Managing Varroa destructor mites using their odorants
LE3 .A278 2017
Bachelor of Science
Parasitic Varroa destructor (hereafter varroa) mites are the most destructive disease of European honey bees, Apis mellifera, making them of significant economic importance. Varroa resistance to miticides, as well as detrimental effects of miticides on honeybees, have motivated exploration of alternative methods to safely manage varroa. My research examined behaviourally-relevant compounds used in host-finding behaviour (attractants), and potential deterrents for varroama management. I tested various odorants associated with honey bees, including butyric acid, hexanol, methyl oleate, and 2-hydrohexanoic acid versus the solvent of these compounds (hexane) as a control, on varroain laboratory behavioural assays. Butyric acid and 2-hydroxyhexanoic acid at a concentration of 100 ng/L were favoured relative to the other compounds. Subsequently, all odorants were also tested on bees to quantify their reactions. This research provided preliminary results that can be built upon in the future. It also gave insights into refining methods that can be used in further testing
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