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Arquivo Brasileiro de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Print version ISSN 0102-0935


PINTO, F.A.; PUKER, A.; BARRETO, L.M.R.C.  and  MESSAGE, D.. The ectoparasite mite Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman in southeastern Brazil apiaries: effects of the hygienic behavior of Africanized honey bees on infestation rates. Arq. Bras. Med. Vet. Zootec. [online]. 2012, vol.64, n.5, pp.1194-1199. ISSN 0102-0935.

In Brazil, the ectoparasitic mite of bees Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman (Acari: Varroidae) remains at low levels of infestation causing no major damage. However, with the introduction and possible dominance of a new haplotype (K) of the mite, usually found in areas with high infestation rates (IR), it is necessary to monitor and select beehives that are resistant to the pest in order to avoid future problems. Several factors are listed as potentially being responsible for the dynamics of mite infestation, among which hygienic behavior (HB) stands out. In this context we sought to evaluate the HB of Africanized honey bees Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) compared with the mite IR in apiaries of two municipalities of southeastern Brazil (Taubaté and Viçosa). For the municipality of Taubaté, the average IR was 4.9% (3.4 to 5.8%), while the HB averaged 98.6% (96 to 100%). In Viçosa, the average mite IR was found to be 10.0% (5.4 to 21.0%) with an average value for HB of 57.7% (0 to 79.0%). Results from this research show that IR and HB were negatively correlated (R = -0.9627, P<0.01), suggesting that hives with higher HB have lower IR.

Keywords : Acari; Apidae; bee pathology; pest management; Varroidae.

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