Effectiveness of control strategies for Varroa jacobsoni and Tropilaelaps mercedesae in Papua New Guinea.

Affiliation

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Canberra, 2601, ACT, Australia. [Email]

Abstract

Apiculture in the Pacific island country of Papua New Guinea (PNG) is under significant pressure from emerging parasitic mites, Varroa jacobsoni and Tropilaelaps mercedesae. Although numerous mite control products exist, beekeepers in PNG have limited resources and access to these products and their effectiveness under local conditions is untested. Here we determined the effectiveness of two brood manipulation strategies-queen caging and queen removal-for managing V. jacobsoni and T. mercedesae in comparison to the chemical miticide Bayvarol®. Our results found Bayvarol was the most effective control strategy for V. jacobsoni, maintaining high efficacy (> 90%) over 4 months with significantly reduced levels of V. jacobsoni compared to untreated control hives. In contrast, T. mercedesae were significantly reduced by the brood manipulation strategies over 2 months, but not significantly by Bayvarol compared to the controls. These results highlight that a combination of strategies is likely needed to effectively manage both mite pests in PNG. We discuss how these findings are relevant to informing best practice for honey bee biosecurity and how these strategies can be implemented to improve the effectiveness of mite management for PNG beekeepers.

Keywords

Apis mellifera,Beekeeping,Biotechnical control,Honey bee,Mites,Queen manipulation,

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