Varroa destructor resistance of honey bees in Hawaii, USA, with different genetic proportions of Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH)

publication date: Jul 1, 2012
Send a summary of this page to someone via email.
Journal of Apicultural Research
Vol. 51 (3) pp. 288 - 290
DOI
10.3896/IBRA.1.51.3.13
Date
July 2012
Article Title

Varroa destructor resistance of honey bees in Hawaii, USA, with different genetic proportions of Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH)

Author(s)

Robert G Danka, Jeffrey W Harris, Ethel Villalobos and Thomas Glenn

Abstract

Notes and Comments

The Big Island of Hawaii, USA, supports an important honey bee (Apis mellifera) queen rearing industry that supplies queens worldwide. This industry now is threatened by Varroa destructor, as the mite was detected on the Big Island in 2008. Mite parasitism is now high in queen production operations because of the extended brood rearing season in the tropics, the deliberate production of large numbers of drones in many colonies, and invasion of mites from dying feral colonies. Mites can currently be managed with acaricides, and beekeepers typically treat colonies at two to four month intervals (compared to at six to twelve month intervals on the USA mainland). Acaricides may be problematic for queen producers, however, because they can interfere with queen rearing and sperm production (e.g., Haarman et al., 2002, Rinderer et al., 1999). An alternative management strategy might employ bees bred for mite resistance. Bees with Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH) offer good resistance to V. destructor (Harbo and Harris, 2009). This trait could be used for breeding in Hawaii throughimportations of semen, as queens cannot be imported into the  state. We sought to determine what proportion of VSH genetics can conferuseful honey bee resistance to V. destructor in queen production operations in Hawaii.

Keywords

Apis mellifera, Varroa destructor, honey bees, genetic resistance, integrated pest management, bee breeding

Full text
pdf
Free to Subscribers Download button     Buy Now Download Button