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Reproductive success of Varroa jacobsoni in brood of its original host, Apis cerana, in comparison to that of its new host, A. mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 July 2009

Willem Jan Boot
Affiliation:
Department of Entomology, Wageningen Agricultural University, PO Box 8031, 6700 EH Wageningen, The Netherlands:
Nguyen Quang Tan
Affiliation:
Bee Research Unit, University of Agriculture and Forestry, Thu Duc, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam:
Pham Cong Dien
Affiliation:
Bee Research Unit, University of Agriculture and Forestry, Thu Duc, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam:
Luong Van Huan
Affiliation:
Bee Research Unit, University of Agriculture and Forestry, Thu Duc, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam:
Nguyen Van Dung
Affiliation:
Bee Research and Development Centre, Langha Dongda, Hanoi, Vietnam
Le Tu Long
Affiliation:
Bee Research and Development Centre, Langha Dongda, Hanoi, Vietnam
Joop Beetsma
Affiliation:
Department of Entomology, Wageningen Agricultural University, PO Box 8031, 6700 EH Wageningen, The Netherlands:

Abstract

Reproduction of Varroa jacobsoni Oudemans has been extensively studied in colonies of the mite's recently acquired host, Apis mellifera Linnaeus. However, data on reproduction in colonies of its original host, A. cerana Fabricius, are still fragmentary. In order to compare reproductive success in naturally infested brood cells of A. cerana and A. mellifera, freshly capped worker and drone cells (0–5 h after capping) were marked and opened 9 days later. When one or more foundress Varroa mites were found, the number and stage of the offspring were recorded. In colonies of A. cerana, V. jacobsoni reproduced almost exclusively in drone cells. Surprisingly, however, these drone cells proved to be better suited for reproduction than drone (and worker) cells of A. mellifera. Firstly, in drone cells of A. cerana, 97–100% of the mites produced daughters and 98–99% of these mites also produced a son. In drone and worker cells of A. mellifera only 70–80% produced daughters and only 74–86% of these mites produced a son. Secondly, if a mite produced daughters, she produced more daughters in drone cells of A. cerana than in drone cells of A. mellifera: 4.5–4.6 vs 2.9–3.7 daughters per mite, respectively. Finally, infestation by two foundress females negatively affected reproduction per mite in drone cells of A. mellifera, but not in drone cells of A. cerana. Thus, V. jacobsoni seems to be better adapted to A. cerana than to A. mellifera, although population growth of mites in A. mellifera colonies is higher due to the exploitation of worker cells besides drone cells.

Type
Original Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1997

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Reproductive success of Varroa jacobsoni in brood of its original host, Apis cerana, in comparison to that of its new host, A. mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae)
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