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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Poplarville, Mississippi » Southern Horticultural Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #331538

Research Project: Production and Disease and Pest Management of Horticultural Crops

Location: Southern Horticultural Research

Title: Powdered sugar shake to monitor and oxalic acid treatments to control varroa mites (Parasitiformes: Varroidae) in honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies

Author
item GREGORC, ALES - Mississippi State University
item KNIGHT, PATRICIA - Mississippi State University
item Adamczyk, John

Submitted to: Journal of Apicultural Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/2/2017
Publication Date: 1/20/2017
Citation: Gregorc, A., Knight, P.R., Adamczyk Jr, J.J. 2017. Powdered sugar shake to monitor and oxalic acid treatments to control varroa mites (Parasitiformes: Varroidae) in honey bee (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies. Journal of Apicultural Research. 56:71-75.

Interpretive Summary: Effective monitoring and alternative strategies to control the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor Anderson and Truemann (Parasitiformes: Varroidae), (varroa) are crucial for determining when to apply effective treatments to honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), colonies. Using simply powdered sugar, a shake method was used to monitor varroa in honey bee hives that was very effective. We also investigated the efficacy of four consecutive inseciticide treatments using oxalic acid as a miticide against varroa by trickling onto adult bees between the combs within the hives which was highly effective. Therefore, we concluded that using the powdered sugar shake method to establish adult bee infestation levels in colonies, along with an oxalic acid treatment, may provide adequate varroa control in certain situations.

Technical Abstract: Effective monitoring and alternative strategies to control the ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor Anderson and Truemann (Parasitiformes: Varroidae), (varroa) are crucial for determining when to apply effective treatments to honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), colonies. Using simply powdered sugar, a shake method was used to monitor varroa in honey bee hives that was very effective (ca. 66-95%) compared to the standard detection method of washing adult honey bees with alcohol plus soapy water. However, temperature and humidity were crucial in determining the effectiveness of the powdered sugar shake method for varroa diagnosis. We also investigated the efficacy of four consecutive oxalic acid treatments as a miticide against varroa by trickling onto adult bees between combs ‘in situ’, during warm temperate winter conditions which was highly efficacious (ca. 98%). Therefore, we concluded that using the powdered sugar shake method to establish adult bee infestation levels in colonies, along with an oxalic acid treatment, may provide adequate varroa control in certain situations.