Abstract. Varroa mites are parasitic on honey bees, feeding on both pupal and adult bees. This life style requires that adult female mites orient to late larval bee instars prior to the larval cells being capped with wax, after which the varroa mite lays her eggs. In addition, the newly eclosed and mated adult female mites emerge from the cell with the adult bee, and then must orient to other young adult honey bees, where they feed for a few days prior to seeking a cell in which to lay the next batch of eggs. Both of these orientation events are mediated through bee-produced odours, and larval and adult bees of the proper ages are highly attractive to female mites. However, we have discovered that compounds produced by adult bees also confuse the mites' orientation, and explain in part why isolation and
identification of the kairomonal attractants has proven elusive. Both the confusant and attractant compounds are specific to particular life stages of the bee, suggesting that they are biologically meaningful and important
in insuring that mites orient to the proper-aged bees. In addition, both have potential for mite control, and we hope to develop confusant and attractant-based management methods for these mites.
Species 1: Acari Varroidae Varroa varroa (bee mite)
Keywords: Pheromones, attractants
The ESA 2001 Annual Meeting - 2001: An Entomological Odyssey of ESA