Free Access
Volume 30, Number 2-3, 1999
Dynamics and control of Varroa parasitism on Apis
Page(s) 125 - 140
Apidologie 30 (1999) 125-140
DOI: 10.1051/apido:19990204

Invasion behaviour of Varroa jacobsoni Oud.: from bees into brood cells

Joop Beetsma, Willem Jan Boot and Johan Calis

Department of Entomology, Agricultural University of Wageningen, PO Box 8031, 6700 EH Wageningen, the Netherlands

Abstract - Varroa jacobsoni mites may invade worker or drone brood cells when worker bees bring them in close contact with these cells. The attractive period of drone brood cells is two to three times longer than that of worker brood cells. The attractiveness of brood cells is related to the distance between the larva and the cell rim and the age of the larva. The moment of invasion of the mite into a brood cell is not related to the duration of its stay on adult bees. The fraction of the phoretic mites that invade brood cells is determined by the ratio of the number of suitable brood cells and the size of the colony. The distribution of mites over worker and drone brood in a colony is determined by the specific rates of invasion and the numbers of both brood cell types. Knowledge of mite invasion behaviour has led to effective biotechnical control methods. © Inra/DIB/AGIB/Elsevier, Paris

Key words: Apis mellifera / Varroa jacobsoni / invasion / brood cell type / biotechnical control