Effect of parasitism by Varroa jacobsoni on morphometrics of Africanized worker honeybees
Howell V. Daly, David De Jong And Nicholas D. Stone
Africanized bees infested with 0-5 Varroa jacobsoni mites per bee were measured for 23 lengths and 25 angles on the forewing and 3 lengths on the hind leg. Bees infested with 1-2 mites exhibited virtually no consequence. For bees infested with up to 4-5 mites, some of the measurements had a simple regression on increased mite infestation in at least one data set, but affected structures often differed in this respect between colonies and on the left and right sides of bees. All such lengths exhibited a negative regression. The net effect of parasitism on the exoskeleton appears minor in contrast to reports of substantial loss of protein, haemolymph volume, weight and reduced longevity suffered by infested bees. This is probably because differentiation of the exoskeleton occurs mainly before the most intense feeding by mites and cuticle development proceeds despite a diminishing protein reserve.