D0113 Standard sampling plan for Varroa destructor

Monday, November 17, 2008
Exhibit Hall 3, First Floor (Reno-Sparks Convention Center)
Katie Lee , Entomology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
Marla Spivak , Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
Eric C. Burkness , Entomology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
Roger D. Moon , Department of Entomology, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul, MN
The parasitic mite Varroa destructor is a significant pest of the honey bee, Apis mellifera, being the major cause of colony death in the US. To keep colonies alive, beekeepers often treat all of their colonies once or twice a year, irrespective of mite level. The aim of my research is to create a standard and efficient method to quantify colony and apiary levels of V. destructor to help beekeepers make educated treatment decisions. My long term goal is to encourage beekeepers to reduce the amount of in-hive use of chemicals to prevent evolution of miticide resistance and contamination of honey and wax. I sampled 30 apiaries, each containing 22-57 colonies, to determine how the mites are distributed within and among colonies and apiaries. A nested analysis of variance showed the largest source of variation in mite infestation level was among colonies. Taylor’s Power Law and Green’s Plan were used to determine the optimal sample size. Results show that 210 bees should be sampled per colony from one comb containing brood, and samples from eight colonies within an apiary will give an accurate estimate of mite level within an apiary.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.37192