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Scent or movement of Varroa destructor mites does not elicit hygienic behaviour by Africanized and Carniolan honey bees

Publication Date
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2001127
  • [Sdv:Ba:Zi] Life Sciences/Animal Biology/Invertebrate Zoology
  • [Sdv:Ba:Zi] Sciences Du Vivant/Biologie Animale/Zoologie Des Invertébrés
  • [Sdv:Bid] Life Sciences/Biodiversity
  • [Sdv:Bid] Sciences Du Vivant/Biodiversité
  • [Sdv:Ee] Life Sciences/Ecology
  • Environment
  • [Sdv:Ee] Sciences Du Vivant/Ecologie
  • Environnement
  • [Sdv:Sa:Spa] Life Sciences/Agricultural Sciences/Animal Production Studies
  • [Sdv:Sa:Spa] Sciences Du Vivant/Sciences Agricoles/Science Des Productions Animales
  • Brood Removal
  • Scent Cues
  • Varroa Destructor
  • Varroosis Tolerance
  • Africanized Honeybee
  • Apis Mellifera Carnica


Hygienic behaviour of mite-tolerant Africanized and susceptible Carniolan colonies was evaluated in Brazil by sham-manipulating or artificially inoculating 4175 capped worker brood cells with dead Varroa destructor mites or ants, or their odour extracts. Both bee types expressed the hygienic components 'uncapping', 'removal of introduced mite/ant' and 'removal of brood' to the same extent and pattern. The similar response to dead mites of different origins and solvent-extracted mites indicates a minor role of scent or of movement of mites within sealed brood cells as releasers of hygienic behaviour. However, application of dichlormethane-extract of mites increased the hygienic response compared to pure solvent alone. Hygienic reactions to mite infested brood cells must, therefore, be elicited by other signals, possibly by the detection of specific reactions or odours of the infested larvae or pupae.

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