Journal of the NACAA
ISSN 2158-9429
Volume 1, Issue 1 - July, 2008


Monitoring the Natural Fall of Varroa Mites in Honeybee Colonies with the Use of Sticky Boards in Clay County, West Virginia

Friend, D.P., West Virginia University, Clay County
Shamblin, M.D., West Virginia University, Clay County


The Varroa mite (Varroa destructor) is one of the most destructive pests of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) in the United States. Because varroa mites have developed resistance to chemical treatments, producers need to adopt integrated pest management (IPM) strategies to manage varroa mites successfully. Five beekeepers monitored their hives monthly for varroa mites by assessing the natural mite fall using sticky boards. Sticky boards were placed in hives and removed 24 hours later. The boards were analyzed for number of varroa mites. As expected, varroa mites were detected in each hive in at least one of the months that hives were monitored. The average number of mites increased as summer progressed (R2 = .84). There was tremendous variation in the rate at which individual colonies developed mite populations. Further education and research on the identification of threshold levels of varroa mites in honey bee colonies will encourage producers to adopt an IPM program that will monitor varroa mite populations and treat only those hives that reach a threshold level thereby reducing honeybee losses, resistance to miticides and production costs.
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