Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bee Colony Collapse Disorder: New Bait Lures Varroa Mite To Its Doom

Date:
July 15, 2009
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Varroa mites, prime suspect in bee colony collapse disorder, could literally be walking into a trap --- thanks to a newly developed attractant.

Deadly parasitic Varroa mite on the back of a honey bee. Scientists have developed a new bait that may help control varroa mites, the top pest of honey bees.
Credit: Scott Bauer

Varroa mites could literally be walking into a trap—thanks to a new attractant developed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Gainesville, Fla.

The 1/16-inch long parasite, Varroa destructor, is a top pest of honey bees nationwide, hindering the beneficial insects' ability to pollinate almonds, blueberries, apples, zucchini and many other flowering crops.

At the ARS Chemistry Research Unit in Gainesville, research leader Peter Teal and colleagues are testing a bait-and-kill approach using sticky boards and natural chemical attractants called semiochemicals.

In nature, Varroa mites rely on these semiochemicals to locate—and then feed on—the bloodlike hemolymph of both adult honey bees and their brood. Severe infestations can decimate an affected hive within several months—and rob the beekeeper of profits from honey or pollinating services. But in this case, the mites encounter a more heady bouquet of honey bee odors that lure the parasites away from their intended hosts and onto the sticky boards, where they starve.

In preliminary tests, 35 to 50 percent of mites dropped off the bees when exposed to the attractants. Free-roving mites found the semiochemicals even more attractive, according to Teal.

Moreover, the extra dose of semiochemicals wafting through hives didn't appear to significantly interfere with the honey bees' normal behavior or activity, added Teal who, along with postdoctoral associate Adrian Duehl and University of Florida collaborator Mark Carroll, reported the results this past January at the 2009 North American Beekeeping Conference in Reno, Nev.

The team hopes ARS' patenting of the Varroa mite attractants will encourage an industrial partner to develop the technology further.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Bee Colony Collapse Disorder: New Bait Lures Varroa Mite To Its Doom." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090705145109.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2009, July 15). Bee Colony Collapse Disorder: New Bait Lures Varroa Mite To Its Doom. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090705145109.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Bee Colony Collapse Disorder: New Bait Lures Varroa Mite To Its Doom." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090705145109.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins