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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2007

Possible host-parasite adaptations in honey bees infested by Varroa destructor mites

Fries I, Bommarco R


We investigated Varroa destructor mite population growth in a line of honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies hat have survived mite infestation for seven years without treatment (Bond colonies), and in a line of colonies that had been treated to control the mites (Controls). We investigated if the source of mites affected mite population growth. The results showed that the overall mite population growth rate was reduced by 82% in Bond colonies compared to Control colonies, irrespective of the mite source (mites from Bond or Control colonies). Two traits may partly explain the difference seen in mite population growth. First, Bond colonies produced less worker and drone brood compared to Control colonies. Second, Control colonies had a larger proportion of the mites in the sealed brood compared to Bond colonies. Reduced brood production and traits leading to differences in mite distribution could be interpreted as adaptive responses to mite pressure, although a causal relationship was not demonstrated

Published in

2007, Volume: 38, number: 6, pages: 525-533

    SLU Authors

    • Fries, Ingemar

      • Department of Entomology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
      Veterinary Science
      Animal and Dairy Science

      Publication Identifiers


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