Tropilaelaps clareae females can survive for four weeks when given open bee brood of Apis mellifera

publication date: Sep 14, 2010
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Journal of Apicultural Research

Vol. 33 (1) pp. 21-25
Date
March 1994
Article Title

Tropilaelaps clareae females can survive for four weeks when given open bee brood of Apis mellifera

Author(s)
J Woyke
Abstract

Female Tropilaelaps clareae mites were released into small petri dishes without food, or on small pieces of brood comb containing several Apis mellifera larvae 1-4 days old. On each day of the experiement the piece of brood comb was exchanged for a new one containing larvae of the age being tested. In dishes with no food only 5.5% of mites survived for two days. Survival of gravid female mites was significantly higher than that of thin females. On bee larvae 1, 3 and 3.5 days old, 0%,9% and 47% of T. clareae females survived until the second day. None survived until the fourth day. However, on bee larvae four days old, 89%, 68%, 32%, 7% and 4% of females were alive on the 2nd, 5th, 10th, 19th and 28th day respectively. Thus, T. clareae females can survive for up to four weeks on bee larvae four days old. The amount of brood pheromones on larvae 4-5 days old is greater than that on younger larvae, probably stimulating feeding and thereby supporting mite survival. Fertilized female mites quickly become gravid, and they must enter cells containing bee larvae to lay eggs. T. clareae females do not need to feed on prepupae or pupae to lay eggs and to survive for longer periods. Queen honey bees need not be caged after brood removal from the colony in order to control the parasitic mite T. clareae, as by the time any eggs laid have developed into four-day-old larvae the mites will have died.

Keywords

honey bees, Apis mellifera, larvae, parasitism, pheromones, Tropilaelaps clareae, survival

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