5.4. Methods for studying mite mating behaviour

Mating behaviour can be studied by placing a single adult male mite and female mite inside a clear plastic Petri dish (or glass bottle) that contains a bee larva on which the mites can feed. Mites are kept alive in the dish by continually replacing the bee larva.

Pros:  This method allows for mating behaviour to be observed and videoed.

Cons:  Behaviours of mites in-vitro, such as those shown in plastic or glass containers, may not necessarily be those shown naturally inside the bee colony.