Effect of Using Drone Brood Cells as Traps Against Varroa destructor (Varroa Mite)
Keywords:Apis mellifera, beekeeping, brood cell, drone bee, honeybee, Varroa destructor
AbstractToday, the honeybee parasite Varroa destructor is thought to be the most dangerous creature in the beekeeping industry worldwide. In this study, the efficacy of using drone brood cells (known to have no residue concerns in bee products and harmless on bee health) as traps against V. destructor was investigated. A total of 16 honeybee (Apis mellıfera) colonies with V. destructor infestation percentage of less than 5% were used for the trial. The treatment group consisted of 8 colonies that were randomly assigned to molded drone comb (comb with 5.4 mm hexagonal cells). The other 8 were assigned to unmolded comb to form the control group. In the trial groups, after 20 days (from 10th May), all drone combs with complete pupation were removed and destroyed on 30th May, 20th June, 10th July, 30th July, and 20th August. During the trial, varroa mite infestation rate (mean abundance), colony development, and varroa mite preference for drone and work bee brood cells were determined. The results showed that the application of drone brood cells as a control method was statistically significant against V. destructor, and did not negatively affect colony development. On the other hand, V.destructor's preference for both drone and worker bee brood cells among the groups was not statistically significant. In conclusion, drone brood cells ensured an approximately 43% success rate as traps against V. destructor compared to the control group. The effective application of drone brood cells as traps in combination with other Varroa mite control methods should be investigated.
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