Monthly Changes in the Natural Grooming Response in Workers of Three Honey Bee Subspecies Against the Bee Parasitic Mite Varroa destructor

Shahera Talat Zaitoun, Abd Al-Majeed Ahmed Al-Ghzawi


The seasonal variations in the number of damaged Varroa mites in the colonies of Apis mellifera ligustica, A. mellifera carnica and A. mellifera syriaca were studied using eight colonies for each honeybee subspecies. The results showed that the damaged mites in colonies of all three honey bee subspecies were noticed all over the year. Monthly changes in grooming behavior in the three subspecies showed the same general trend, the maximum percentages of the damaged mites were recorded during June correlated with high workers populated colonies and not correlated with the high Varroa infestation rates in the colonies. The occurrence of damaged mites in the colonies of the three subspecies in the summer and winter months provides evidence for active defense mechanisms against the parasitic mite Varroa destructor helping in reducing the initial mite mother population.


Honeybees, Varroa mites, Defense behavior, Jordan

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.