Article

Experimental and Applied Acarology

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 311-316

First online:

The efficacy of small cell foundation as a varroa mite (Varroa destructor) control

  • A. M. EllisAffiliated withFlorida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry, Bureau of Plant and Apiary Inspection, Apiary Inspection Section Email author 
  • , G. W. HayesAffiliated withFlorida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry, Bureau of Plant and Apiary Inspection, Apiary Inspection Section
  • , J. D. EllisAffiliated withHoney Bee Research and Extension Laboratory, Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida

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Abstract

Due to a continuing shift toward reducing/minimizing the use of chemicals in honey bee colonies, we explored the possibility of using small cell foundation as a varroa control. Based on the number of anecdotal reports supporting small cell as an efficacious varroa control tool, we hypothesized that bee colonies housed on combs constructed on small cell foundation would have lower varroa populations and higher adult bee populations and more cm2 brood. To summarize our results, we found that the use of small cell foundation did not significantly affect cm2 total brood, total mites per colony, mites per brood cell, or mites per adult bee, but did affect adult bee population for two sampling months. Varroa levels were similar in all colonies throughout the study. We found no evidence that small cell foundation was beneficial with regard to varroa control under the tested conditions in Florida.

Keywords

Varroa mite Small cell foundation Honey bee Integrated pest management