Assessment of colony infestation by Varroa destructor is a crucial part of the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) applied to beekeeping. Natural mite fall, quantified by counting the mites on sticky sheets, is considered a reference method to estimate varroa infestation level in honey bee colonies. However, in recent years, alternative methods that can be used in field conditions have been investigated. In this paper, we report the results of the evaluation of two different methods to estimate the levels of varroa infestation. The experiment involved 151 honey bee colonies in nine apiaries of four countries (Algeria, Croatia, Italy, Poland). After the main honey flow, we compared the 10-day natural mite fall and the powdered sugar roll methods with the varroa population in each colony. According to our results, the powdered sugar roll method could be suggested to beekeepers as a suitable IPM tool for varroa control, while natural mite fall represents a more accurate method that could be adopted for selection/research purposes.
Pietropaoli, M.; Tlak Gajger, I.; Costa, C.; Gerula, D.; Wilde, J.; Adjlane, N.; Sánchez, P.; Smodis Skerl, M.; Bubnič, J.; Formato, G. Evaluation of Two Commonly Used Field Tests to Assess Varroa destructor Infestation on Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Colonies. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(10), 4458