Varroa

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Varroa
Varroa Mite.jpg
Varroa destructor
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Subclass: Acari
Order: Mesostigmata
Superfamily: Dermanyssoidea
Family: Varroidae
Delfinado & Baker, 1974
Genus: Varroa
Oudemans, 1904
Species

See text

Varroa is a genus of parasitic mites associated with honey bees, placed in its own family, Varroidae.[1] The genus was named for Marcus Terentius Varro, a Roman scholar who was also a beekeeper. The condition of a honeybee colony being infested with Varroa mites is called varroosis (also, incorrectly, varroatosis).

Varroa mites are recognised as the biggest pest to honeybees worldwide, and are believed to be the single largest contributing factor in the modern-day decline of honeybees,[citation needed] due to their ability to transmit diseases such as deformed wing virus to larval and/or pupating bees, resulting in death or severe deformity of the pupae.

History and behavior[edit]

Varroa mites feed off the bodily fluids of adult, pupal, and larval honey bees, and may carry viruses that are particularly damaging to the bees (e.g., deformed wings, and IAPV), and accordingly they have been implicated in colony collapse disorder. Research has indicated that alone, neither Varroa mites nor deformed wing virus are particularly deadly, yet together they can pose an incredible risk to colonies.[2][3]

Varroa mites were first discovered in Java about 1904,[4] but are now present on all continents except Australia and the Isle of Man. They were discovered in the United States in 1987, in New Zealand in 2000,[5] and in the United Kingdom in 1992 (Devon).

Bee-breeding efforts to develop resistance against Varroa are ongoing. The USDA has developed a line of bees which uses Varroa-sensitive hygiene to remove reproductive mites. This line is now being distributed to beekeepers to be used as part of their integrated pest management programs.

Species[edit]

The genus Varroa contains these species:[1]

Varroa resistant honey bees[edit]

Some honey bees strains have become resistant to varroa.[6][7] These strains have developed what is called "Varroa Sensitive Hygiene (VSH) behavior" and can detect an remove Varroa in brood.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Data related to Varroa at Wikispecies
  • Media related to Varroa at Wikimedia Commons