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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Absence of Tropilaelaps Infestation from Recent Swarms of Apis Dorsata in Thailand

Authors
item Kavinseksan, B - CHULALONGKORN UNIVERSITY
item Wongsiri, S - CHULALONGKORN UNIVERSITY
item De Guzman, Lilia
item Rinderer, Thomas

Submitted to: Journal of Apicultural Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 9, 2003
Publication Date: January 1, 2004
Citation: Kavinseksan, B., Wongsiri, S., De Guzman, L.I., Rinderer, T.E. 2004. Absence of tropilaelaps infestation from recent swarms of Apis dorsata in Thailand. Journal of Apicultural Research. 42(3):49-50.

Interpretive Summary: Tropilaelaps clareae has proved to be a more serious pest of A. mellifera than Varroa mites in Southeast Asia. In its original host, Apis dorsata, T. clareae seems not to be a problem. This study was conducted in an attempt to explain the apparent differences in the virulence of T. clareae in A. dorsata and A. mellifera colonies. We examined infestations of Tropilaelaps in new and established A. dorsata colonies in Thailand. We did not find any mites in the new colonies while the established colonies had 13-16 mites. The absence of mites in the new colonies may be due to the prolonged broodless condition during the migration or swarming period. This observation also suggests that A. dorsata colonies start with uninfested bees and eventually acquire T. clareae from nests of A. dorsata and other Apis species through foraging in the same flower or robbing between colonies.

Technical Abstract: Tropilaelaps clareae is an indigenous parasite of Apis dorsata but has proved to be a more serious pest of A. mellifera than Varroa mites in Southeast Asia. Seasonal migration of A. dorsata poses questions about the infestation and survival of T. clareae on its natural host. New and established colonies of A. dorsata were examined for the presence of T. clareae. No mites were found in the new colonies while the established colonies had 13-16 mites. The absence of T. clareae in the new colonies may be due to the broodless condition for the duration of their seasonal migration. Our results also suggest that A. dorsata colonies start with uninfested bees and eventually acquire T. clareae from other Apis species as well as nests of A. dorsata in the same area. Inter-colony movement of mites might be a result of foraging activities or robbing between colonies.

Last Modified: 4/17/2014
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