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Varroa host-sensing behaviour 1.0

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how do varroa find brood cells to breed in

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This paper was published today looking at something we often talk about - how do varroa find brood cells to breed in, and can we interfere that somehow to reduce their reproductive success? [I]"The ectoparasitic mite, Varroa destructor, is considered to be one of the most significant threats to apiculture around the world. Chemical cues are known to play a significant role in the host-finding behavior of Varroa. The mites distinguish between bees from different task groups, and prefer nurses over foragers. We examined the possibility of disrupting the Varroa – honey bee interaction by targeting the mite’s olfactory system. In particular, we examined the effect of volatile compounds, ethers of cis 5-(29-hydroxyethyl) cyclopent-2-en-1-ol or of dihydroquinone, resorcinol or catechol. We tested the effect of these compounds on the Varroa chemosensory organ by electrophysiology and on behavior in a choice bioassay. The electrophysiological studies were conducted on the isolated foreleg. In the behavioral bioassay, the mite’s preference between a nurse and a forager bee was evaluated." It is not an easy paper and I haven't had time to write a summary yet so it's not for everyone, but it does give you an idea just how difficult answering this question is, let along developing a product that will harm mites and not bees. It does just get in under the forum's file size limit. [B]Eliash N, Singh NK, Kamer Y, Pinnelli GR, Plettner E, et al. (2014) Can We Disrupt the Sensing of Honey Bees by the Bee Parasite Varroa destructor? PLoS ONE 9(9): e106889. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0106889[/B][/I]



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