Phenotypic variation in susceptibility of honey bees, Apis mellifera, to infestation by tracheal mites, Acarapis woodi

Norman E. Gary, Robert E. Page

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A laboratory bioassay was used to study phenotypic differences in susceptibility of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., to tracheal mites, Acarapis woodi Rennie. Significantly different infestation frequencies were found in bees from 23 colonies containing queens that were instrumentally inseminated with single drones. Queens and drones originated from a closed population composed of commercial stock from various areas of the United States. Mites were randomly distributed with respect to right and left prothoracic tracheae. Tracheae containing mites were no more or less attractive to migrating mites than non-infested tracheae. The same quantity of progeny per female was produced in tracheae containing 1-3 mites. Female mites apparently do not migrate a second time after egg laying begins. The degree of phenotypic variation suggests that selection of honey bees for tracheal mite resistance is feasible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-305
Number of pages15
JournalExperimental and Applied Acarology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 1987


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Insect Science

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