Free Access
Volume 30, Number 2-3, 1999
Dynamics and control of Varroa parasitism on Apis
Page(s) 97 - 110
Apidologie 30 (1999) 97-110
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19990202

Co-adaptation of Apis cerana Fabr. and Varroa jacobsoni Oud

Werner Rath

Department of Horticulture, Faculty of Agricultural Production, Maejo University, Sansai, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Abstract - The research on bee and mite biology over the past 20 years has uncovered numerous details of the A. cerana-V. jacobsoni co-adaptation which are systematically summarized here. A. cerana acquired a high degree of hygienic efficiency with a differentiated set of behavioural traits that we describe in this review in a broad sense to include grooming of mites by adult bees, uncapping and removal of infested brood and entombing of infested brood. Approximately 20 % of the reproducing mite population can be eliminated by entombing of lethally parasitized drone pupae. In their equally effective infesting behaviour the parasites explore the most suitable adult and larval host individuals for safe phoretic positions, the favourable caste and suitable age. A. cerana compel V. jacobsoni to reproduce exclusively on drone brood hosts. This limited reproduction, in combination with characteristics of the population dynamics of the host, are key factors which limit mite populations to tolerable levels. © Inra/DIB/AGIB/Elsevier, Paris

Key words: Apis cerana / Varroa jacobsoni / co-adaptation