The effect of honey bee worker brood cell size on Varroa destructor infestation and reproduction.
Michelle A. Taylor, R. Mark Goodwin, Heather M. McBrydie and Harlan M. Cox
The effect of honey bee (Apis mellifera) worker brood cell size on cell infestation and reproductive success of Varroa destructor in New Zealand was determined by establishing ten nucleus colonies with mosaic frames, each consisting of cells drawn from five different foundation sizes. When the brood were 18-20 days old, 1636 cells were individually uncapped and the number of adult and deutonymph female mites were recorded. The internal width of each brood cell was also measured. The data were analysed according to the imprint size of the "foundation" specified by the supplier, and the "measured" internal width of each individual drawn brood cell. The "foundation" cell size had no significant effect on the reproductive success of V. destructor, but the proportion of cells that were infested by adult female mites was significantly different. A significantly higher proportion of the cells drawn from the 4.8 mm imprint "foundation" were infested compared to those of the other sizes. "Measured" brood cell size had no significant effect on mite reproduction or infestation.