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The discovery of Varroa destructor on drone honey bees, Apis mellifera, at drone congregation areas

The discovery of Varroa destructor on drone honey bees, Apis mellifera, at drone congregation areas

Parasitology Research 117(10): 3337-3339

Varroa is an external parasitic mite of honey bees and is a vector of multiple viruses that can severely weaken or cause the failure of western honey bee colonies if untreated. Effective Varroa control is dependent upon a thorough understanding of Varroa biology, including how Varroa move between host colonies. Here, we highlight that drone (male) honey bees may also play a role in Varroa dispersal. Drones were collected and the number of Varroa per 100 drones was calculated for each of five drone congregation areas (mating sites). This study is the first to confirm that drones present at drone congregation areas do carry Varroa. Further experimentation is needed to determine the extent to which drone-mediated movement may play a role in Varroa life history and/or to develop practical management strategies to limit drone-mediated movement of Varroa between honey bee hives.

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Accession: 065576110

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 30094539

DOI: 10.1007/s00436-018-6035-z

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