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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Kavinseksan, Boonmee
item Wongsiri, Siriwat
item Rinderer, Thomas
item De Guzman, Lilia

Submitted to: American Bee Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2004
Publication Date: 11/1/2004
Citation: Kavinseksan, B., Wongsiri, S., Rinderer, T.E., De Guzman, L.I. 2004. Comparison of the Hygenic Behavior of ARS Russian Commercial Honey Bees in Thailand. American Bee Journal 144(11):870-872.

Interpretive Summary: Hygienic behavior contributes to the overall disease and mite resistance of honey bees. ARS Russian honey bees are known to possess this hygienic trait and thus were used as a standard to determine whether or not a commercial Thai Apis mellifera also has the same trait. Results showed that the Thai bee strain evaluated was as hygienic as the ARS Russian honey bees. In Thailand, Tropilaelaps clareae is a more serious problem of A. mellifera beekeeping than Varroa destructor. Hence, this behavior may be helpful in the regulation of T. clareae populations in colonies of both bee strains.

Technical Abstract: The hygienic behavior of honey bees (Apis spp) is a mechanism of disease and mite resistance. Hygienic honey bees detect, uncap, and remove diseased or parasitized brood, including the parasites, from the colony. This study compared the hygienic behavior of Apis mellifera commercially available in Thailand to that of ARS Russian honey bees, which are known for their resistance to varroa and tracheal mites in the United States. Ten Thai and 10 ARS Russian honey bee colonies were compared for their rates of brood removal using the liquid nitrogen technique. Results from two assays showed that both Thai and ARS Russian honey bees displayed similar rates of brood removal with means of 82.6+4.2% and 85.5+3.7%, respectively. For both stocks, 50% of the colonies were considered hygienic since they consistently showed >95% brood removal in both assays. The number of adult worker honey bees was not correlated to the rate of hygienic behavior.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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