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Insects 2018, 9(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects9020055

Toxicity of Selected Acaricides to Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) and Varroa (Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman) and Their Use in Controlling Varroa within Honey Bee Colonies

1
Center for Costal Horticulture Research, Mississippi State University, Poplarville, MS 39470, USA
2
Agricultural Institute of Slovenia, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia and Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Maribor, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia
3
Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS 39406, USA
4
USDA ARS, Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Research Laboratory, Poplarville, MS 39470, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 February 2018 / Revised: 30 April 2018 / Accepted: 9 May 2018 / Published: 10 May 2018
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Abstract

The efficacies of various acaricides in order to control a parasitic mite, the Varroa mite, Varroa destructor, of honey bees, were measured in two different settings, namely, in laboratory caged honey bees and in queen-right honey bee colonies. The Varroa infestation levels before, during, and after the acaricide treatments were determined in two ways, namely: (1) using the sugar shake protocol to count mites on bees and (2) directly counting the dead mites on the hive bottom inserts. The acaricides that were evaluated were coumaphos, tau-fluvalinate, amitraz, thymol, and natural plant compounds (hop acids), which were the active ingredients. The acaricide efficacies in the colonies were evaluated in conjunction with the final coumaphos applications. All of the tested acaricides significantly increased the overall Varroa mortality in the laboratory experiment. Their highest efficiencies were recorded at 6 h post-treatment, except for coumaphos and thymol, which exhibited longer and more consistent activity. In the honey bee colonies, a higher Varroa mortality was recorded in all of the treatments, compared with the natural Varroa mortality during the pretreatment period. The acaricide toxicity to the Varroa mites was consistent in both the caged adult honey bees and workers in the queen-right colonies, although, two of these acaricides, coumaphos at the highest doses and hop acids, were comparatively more toxic to the worker bees. View Full-Text
Keywords: Varroa destructor; honey bee; caged-bees; varroacides Varroa destructor; honey bee; caged-bees; varroacides
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Gregorc, A.; Alburaki, M.; Sampson, B.; Knight, P.R.; Adamczyk, J. Toxicity of Selected Acaricides to Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) and Varroa (Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman) and Their Use in Controlling Varroa within Honey Bee Colonies. Insects 2018, 9, 55.

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