Experimental and Applied Acarology

, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 279–290 | Cite as

Observation of Varroa destructor behavior in capped worker brood of Africanized honey bees

  • Rafael A. Calderón
  • Guisella Chaves
  • Luis A. Sánchez
  • Rolando Calderón


The behavioral activity of Varroa destructor was observed using transparent cells. Mite oviposition started at 45.0 ± 25.0 h post capping, followed by the next eggs laid at regular 27.3 ± 2.0 h intervals. On the prepupa, mites were found to feed often and there was no preference for a specific segment as a feeding site. During the pupal stage the mite fed less often and almost always at the same point. Varroa showed a preference for defecation in the posterior part of the cell. A significant association was observed between the position of the feeding point in the pupa and the defecation site on the cell wall. Displacement behavior was observed in 71 % of the infested bee larvae and a major change in the free space available for varroa in the cell occurred when the prepupa molted into a pupa.


Varroa destructor Varroa mites Africanized honey bees Oviposition Feeding Fecal accumulation Molting 



We would like to thank Anton Imdorf, Swiss Bee Research Centre, Switzerland, for providing us with the artificial transparent cells and Gérard Donzé for his recommendations. Special thanks to Fernando Ramírez for the preparation of the Africanized colonies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rafael A. Calderón
    • 1
  • Guisella Chaves
    • 2
    • 3
  • Luis A. Sánchez
    • 1
  • Rolando Calderón
    • 2
  1. 1.Programa Integrado de Patología Apícola, Centro de Investigaciones Apícolas TropicalesUniversidad NacionalHerediaCosta Rica
  2. 2.Escuela de Ciencias BiológicasUniversidad NacionalHerediaCosta Rica
  3. 3.Ministerio de Agricultura y GanaderíaHerediaCosta Rica

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