Laboratory evaluation of some plant essences to control Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae)
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This research was conducted to evaluate acaricidal effects of some plant essences on Varroa mites and the possibility of their usage for Varroa control. First, live Varroa mites were obtained from adult honeybees with CO2 in a newly designed apparatus. Thyme, savory, rosemary, marjoram, dillsun and lavender essences at concentrations of 2 and 1g/100g (w/w), caused a mite mortality rate of more than 97% and 95%, respectively. Also spearmint at 2g/100g was able to kill more than 97% of Varroa mites. When sprayed on worker honeybees infected with mites, thyme, savory, spearmint and dillsun essences at 2g/100g (w/w) caused 43–58% Varroa mortality. Toxicity of thyme, savory and spearmint essences for worker honeybees was not significantly different from that of controls (acetone and water), but dillsun essence caused 12% honeybee mortality. These results showed that essences of thyme, savory and spearmint have acaricidal properties that could be used for controlling Varroa in honeybee colonies.