If you are interested in honey bees or mites you probably have heard about this pest ! Varroa destructor sounds like a horrible monster, a sort of Terminator of our familiar honey bees. But this pest exists from ages. It is true that human activities has spead this pest all over the world, probably except Australia and Man Island (why ?), but I express some doubts about the fact that they are responsible of colony collapse disaster. A factor ? Maybe one factor among many other stronger factors like neonicotinoids ?
This is a sentitive question, my purpose here is only to show you two examples of this pest, show you the hidden beauty of this obese mite !
For years, among naturalists, there have been confusion between Varroa destructor and Varroa jacobsoni, it seems that the confusion is now over, and the common species we find in our European hives is Varroa destructor. Anderson & Trueman clarified the classification in a famous study. You will find plenty of publications on this subject on the internet.
If you happen to find fresh such mites, send us some examplaries in alcool, we will be happy to inspect, determine, and make some new photographies.
Currently identified species of Varroa :
- Varroa destructor Anderson & Trueman, 2000 is a virulent parasite that infests its natural host, Apis mellifera (western honey bee) worldwide and Apis cerana (Asian honey bees).
- Varroa jacobsoni Oudemans, 1904 is a relatively benign parasite of Apis cerana.
- Varroa rindereri de Guzman & Delfinado-Baker, 1996
- Varroa sinhai (Delfinado & Baker, 1974)
- Varroa wongsirii (Lekprayoon & Tangkanasing, 1991)