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Varroa destructor mite mortality rate according to the amount of worker broods in africanized honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies = Taxa de mortalidade do ácaro Varroa destructor de acordo com a quantidade de crias em col nias de abelhas africanizadas (Apis mellifera L.)

Keywords: Varroa mortality , worker broods , grooming behavior , infestation level , mortalidade de Varroas , crias de operárias , comportamento de grooming , nível de infesta o

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Abstract:

The Varroa destructor mite has caused the death of hundreds of thousands of Apis mellifera colonies in several countries worldwide. However, the effects determined by the Varroa mite change according to the A. mellifera subspecies. In Africanized bee colonies from South and Central America, the parasite causes little damage, as the infestation levels are relatively stable and low, thus treatments against the pest are not required. Among several factors, the grooming behavior of Africanized worker bees plays an important role in the maintenance of the low infestation levels. This study determined the daily rate of live and dead mites found at the bottom of the hive in five Africanized honey bee colonies. During fifteen days of observations, a significant increase was verified in the number of live and dead mites at the bottom of the hive as the amount of worker broods from each honey bee colony decreased. This suggests a more intense grooming activity as the Varroa concentration in the adult honey bee population increases. O ácaro Varroa destructor tem causado a mortalidade de centenas de milhares de col nias de abelhas Apis mellifera em várias partes do mundo. Os efeitos determinados pelo ácaro Varroa variam com a subespécie de Apis mellifera. Nas Américas do Sul e Central, o parasita causa poucos danos às col nias de abelhas africanizadas, a taxa de infesta o é estável e baixa, n o sendo necessário o tratamento químico contra a praga. Entre vários fatores que s o responsáveis pela tolerancia das abelhas africanizadas a esse parasita, o comportamento de grooming executado pelas operárias deve exercer importante papel na manuten o dos baixos níveis deinfesta o. Neste estudo, foram avaliadas as taxas diárias de ácaros vivos e mortos encontrados no fundo das colméias de cinco col nias de abelhas africanizadas. Durante 15 dias de observa es, foi verificado significativo aumento de ácaros no fundo da colméia à medida que diminui a quantidade de crias de operárias das col nias de abelhas. Isso sugere que a atividade de grooming é incrementada à medida que aumenta a concentra o de ácaros na popula o de abelhas adultas.

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