Integrated pest management against Varroa destructor reduces colony mite levels and delays treatment threshold
Keith S Delaplane, Jennifer A Berry, John A Skinner, James P Parkman, and W Michael Hood
Two independent, long-term (17 months and 87 weeks) studies were done to appraise the effects of published integrated pest management (IPM) practices on colony varroa mite levels, length of time before onset of treatment threshold, and other measures of colony productivity. Screen hive floors tended to reduce colony mite levels (24-h sticky sheet counts), sometimes significantly. Likewise, mite-resistant queens tended to cause a numeric and sometimes significant reduction in mite levels; number of mites on sticky sheets decreased as the percentage expression of hygienic behaviour in a colony increased, and on the majority of sampling episodes the number of mites retrieved on sticky sheets was numerically lower in colonies with queens expressing suppressed mite reproduction (SMR). In six of eight cases when IPM components were found to interact they did so in a manner favourable to mite control. Time until achieving treatment threshold was significantly delayed in colonies with SMR queens (c. 72 weeks) compared to non-selected queens (59). In one experiment, stored honey was significantly reduced in colonies with screens (3.8 frames) compared to solid floors (5.1); likewise, stored pollen was lower in screen colonies (0.9 frames) than on solid floors (1.3). SMR queens tended to have reduced brood production.
integrated pest management, IPM, Apis mellifera, Varroa destructor