The effect of oxalic acid applied by sublimation on honey bee colony fitness: a comparison with amitraz

Ivana Papežíková, Miroslava Palíková, Stanislav Navrátil, Radka Heumannová, Michael Fronc
2016 Acta Veterinaria Brno  
Oxalic acid is one of the organic acids used for controlling Varroa destructor, a mite parasitizing the honey bee (Apis mellifera). The aim of this work was to examine the effect of oxalic acid applied by sublimation on honey bee colony fitness, and to compare it with the effect of amitraz, a routinely used synthetic acaricide. Bee colonies of equal strength were randomly divided into two groups. In December 2014, one group was treated with amitraz in the form of aerosol, and the second group
more » ... s treated with oxalic acid applied by sublimation. The colonies were monitored over winter. Dead bees found at the bottom of the hive were counted regularly and examined microscopically for infection with Nosema sp. (Microsporidia). At the end of March 2015, living foragers from each hive were sampled and individually examined for Nosema sp. infection. Colony strength was evaluated at the beginning of April. No adverse effect of oxalic acid on colony strength was observed despite the fact that the total number of dead bees was non-significantly higher in the oxalic acid-treated group. Examination of dead bees for Nosema infection did not reveal significant differences in spore numbers between the experimental groups. There was a substantial difference in living individuals, however, with a significantly higher amount of spores per bee found in the amitraz-treated colonies compared to the oxalic acid-treated colonies. Compared to amitraz, oxalic acid applied by sublimation showed no adverse effects on bee colony fitness or on successful overwintering. Apis mellifera, mite control, Nosema sp.
doi:10.2754/avb201685030255 fatcat:32u6jxca7fhpvjx6ek4bvheopm