Submitted to: Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/9/2007
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: A female Varroa destructor mite parasitizes capped bee brood by invading the cell of a late 5th instar larvae just before the cell is capped, usually by transfer from a worker bee to the new larval host. Female mites must rely on chemical cues to successfully locate and transfer to an appropriate age host among the variabley-aged brood that exist in a hive. Scientists at CMAVE have developed an in-comb bioassay that demonstrates that female mites invade brood cells on the basis of odor alone. Unlike previous biossay designs, the in-comb biossay evaluates mite responses in situ in a hive environment filed with competing odors from similar but inappropriately-aged brood and hive components. The in-comb biossay will be used to isolate and identify the specific volatile components that mediate cell invasion behavior in Varroa mites.