What are some ways to reduce the population of Varroa mites in honey bee colonies, without the use of pesticides?

Mite-resistant Bees. In response to development of resistance to chemical miticides, and in order to provide more sustainable mite management, honey bees have been selectively bred for resistance to, or tolerance of, Varroa. There are two known mechanisms of resistance: hygienic behavior and suppression of mite reproduction (SMR). Hygiene is the removal of diseased (including mite-parasitized) brood by workers; SMR is the reduction in reproduction of female mites within brood cells. Types of resistant queens include; Minnesota Hygienic, the Russian …

Varroa Mite Reproductive Biology

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Managed Pollinator Coordinated Agriculture Program (CAP) Updates

A National Research and Extension Initiative to Reverse Pollinator Decline

This is part of an ongoing series of updates from the Managed Pollinator CAP. Additional installments can be found at the:

CAP Updates Table of Contents

More information about the CAP can be found at:



by Zachary Huang, Department of Entomology, Michigan State University, E. Lansing, MI 48824

CAP Updates: 29

  • Jointly

Varroa Sensitive Hygiene and Mite Reproduction

The USDA-ARS Baton Rouge Bee Lab has bred bees that hygienically remove mite-infested pupae from capped worker brood. This ability is called varroa sensitive hygiene, and bees expressing high levels of this behavior are called VSH bees. To select for the VSH trait in your bees, also see Selecting for Varroa Sensitive Hygiene

Figure 1. Hygienic removal of a mite infested worker pupa by adult worker honey bees is an important mechanism of resistance to varroa mites. The removal involves

Proceedings of the American Bee Research Conference 2010

  • Published in the American Bee Journal, June 2010

Download a .pdf of the 2010 ABRC proceedings.

The 2010 American Bee Research Conference was held January 14-15 at the Wyndham Orlando Resort in Orlando, Florida. This was a special joint conference between the American Association of Professional Apiculturists and the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists. The twenty fourth American Bee Research Conference will be held in conjunction with a joint meeting of the American Beekeeping Federation and the American Honey Producers …