Free Access
Volume 35, Number 3, May-June 2004
Page(s) 265 - 273
Apidologie 35 (2004) 265-273
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2003064

(Z)-8-Heptadecene reduces the reproduction of Varroa destructor in brood cells

Norberto Milani, Giorgio Della Vedova and Francesco Nazzi

Dipartimento di Biologia Applicata alla Difesa delle Piante, Università di Udine, Via delle Scienze 208, 33100 Udine, Italy
(Received 8 February 2003; revised 3 June 2003; accepted 21 July 2003)

Abstract - The alkene (Z)-8-heptadecene, a semiochemical which inhibits the reproduction of Varroa destructor was tested in natural comb cells. One-hundred ng of (Z)-8-heptadecene applied under the capping of worker cells, sealed 0-15 h previously, caused a highly significant reduction both in the number of offspring (-12% reduction) and in the number of potentially mated daughters per female (-28% reduction) in single infested cells. No reduction was observed in multiple infested cells. A consistent, but not significant decrease was observed in cells treated at different times after capping. No decrease in mite reproduction was noted in cells treated 0-16 h before capping or 0-6 h after capping. However, infestation of cells treated before capping was reduced by 41%. In single infested cells in the control groups, the number of potentially mated daughters per female decreased from 1.5 in June to 0.78-0.94 in September. The proportion of treated cells emptied by bees was about 30% lower than that of control cells. (Z)-8-Heptadecene may play an important role in the host-parasite relationship.

Key words: reproduction / Varroa destructor / semiochemical / heptadecene

Corresponding author: Norberto Milani

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2004