Journal of Insect Behavior

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 371–393 | Cite as

Time-activity budgets and space structuring by the different life stages ofVarroa jacobsoni in capped brood of the honey bee,Apis mellifera

  • Gérard Donzé
  • Patrick M. Guerin

Abstract

Varroa jacobsoni reproduces in honey bee brood cells. Here the behavioral activity and use of space by infestingVarroa females and progeny were quantified in transparent artificial brood cells. The time-activity budget of both infesting and developing mites converged toward a stable pattern which was established during the bee prepupal stage of the infesting mites and the protonymphal stage of mite progeny. The pattern was such that infesting females and offspring eventually divided their activity between the fecal accumulation on the cell wall, which served as the rendezvous site for newly molted individuals, and the feeding site prepared on the pupa by the foundress. Other parts of the cell wall were used for oviposition and molting, away from the fecal accumulation on which activity of mobile stages was concentrated. Space structuring and the time-activity budget inVarroa probably evolved to enhance the number of fertilized females produced within the capped brood, where space and time are limiting factors. These behavioral adaptations parallel those of other mite species which show group behavior within cavities.

Key words

Varroa jacobsoni Acari behavior reproduction molting development 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gérard Donzé
    • 1
  • Patrick M. Guerin
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ApicultureFederal Dairy Research InstituteLiebefeld-BernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institute of ZoologyUniversity of NeuchâtelNeuchâtelSwitzerland

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