Preferences of Varroa jacobsoni for honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) of different ages
Varroa jacobsoni kept on honey bees of different ages for 3-5 days were tested in simultaneous choice tests. Comparisons of attractiveness to V. jacobsoni were made between nurse bees and pollen foragers as well as between nurse bees and larvae from nearly capped brood cells. Choices were presented in petri dishes and in a V-shaped olfactometer. All tested V. jacobsoni groups showed a clear preference for nurse bees compared to bee brood (4 groups) or a trend towards preferring nurse bees (2 groups). The preference was less pronounced in the olfactometer tests than in the petri dish tests. The simultaneous choice tests between nurse bees and pollen foragers led to very similar results with both test methods. V. jacobsoni which had been kept on nurse bees showed a clear preference for nurse bees. V. jacobsoni which had been kept on pollen foragers did not distinguish between nurse bees and pollen foragers.