Susceptibility of European and Africanized honeybees (Apis mellifera L) and their hybrids to Varroa jacobsoni OudE. Guzman-Novoaa, A. Sanchezb, R.E. Page Jrc and T. Garciab
a CENIFMA-INIFAP, Santa Cruz 29-B, Las Haciendas, 52140 Metepéc, Edo de Méx
b CENID-Parasitologia-INIFAP, AP 206, 62500 Civac, Mor, Mexico
c Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Abstract - This study was conducted to determine if European, Africanized, and hybrid honeybees differ in susceptibility to Varroa infestation and to determine if Varroa differentially reproduce on different types of brood. European brood was twice as attractive to female Varroa compared to Africanized brood, while hybrid brood was equally or more attractive than European brood. European adult workers were twice as susceptible to infestation as Africanized bees, whereas hybrid workers were not different from Africanized bees. Varroa reproduced on more than 69% of the infested hybrid brood, and on less than 52% of the Africanized and European broods, suggesting differences in host suitability for reproduction. Mite reproduction did not vary between European and Africanized brood. Genetic effects could explain some of these results. Other plausible hypotheses that could explain these results, and the implications of these findings on commercial and feral populations of honeybees are discussed.
Key words: Varroa jacobsoni / susceptibility to Varroa / Apis mellifera / Africanized bee