Micro-organisms associated with tracheal mite infested honey bees
G A Grant; D L Nelson; J Befus-Nogel; J D Bissett
The possible association of bacteria or fungi with honey bees (Apis mellifera) infested with tracheal mites (Acarapis woodi) was investigated. Methods and procedures were developed for sampling, dissecting and processing samples. One thousand tracheae and 250 haemolymph samples were obtained from 500 honey bees from 12 infested and 12 uninfested outdoor and indoor overwintered colonies during January to March, 1994. Few micro-organisms were cultured from internal bee tissues, whereas numerous and diverse bacteria and fungi were cultured from the exterior surfaces of tracheal mite-infested and uninfested honey bee thoraces and heads. No specific bacterial or fungal associations with tracheal mite-infested bees were found. The bacteria and fungi isolated from samples are listed.