The mite Varroa destructor, the main ectoparasite of honey bees, is a threat to apiculture worldwide. Understanding the ecological interactions between Varroa and honeybees is fundamental for reducing mite impact in apiaries. This work assesses bee colonies with various Varroa infestation levels in apiaries to determine: (1) the relationship between multi-infested brood cells and brood infestation level, (2) the damage caused by Varroa to parasitized honey bee pupae, and (3) mite reproduction rate at various infestation levels. Data were collected from 19 worker brood combs, each from a different colony, ranging from 160 to 1725 (mean = 706) sealed cells per comb. Mite distribution was aggregated, ranging from about 2% to 74% infested cells per comb. The percentage of cells invaded by one, two, three, four, or more than four foundress mites, as a function of infestation level, was estimated by five highly significant (p < 0.0001) second-degree polynomial regression equations. The correction factors found could increase the precision of prediction models. Varroa fertility and adult bee longevity decreased as multi-infestation levels increased, and the implications of this relationship are discussed. Finally, these findings could improve sampling methods and the timing of mite treatments in apiaries, thus favoring sustainable management strategies.
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|Titolo:||How the infestation level of Varroa destructor affects the distribution pattern of multi-infested cells in worker brood of Apis mellifera|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|