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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: An Evaluation of ARS Russian Honey Bees in Combination with Other Methods for the Control of Varroa Mites

Authors
item Rinderer, Thomas
item De Guzman, Lilia
item Delatte, Gary
item Harper, Charlie - HARPER'S HONEY FARM

Submitted to: American Bee Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 29, 2003
Publication Date: May 1, 2003
Citation: Rinderer, T.E., DeGuzman, L.I., Delatte, G.T., Harper, C., 2003. An Evaluation of ARS Russian Honey Bees in Combination with other Methods for the Control of Varroa Mites, American Bee Journal 143(5):410-413.

Interpretive Summary: This study was conducted to begin the development of integrated pest management procedures for bee colony management that will control Varroa mites. Combinations of bee stock, hive bottom board type, and treatment with formic acid were evaluated. The best combination was Russian honey bee colonies in hives with screened bottom boards that were given a treatment of formic acid. These elements can be used to form the core of an integrated pest management plan that will allow honey bees to be kept without resort to dangerous acaracides.

Technical Abstract: The effects of several management tools for the control of Varroa destructor were evaluated. Both domestic and ARS Primorsky honey bee (Russian) colonies were provided with: 1) a single application of formic acid in gel formulation in hives with a solid bottom boards, 2) a single application of formic acid in gel formulation in hives with screened bottom boards, 3) no chemical treatment to hives with screened bottom boards, or 4) no chemical treatment to hives with solid bottom boards. Overall, Primorsky honey bees had about half the number of V. destructor found in domestic colonies at the end of the experiments. Formic acid reduced the numbers of mites in colonies regardless of the type of bottom board. Screened bottom boards reduced the number of mites in colonies, especially in combination with screened bottom boards. The combination that resulted in the fewest number of mites was Primorsky colonies in hives with screened bottom boards that were treated with formic acid.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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