The 2005 ESA Annual Meeting and Exhibition
December 15-18, 2005
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

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Saturday, December 17, 2005

Efficacy of Metarhizium anisopliae coated strips against Varroa destructor in honey bee, Apis mellifera, colonies

Lambert H. B. Kanga, lambert.kanga@famu.edu1, Walker Jones, wjones@ars-ebcl.org2, John Goolsby, jgoolsby@weslaco.ars.usda3, Frank Eischen, feischen@weslaco.ars.usda4, Carlos Gracia, cgracia@weslaco.ars.usda.gov3, and Henry Graham, hgraham@weslaco.ars.usda4. (1) Florida A&M University, Entomology/CESTA, Center for Biological Control, 406 Perry-Paige Bldg, Tallahassee, FL, (2) United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, European Biological Control Laboratory, Campus International de Baillarguet, CS 90013 Montferrier-sur-Lez, St. Gely du Fesc, France, (3) USDA-ARS, Beneficial Insects Research Unit, 2413 E. Highway 83, Weslaco, TX, (4) USDA-ARS, Honey Bee Research Unit, 2413 E. Highway 83, Weslaco, TX

Strips coated with Metarhizium anisopliae to control the parasitic mite, Varroa destructor in honey bee colonies were evaluated in field trials against the miticides, tau-fluvalinate (Apistan), coumophos (CheckMite), and tymol (Apiguard). Miticide and the fungal treatments resulted in successful control of mite populations at the end of the 42 d period of the experiment. Peak mortality of V. destructor occurred 3-4 d after the conidia were applied, however, the mites were still infected 42 d post-treatments. Optimum mite control was achieved by the fungus when no brood is being produced, or when brood production is low, such as in the early spring or late fall. Metarhizium anisopliae was harmless to the honey bees (adult bees, or brood) and colony development was not affected. Mite mortality was highly correlated with mycosis in dead mites collected from sticky traps, indicating that the fungus was infecting and killing the mites. Overall, microbial control of Varroa mites with fungal pathogens could be an useful component of an integrated pest management program for the honey bee industry

Species 1: Acari Varroidae Varroa destructor (Varroa mite)
Species 2: Hymenoptera Apidae Apis mellifera (honey bee)
Species 3: Deuteromycetes Hyphomycetes Metarhizium anisopliae
Keywords: field trials, beekeepers