5 years ago

Chemical and cultural control of <i>Tropilaelaps mercedesae</i> mites in honeybee (<i>Apis mellifera</i>) colonies in Northern Thailand

Robyn Rose, Veeranan Chaimanee, Jeffery S. Pettis
At least two parasitic mites have moved from Asian species of honeybees to infest Apis mellifera. Of these two, Varroa destructor is more widespread globally while Tropilaelaps mercedesae has remained largely in Asia. Tropilaelaps mites are most problematic when A. mellifera is managed outside its native range in contact with Asian species of Apis. In areas where this occurs, beekeepers of A. mellifera treat aggressively for Tropilaelaps and Varroa is either outcompeted or is controlled as a result of the aggressive treatment regime used against Tropilaelaps. Many mite control products used worldwide may in fact control both mites but environmental conditions differ globally and thus a control product that works well in one area may be less or ineffective in other areas. This is especially true of volatile compounds. In the current research we tested several commercial products known to control Varroa and powdered sulfur for efficacy against Tropilaelaps. Additionally, we tested the cultural control method of making a hive division to reduce Tropilaelaps growth in both the parent and offspring colony. Making a split or nucleus colony significantly reduced mite population in both the parent and nucleus colony when compared to un-manipulated control colonies. The formic acid product, Mite-Away Quick Strips®, was the only commercial product that significantly reduced mite population 8 weeks after initiation of treatment without side effects. Sulfur also reduced mite populations but both sulfur and Hopguard® significantly impacted colony growth by reducing adult bee populations. Apivar® (amitraz) strips had no effect on mite or adult bee populations under the conditions tested.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0188063

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