Biological control of the two major pests, Varroa mite and the small hive beetle, in honey bee colonies

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Embassy Ballroom Prefunction (Embassy Suites Greenville Golf & Conference Center)
Lambert H. B Kanga , College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL
Saundra A. Wheeler , College of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL
Data indicated that mortality of honey bee colonies reached 60% in untreated colonies with a level of mite infestations of 8% or higher within the 42-day period of the experiments. All untreated colonies died before the 129-day experimental period. After 30 days of the experimental period, mite infestation levels in the control increased significantly while the levels significantly declined in fungal treated groups. After 42-day experimental period, mite infestations in the controls and fungal treated colonies were not significantly different in bee hive where the fungal patties were not replaced, suggesting it was critical to reapply the patty.  Data also suggested the second fungal treatment should be applied 30 days after the first application. The patterns of mortality of the small hive beetle were to that of the Varroa mite during the 129-day period of the experiment. Data indicated that treatments consisting of a mixture of 4 lbs of beach sand, vegetable oil and pre-weight fungal spores in a pan placed under the bottom board of the bee hives provided successful control of the small hive beetle. Further, the results indicated that it was critical to conduct both treatments (for Varroa mite and the small hive beetle) at the same time to provide successful control of these two major pests.

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