Altered physiology in worker honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) infested with the mite Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae): A factor in colony loss during overwintering?

Gro Amdam, Klaus Hartfelder, Kari Norberg, Arne Hagen, Stig W. Omholt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

128 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor (Anderson & Trueman) is the most destructive pest of the honey bee, Apis mellifera L., in Europe and the United States. In temperate zones, the main losses of colonies from the mites occur during colony overwintering. To obtain a deeper knowledge of this phenomenon, we studied the mites' impact on the vitellogenin titer, the total protein stores in the hemolymph, the hemocyte characteristics, and the ecdysteroid titer of adult honey bees. These physiological characteristics are indicators of long-time survival and endocrine function, and we show that they change if bees have been infested by mites during the pupal stage. Compared with noninfested workers, adult bees infested as pupae do not fully develop physiological features typical of long-lived wintering bees. Management procedures designed to kill V. destructor in late autumn may thus fail to prevent losses of colonies because many of the adult bees are no longer able to survive until spring. Beekeepers in temperate climates should therefore combine late autumn management strategies with treatment protocols that keep the mite population at low levels before and during the period when the winter bees emerge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-747
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Economic Entomology
Volume97
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Varroidae
Varroa destructor
worker honey bees
Apidae
honey
overwintering
mite
bee
physiology
mites
Apoidea
Acari
Hymenoptera
temperate zones
honey bees
autumn
beekeepers
ecdysteroids
vitellogenin
hemocytes

Keywords

  • Longevity
  • Storage protein
  • Winter bees

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science

Cite this

Altered physiology in worker honey bees (Hymenoptera : Apidae) infested with the mite Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae): A factor in colony loss during overwintering? / Amdam, Gro; Hartfelder, Klaus; Norberg, Kari; Hagen, Arne; Omholt, Stig W.

In: Journal of Economic Entomology, Vol. 97, No. 3, 06.2004, p. 741-747.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{ac3f577205914630a5f6c36b55a1d33a,
title = "Altered physiology in worker honey bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) infested with the mite Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae): A factor in colony loss during overwintering?",
abstract = "The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor (Anderson & Trueman) is the most destructive pest of the honey bee, Apis mellifera L., in Europe and the United States. In temperate zones, the main losses of colonies from the mites occur during colony overwintering. To obtain a deeper knowledge of this phenomenon, we studied the mites' impact on the vitellogenin titer, the total protein stores in the hemolymph, the hemocyte characteristics, and the ecdysteroid titer of adult honey bees. These physiological characteristics are indicators of long-time survival and endocrine function, and we show that they change if bees have been infested by mites during the pupal stage. Compared with noninfested workers, adult bees infested as pupae do not fully develop physiological features typical of long-lived wintering bees. Management procedures designed to kill V. destructor in late autumn may thus fail to prevent losses of colonies because many of the adult bees are no longer able to survive until spring. Beekeepers in temperate climates should therefore combine late autumn management strategies with treatment protocols that keep the mite population at low levels before and during the period when the winter bees emerge.",
keywords = "Longevity, Storage protein, Winter bees",
author = "Gro Amdam and Klaus Hartfelder and Kari Norberg and Arne Hagen and Omholt, {Stig W.}",
year = "2004",
month = "6",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "97",
pages = "741--747",
journal = "Journal of Economic Entomology",
issn = "0022-0493",
publisher = "Entomological Society of America",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Altered physiology in worker honey bees (Hymenoptera

T2 - Apidae) infested with the mite Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae): A factor in colony loss during overwintering?

AU - Amdam, Gro

AU - Hartfelder, Klaus

AU - Norberg, Kari

AU - Hagen, Arne

AU - Omholt, Stig W.

PY - 2004/6

Y1 - 2004/6

N2 - The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor (Anderson & Trueman) is the most destructive pest of the honey bee, Apis mellifera L., in Europe and the United States. In temperate zones, the main losses of colonies from the mites occur during colony overwintering. To obtain a deeper knowledge of this phenomenon, we studied the mites' impact on the vitellogenin titer, the total protein stores in the hemolymph, the hemocyte characteristics, and the ecdysteroid titer of adult honey bees. These physiological characteristics are indicators of long-time survival and endocrine function, and we show that they change if bees have been infested by mites during the pupal stage. Compared with noninfested workers, adult bees infested as pupae do not fully develop physiological features typical of long-lived wintering bees. Management procedures designed to kill V. destructor in late autumn may thus fail to prevent losses of colonies because many of the adult bees are no longer able to survive until spring. Beekeepers in temperate climates should therefore combine late autumn management strategies with treatment protocols that keep the mite population at low levels before and during the period when the winter bees emerge.

AB - The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor (Anderson & Trueman) is the most destructive pest of the honey bee, Apis mellifera L., in Europe and the United States. In temperate zones, the main losses of colonies from the mites occur during colony overwintering. To obtain a deeper knowledge of this phenomenon, we studied the mites' impact on the vitellogenin titer, the total protein stores in the hemolymph, the hemocyte characteristics, and the ecdysteroid titer of adult honey bees. These physiological characteristics are indicators of long-time survival and endocrine function, and we show that they change if bees have been infested by mites during the pupal stage. Compared with noninfested workers, adult bees infested as pupae do not fully develop physiological features typical of long-lived wintering bees. Management procedures designed to kill V. destructor in late autumn may thus fail to prevent losses of colonies because many of the adult bees are no longer able to survive until spring. Beekeepers in temperate climates should therefore combine late autumn management strategies with treatment protocols that keep the mite population at low levels before and during the period when the winter bees emerge.

KW - Longevity

KW - Storage protein

KW - Winter bees

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=3142601428&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=3142601428&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

C2 - 15279246

AN - SCOPUS:3142601428

VL - 97

SP - 741

EP - 747

JO - Journal of Economic Entomology

JF - Journal of Economic Entomology

SN - 0022-0493

IS - 3

ER -