Variability of Hygienic Behavior in Bee Apis mellifera macedonica

1 Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Apiculture-Sericulture Laboratory, Thessaloniki 54124, Greece
2 Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University, Department of Entomology, Dinajpur, Bangladesh


XONIS, C., A. THRASYVOULOU and H. F. El TAJ, 2015. Variability of hygienic behavior in bee Apis mellifera macedonica. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 21: 674–679

The hygienic behavior is an essential factor for the selective improvement of resistant bees against the mite Varroa destructor. Bees with hygienic behavior remove the diseased or dead brood of closed cells. However, the expression of hygienic behavior varies greatly from month to month. In our work we examined the first year, for a period of four months, seven colonies of the Macedonian race (Apis mellifera macedonica) and the second year for a period of three months, 16 colonies of the same race. We found large variation in hygienic behavior each month in 17 of the 23 colonies (74%). Unlike in six of the 23 colonies (26%), in which was found a little variation of hygienic behavior (CV ≤ 15%), there was a positive correlation between the hygienic behavior and mite infestation on bee population. The hygienic behavior explains 32% of the variance of the mite infestation on bee population. Also, it was found that the hygienic behavior in the six colonies not affected by the strength of the colonies.

Key words: hygienic behavior, Apis mellifera macedonica, Varroa destructor, strength, variation

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