, Volume 42, Issue 6, pp 740–742 | Cite as

A scientific note on the ant pitfall for quantitative diagnosis of Varroa destructor

  • Benjamin Dainat
  • Rolf Kuhn
  • Daniel Cherix
  • Peter NeumannEmail author
Scientific note

The mite Varroa destructor is a global challenge for apiculture and accurate quantification crucial for adequate and timely pest management. However, foraging ants are regularly found in hives and may interfere with mite diagnosis. Here, we quantify for the first time the impact of ants. We expect lower mite numbers on bottom boards with foraging ants and that estimates of phoretic mites are ant independent.

From July to August 2007–2009, the experiments were conducted with 64 queenright honey bee colonies (predominantly Apis mellifera carnica, Table  I). One apiary was used for 3 years, but each time, new colonies were monitored. All colonies (~11 frames of bees, 6–10 brood frames) were housed in Dadant hives (12 frames) with bottom board inserts for mite quantification (Imdorf et al. 2003) and placed in groups of four or five each on hive stands with four steel polders (50 cm aboveground). All colonies were treated in summer and fall using formic and oxalic acid (Imdorf et al. 2003)....


ant Apis mellifera diagnosis bottom board Varroa destructor 



We are grateful to Gabriel Hugenschmidt and two anonymous referees for constructive comments on earlier versions of the manuscript as well as to Werner Luginbühl for statistical advice. Financial support was granted to BD and PN by the Swiss Federal Veterinary Office, FVO.

Note scientifique sur l'influence des fourmis pour le diagnostic quantitatif de Varroa destructor

Eine wissenschaftliche Notiz zum Einfluss von Ameisen auf die quantitative Diagnose von Varroa destructor


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Copyright information

© INRA, DIB-AGIB and Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Dainat
    • 1
  • Rolf Kuhn
    • 1
  • Daniel Cherix
    • 2
  • Peter Neumann
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Swiss Bee Research Centre, Research Station Agroscope Liebefeld-Posieux Research Station ALPBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Ecology and EvolutionUniversité de LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  3. 3.Department of Zoology and EntomologyRhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa

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