Assessing hygienic behavior and attraction to Varroa mite (Acari: Varroidae) in Iranian honey bee (Apis. mellifera meda)
In the current study, the hygienic behaviors of 5th instar larva of Iranian honeybees (Apis mellifera. meda) were investigated. The results of hygienic evaluation demonstrated that 35% of Iranian honeybees are hygienic. For more research, different levels of hygienic behaviors were used as a treatment and then the selected 5th instar larva were transferred to fundamental colonies with 10 to 12 % infestation. Three days later, the number of female Varroa in the capped cells were counted as attraction criteria for each treatment separately. The result demonstrated that hygienic colonies were fantastic because of their great interest for the least attraction. Moreover, the apparent correlation between resistant traits and performance traits exhibited that there are no significant relationship amongst resistance traits and performance traits. The relationship between uncapping and removing (which measured in the same recording day) was relatively high (>0.90). Furthermore, the correlation between hygienic behavior and attraction traits was negative so that the correlation between attraction and removing within 48 h after pouring liquid nitrogen was -0.86. The negative correlation between 2 major resistance traits (hygienic behavior and attraction traits) in the breeding stock deems that selection for resistance against Varroa mite and improved performance traits may be possible in the Iranian honeybees. Despite, it is believed that in the breeding stock for determining the best selection strategy, other resistant mechanisms must be evaluated.
Key words: Varroa mite, hygienic behavior (uncapping and removing), attraction, performance traits, Iranian honeybee.