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Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) infestation in queen, worker, and drone brood of Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

  • M.T. Santillán-Galicia (a1), G. Otero-Colina (a1), C. Romero-Vera (a1) and J. Cibrián-Tovar (a1)

Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman females were placed in contact with queen, worker, and drone brood cells of Apis mellifera L. that were soon to be sealed. In a non-choice test, V. destructor adult females were introduced into a comb containing either queen or worker brood cells; 0.62 and 18.28% of the mites entered the queen and worker brood cells, respectively. Only 1 of the 11 mites that entered queen brood cells oviposited, laying a single egg. In another test, brood cells were combined in the same comb in a 1:25:3 queen:worker:drone ratio. The percentages of egg-laying mites in queen, worker, and drone brood cells were 16.66, 61.86, and 79.06%, respectively. When queen, worker, and drone brood cells were combined in equal proportions (33.3:33.3:33.3), percent infestation was significantly different among queen (3.25%), worker (49.12%), and drone (90.07%) brood. Multiple infestation was found in drone brood cells but not in others. Also, mites were inoculated into sealed queen cells. These cells contained either one or two mites (either at the egg or protonymph stage). Conversely, in a simultaneous test with worker brood cells, the offspring per foundress mite included a mean of three individuals (either at the egg, protonymph, or deutonymph stage). It is concluded that V. destructor can infest queen, worker, and drone brood cells, but drone brood cells are preferred; in addition, queen brood cells do not provide an optimal environment for reproduction because it causes a delay in mite oviposition and (or) progeny development.

Des femelles de Varroa destructor Anderson et Trueman ont été mises en contact avec des cellules de reines, d'ouvrières et de mâles, juste avant leur fermeture. Lors d'une expérience sans choix, des femelles adultes de l'acarien ont été placées sur un rayon contenant des cellules de reines ou d'ouvrières; 0,62% sont entrées dans les cellules des reines et 18,26% ont pénétré dans les cellules des ouvrières. Parmi les 11 femelles qui sont entrées dans des cellules de reines, une seule a pondu un oeuf. Au cours d'une autre expérience, des cellules de reines, d'ouvrières et de mâles ont été combinées dans un même rayon dans des proportions de 1 : 25 : 3. Dans ce cas, 16,66% des acariens ont pondu dans les cellules des reines, 61,86%, dans les cellules des ouvrières et 79,06% dans celles des mâles. Quand les cellules étaient rassemblées dans un rayon dans des proportions égales (33,3 : 33,3 : 33,3), les pourcentages d'infestation différaient significativement dans les cellules des reines (3,25%), des ouvrières (49,12%) et des mâles (90,07%). Des infestations multiples ont été observées dans les cellules des mâles, mais pas dans les autres. Par ailleurs, des acariens ont été inoculés dans des cellules scellées de reines. Ces cellules contenaient un ou deux acariens (au stade d'oeuf ou de protonymphe). Au cours de tests simultanés sur des cellules d'ouvrières, la progéniture de la femelle acarien fondatrice comptait en moyenne trois individus (au stade d'oeuf, de protonymphe ou de deutonymphe.). Nos résultats indiquent que V. destructor peut effectivement infester les cellules des reines, des ouvrières et des mâles dans le couvain, mais qu'il montre une préférence pour les cellules des mâles; les cellules des reines n'offrent pas les conditions optimales pour la reproduction, causant un retard dans la ponte de l'acarien et (ou) dans le développement de sa progéniture.

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The Canadian Entomologist
  • ISSN: 0008-347X
  • EISSN: 1918-3240
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