African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6363

Full Length Research Paper

Behavior of nursing Apis mellifera after application of entomopathogenic fungi to control Varroa destructor

Jaime E. Araya
  • Jaime E. Araya
  • Departamento de Sanidad Vegetal, Facultad de Ciencias Agronómicas, Universidad de Chile, Casilla 1004, Santiago, Chile.
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Josefina Mas
  • Josefina Mas
  • Escuela de Agronomía, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Mayor, Camino La Pirámide 5750, Huechuraba, Santiago, Chile.
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Francisco Zuazúa
  • Francisco Zuazúa
  • Escuela de Agronomía, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Mayor, Camino La Pirámide 5750, Huechuraba, Santiago, Chile.
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  •  Received: 14 June 2019
  •  Accepted: 09 September 2019
  •  Published: 31 December 2019

Abstract

To study the possible use of fungi to control Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman, a parasitic mite of Apis mellifera L., without effects on its pollinator’s behavior, the entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria bassiana (Balsamo) Vuillemin and Metarhizium anisopliae (Metschnikoff) were applied at 30ºC in the dark, at 108 conidia/mL, a concentration known previously for its pathogenicity on V. destructor. Both fungi did not affect diverse parameters of the normal behavior of nursing honey bees in the laboratory, including the duration of walking periods, antennae tapping, resting, feeding, drinking, communication with the antennae (touching other bee), and grooming, as observed using a PC with the Observer® software. These results indicate that it would be possible to use both fungi against the mite, without any side effects on the bee. However, as pathogenicity varies greatly in diverse strains, further studies are recommended.

Key words: Beauveria bassiana, hives, honey bees, Metarhizium anisopliae, observer, varroasis.