in honey bee (Apis mellifera) cells infected with chalkbrood (Ascosphaera apis). J. Apicultural Research. 2004. 43(1):28-30.

Interpretive Summary: Frames of drone brood, raised on drone foundation, were being collected for a vorroa mite study in our lab. Some frames included numerous cells of brood showing symptoms of chalkbrood disease. We found varroa mites living in the cells of all stages of the chalkbrood-infected larvae. Mites were seen on the cell wall and on the surface of the infected larvae. We could not ascertain if the mites were feeding, but we found no eggs, immatures or male mites. In some cases, up to 8 mites were found alive in a single cell that had an infected larvae.

Technical Abstract: Adult females of the honey bee mite, Varroa destructor, were observed to survive in cells infested with the chalkbrood fungus (Ascosphaera apis). Up to eight live mites were collected from a single infected cell. The mites were found on the cell wall when the infected larvae were in the early stages of chalkbrood infection. Later, after the "mummy" (dried remains of the larvae) hardened, mites were seen alive on top of the remains or under the wax capping of the cell. Implications for further transmission of the mite via infected comb are discussed.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015