Free Access
Volume 36, Number 1, January-March 2005
Page(s) 107 - 111
Published online 16 March 2005
Apidologie 36 (2005) 107-111
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2004074

Survival of honey bee (Apis mellifera) pupae after trypan blue staining of wounds caused by Varroa destructor mites or artificial perforation

Matthias Herrmann, Ghazwan Kanbar and Wolf Engels

Zoologisches Institut der Universität Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 28, 72076 Tübingen, Germany

(Received 8 December 2003 - Revised 30 June 2004 - Accepted 9 September 2004; Published online: 16 March 2005)

Abstract - The recently described technique of vital staining with trypan blue to visualise pupal wounds of honey bees, originating from punctures made by Varroa destructor mites, was applied to artificial perforations performed with a fine needle. The stained pupae were subsequently reared in vitro until eclosion of the adult bees. Their mortality was recorded daily. The survival of the treated pupae was only moderately affected by the staining procedure. No obvious toxic effects caused by the compound trypan blue were observed. The process of wound healing was normal. Pupae with previously trypan blue stained integumental wounds can therefore be used for long lasting experiments. This is of particular interest for future studies on the assumed vector function of Varroa mites in the transfer of bacterial and viral pathogens in honey bee diseases.

Key words: Apis mellifera / Varroa destructor / pupal wounds / vital staining / trypan blue / survival

Corresponding author: Matthias Herrmann

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2005