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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Poplarville, Mississippi » Southern Horticultural Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #341695

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

Location: Southern Horticultural Research

Title: Brood removal or queen caging combined with oxalic acid treatment to control varroa mites (Varroa destructor) in honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera)

Author
item Gregorc, Ales - Mississippi State University
item Alburaki, Mohamed - University Of Tennessee
item Werle, Christopher
item Knight, Patricia - Mississippi State University
item Adamczyk, John

Submitted to: Apidologie
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/22/2017
Publication Date: 12/1/2017
Citation: Gregorc, A., Alburaki, M., Werle, C.T., Knight, P.R., Adamczyk Jr, J.J. 2017. Brood removal or queen caging combined with oxalic acid treatment to control varroa mites (Varroa destructor) in honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera). Apidologie. 48(6):821-832.

Interpretive Summary: In this study, when oxalic acid is applied to honey bee colonies that have been made to contain no immature bees (i.e. broodless), we observed significant control of the devastating parasitic varroa mite. In addition, in laboratory bioassays we observed higher mortality of honey bees exposed to the commonly used miticide, Apistan® compared to oxalic acid treatments. We successfully demonstrated that combining oxalic acid applications with this artificial broodless colony technique can be used as an effective management strategy for controlling varroa mites in certain situations.

Technical Abstract: Few studies of honey bee colonies exist where varroa mite control is achieved by integrating broodless conditions, through either total brood removal or queen caging, in combination with oxalic acid (OA) applications. We observed significant varroa mortality after applications of OA in obtaining broodless colonies, as well as in colonies with brood that received four consecutive OA applications. In laboratory tests, we recorded higher mortality of caged bees exposed to Apistan® compared to oxalic acid or untreated control bees. We therefore recommend combining OA applications with artificial broodless colony conditions achieved either by brood removal or queen caging as an effective management strategy for varroa mites.