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Reproduction of Varroa destructor in sealed worker bee brood cells of Apis mellifera carnica and Apis mellifera syriaca in Jordan

By Yehya Alattal, Peter Rosenkranz and Claus Paul Walter Zebitz


The reproduction of the honey bee mite, Varroa destructor in sealed worker bee brood cells represents an important factor for the population development of this parasite in honey bee colonies. In this study, the relative infestation levels of worker brood cells, mite fertility (mites that lay at least one egg) and reproductive rate (number of viable adult daughters per mother mite) of Varroa mite in worker brood cells of Apis m. carnica and Apis m. syriaca were compared in fall 2003 and summer 2004 at two locations in Jordan. The relative infestation levels in sealed worker brood cells ranged from 23 – 32 % in fall and 19 – 28 % in summer. The average fertility of Varroa mite ranged between 90 - 98% in colonies of A. m. carnica and between 88 - 96 % in A. m. syriaca with minor differences between colonies and locations. The number of total progeny of fertile mites in worker brood cells was 4.0 in both bee races. The reproductive rate was high with 2.7 and 2.6 in both honey bee races. The post-capping period of the worker brood cells differs only slightly between both bee races and between locations (284.4 h on average, n = 4,000). Our data reveal surprisingly high mite fertility and reproductive rates in both honeybee races under Mediterranean conditions of Jordan. The possible physiological background of Varroa reproduction and the impact of mite fertility on the development of Varroa tolerance are discussed

Topics: ddc:590
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:publikationen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de:9381

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