Presentation Title

Exploration of Apis mellifera subspecies’ defense against Varroa mite infestation

Advisor Information

Karen Murch-Shafer

Location

Milo Bail Student Center Council Room

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

8-3-2013 9:00 AM

End Date

8-3-2013 9:15 AM

Abstract

The value of honey bee pollination in the United States economy is estimated to be 15 billion dollars per year. The future of our food supply rests on the honey bee, whose pollination efforts account for 1/3 of the food that is produced worldwide. Due to certain threats such as colony collapse disorder, parasitic flies, varroa mite, wax moth, and hive beetle infestations, the Apis mellifera species is at risk. This study aims to compare the establishment of three subspecies of Apis mellifera (Apis mellifera lingustica (the Italian bee) , Apis mellifera carnica (the Carnolian bee), and Minnesota Hygenic, (a hybrid of lingustica)) into the Eastern Nebraska region by quantitatively and qualitatively observing various common stresses placed upon them. We monitored their rigor during hive inspections by analyzing varrroa mite counts, honey production, wax volume, and visual observations of brood formation. We found that a prevailing factor, temperature, influenced the growth of all our subspecies in a similar way, despite their different genetic make-ups. Near record warmth during the winter months was only a precursor to a devastating drought and the hottest Nebraska summer on record. These episodes created an ideal niche for certain species, such as the Achroia grisella, the lesser wax moth, to multiply and eventually act as a major threat to the colonies.

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Mar 8th, 9:00 AM Mar 8th, 9:15 AM

Exploration of Apis mellifera subspecies’ defense against Varroa mite infestation

Milo Bail Student Center Council Room

The value of honey bee pollination in the United States economy is estimated to be 15 billion dollars per year. The future of our food supply rests on the honey bee, whose pollination efforts account for 1/3 of the food that is produced worldwide. Due to certain threats such as colony collapse disorder, parasitic flies, varroa mite, wax moth, and hive beetle infestations, the Apis mellifera species is at risk. This study aims to compare the establishment of three subspecies of Apis mellifera (Apis mellifera lingustica (the Italian bee) , Apis mellifera carnica (the Carnolian bee), and Minnesota Hygenic, (a hybrid of lingustica)) into the Eastern Nebraska region by quantitatively and qualitatively observing various common stresses placed upon them. We monitored their rigor during hive inspections by analyzing varrroa mite counts, honey production, wax volume, and visual observations of brood formation. We found that a prevailing factor, temperature, influenced the growth of all our subspecies in a similar way, despite their different genetic make-ups. Near record warmth during the winter months was only a precursor to a devastating drought and the hottest Nebraska summer on record. These episodes created an ideal niche for certain species, such as the Achroia grisella, the lesser wax moth, to multiply and eventually act as a major threat to the colonies.