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Factors influencing the prevalence and infestation levels of Varroa destructor in honeybee colonies in two highland agro-ecological zones of Uganda

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Abstract
Varroa mites are ecto-parasites of honeybees and are a threat to the beekeeping industry. We identified the haplotype of Varroa mites and evaluated potential factors that influence their prevalence and infestation levels in the eastern and western highland agro-ecological zones of Uganda. This was done by collecting samples of adult worker bees between December 2014 and September 2015 in two sampling moments. Samples of bees were screened for Varroa using the ethanol wash method and the mites were identified by molecular techniques. All DNA sequences obtained from sampled mite populations in the two zones were 100 % identical to the Korean Haplotype (AF106899). Mean mite prevalence in the apiaries was 40 and 53 % for the western and eastern zones, respectively, during the first sampling. Over the second sampling, mean mite prevalence increased considerably in the western (59 %) but not in the eastern (51 %) zone. Factors that were associated with Varroa mite infestation levels include altitude, nature of apiary slope and apiary management practices during the first sampling. Our results further showed that Varroa mites were spreading from lower to higher elevations. Feral colonies were also infested with Varroa mites at infestation levels not significantly different from those in managed colonies. Colony productivity and strength were not correlated to mite infestation levels. We recommend a long-term Varroa mite monitoring strategy in areas of varying landscape and land use factors for a clear understanding of possible changes in mite infestation levels among African honeybees for informed decision making.
Keywords
Mite prevalence, APIS-MELLIFERA-SCUTELLATA, Ecto-parasite infestation levels, Varroa destructor, Apis mellifera, DEFORMED WING VIRUS, MITES, BEES, PATHOGENS, AFRICA, THREAT, ACARI, L., POPULATIONS

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Chicago
Chemurot, Moses, Anne M Akol, Charles Masembe, Lina De Smet, Tine Descamps, and Dirk de Graaf. 2016. “Factors Influencing the Prevalence and Infestation Levels of Varroa Destructor in Honeybee Colonies in Two Highland Agro-ecological Zones of Uganda.” Experimental and Applied Acarology 68 (4): 497–508.
APA
Chemurot, M., Akol, A. M., Masembe, C., De Smet, L., Descamps, T., & de Graaf, D. (2016). Factors influencing the prevalence and infestation levels of Varroa destructor in honeybee colonies in two highland agro-ecological zones of Uganda. EXPERIMENTAL AND APPLIED ACAROLOGY, 68(4), 497–508.
Vancouver
1.
Chemurot M, Akol AM, Masembe C, De Smet L, Descamps T, de Graaf D. Factors influencing the prevalence and infestation levels of Varroa destructor in honeybee colonies in two highland agro-ecological zones of Uganda. EXPERIMENTAL AND APPLIED ACAROLOGY. 2016;68(4):497–508.
MLA
Chemurot, Moses, Anne M Akol, Charles Masembe, et al. “Factors Influencing the Prevalence and Infestation Levels of Varroa Destructor in Honeybee Colonies in Two Highland Agro-ecological Zones of Uganda.” EXPERIMENTAL AND APPLIED ACAROLOGY 68.4 (2016): 497–508. Print.
@article{7244704,
  abstract     = {Varroa mites are ecto-parasites of honeybees and are a threat to the beekeeping industry. We identified the haplotype of Varroa mites and evaluated potential factors that influence their prevalence and infestation levels in the eastern and western highland agro-ecological zones of Uganda. This was done by collecting samples of adult worker bees between December 2014 and September 2015 in two sampling moments. Samples of bees were screened for Varroa using the ethanol wash method and the mites were identified by molecular techniques. All DNA sequences obtained from sampled mite populations in the two zones were 100 \% identical to the Korean Haplotype (AF106899). Mean mite prevalence in the apiaries was 40 and 53 \% for the western and eastern zones, respectively, during the first sampling. Over the second sampling, mean mite prevalence increased considerably in the western (59 \%) but not in the eastern (51 \%) zone. Factors that were associated with Varroa mite infestation levels include altitude, nature of apiary slope and apiary management practices during the first sampling. Our results further showed that Varroa mites were spreading from lower to higher elevations. Feral colonies were also infested with Varroa mites at infestation levels not significantly different from those in managed colonies. Colony productivity and strength were not correlated to mite infestation levels. We recommend a long-term Varroa mite monitoring strategy in areas of varying landscape and land use factors for a clear understanding of possible changes in mite infestation levels among African honeybees for informed decision making.},
  author       = {Chemurot, Moses and Akol, Anne M and Masembe, Charles and De Smet, Lina and Descamps, Tine and de Graaf, Dirk},
  issn         = {0168-8162},
  journal      = {EXPERIMENTAL AND APPLIED ACAROLOGY},
  keyword      = {Mite prevalence,APIS-MELLIFERA-SCUTELLATA,Ecto-parasite infestation levels,Varroa destructor,Apis mellifera,DEFORMED WING VIRUS,MITES,BEES,PATHOGENS,AFRICA,THREAT,ACARI,L.,POPULATIONS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {497--508},
  title        = {Factors influencing the prevalence and infestation levels of Varroa destructor in honeybee colonies in two highland agro-ecological zones of Uganda},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10493-016-0013-x},
  volume       = {68},
  year         = {2016},
}

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