Standard methods for Tropilaelaps mites research

publication date: Sep 1, 2013
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Journal of Apicultural Research
Vol. 52(4)
DOI
10.3896/IBRA.1.52.4.21
Date
September 2013
Article Title

Standard methods for Tropilaelaps mites research

Author(s)

Denis L Anderson and John M K Roberts

Abstract

Mites in the genus Tropilaelaps are native brood parasites of the non-domesticated giant Asian honey bees, Apis dorsata, A. breviligula and A. laboriosa. They spread onto the managed European honey bee (A. mellifera) some time after humans introduced that bee into Asia. Nowadays, A. mellifera is kept for beekeeping throughout Asia and Tropilaelaps mites are one of its most damaging pests. At present, these mites remain confined to Asia and bordering areas but are recognized as emerging threats to world apiculture. In spite of their important pest-status, Tropilaelaps mites remain poorly studied and much remains to be learned about them. The methods reviewed here are intended to assist future research efforts to better understand these parasites. The review begins with an introduction that clarifies why Tropilaelaps mites are worthy of immediate research. It is followed by an outline of the mites’ taxonomy and descriptions of various methods (including their pros and cons) by which mites can be collected, identified and aspects of their life history and behaviour studied. The role that microbial pathogens play in the pathogenicity of Tropilaelaps mites is briefly discussed and a list of future research priorities is suggested.

Keywords

COLOSS, BEEBOOK, honey bee, Tropilaelaps mercedesae, Tropilaelaps clareae, Tropilaelaps koenigerum, Tropilaelaps thaii, Apis mellifera, giant Asian honey bees, research method, protocols, identification, taxonomy

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