Cell size and Varroa destructor mite infestations in susceptible and naturally-surviving honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies

Oddie, Melissa A. Y.; Neumann, Peter; Dahle, Bjørn (2019). Cell size and Varroa destructor mite infestations in susceptible and naturally-surviving honeybee (Apis mellifera) colonies. Apidologie, 50(1), pp. 1-10. Springer 10.1007/s13592-018-0610-2

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The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is a key threat for European honeybee subspecies (Apis
mellifer a ) globally. However, some A. mellifera populations are known to survive mite infestations by means of
natural selection (naturally surviving), likely due to reduced mite reproductive success. The effect of small brood cell
size on mite reproductive success has not been investigated in these surviving populations and we have little
knowledgeof its relationship with mite-surviving traits. Here we tested the impact of smaller worker brood cell size
on mite reproductive success in susceptible and naturally surviving colonies in Norway. The data show that mite
reproductive success was significantly reduced in smaller cells in susceptible colonies (higher rates of non-
reproduction, delayed reproduction, and male absence), but not in the surviving colonies. The results support the
claim that smaller cell size can have an impact on V. destructor reproductive success, but this seems not to work in
tandem with mite-surviving mechanisms favored by natural selection.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Institute of Bee Health

UniBE Contributor:

Neumann, Peter

Subjects:

500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

0044-8435

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Anna Papach

Date Deposited:

15 May 2019 12:15

Last Modified:

13 Mar 2021 12:14

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s13592-018-0610-2

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.127008

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/127008

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