Grooming and hygienic behaviours of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) toward the parasitic mite Varroa destructor

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dc.contributor.advisor Whelan, Padraig en
dc.contributor.author Kirrane, Maria J.
dc.date.accessioned 2015-08-20T08:56:58Z
dc.date.issued 2014
dc.date.submitted 2014
dc.identifier.citation Kirrane, M. J. 2014. Grooming and hygienic behaviours of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) toward the parasitic mite Varroa destructor. PhD Thesis, University College Cork. en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/1930
dc.description.abstract Despite a multitude of environmental stressors, the Varroa mite is still regarded as the greatest cause of honey bee mortality in its invaded range. Breeding honey bees that are resistant to the mite is an important area of research. This thesis aimed to gain a better understanding of the grooming and hygienic behaviours of Russian honey bees (RHB). The effect of a break in the synchrony of a mite’s life cycle on reproductive success was tested through brood inoculation experiments. Mites released by hygienic behaviour and forced to enter a new cell are less likely to lay male offspring. Through laboratory cage assays it was found that daughter mites are more susceptible to grooming behaviour. A new method of marking Varroa mites was developed which would enable a single cohort of mites to be followed after inoculation. A strong brood removal trait was noticed in RHB colonies, therefore they were tested for Varroa sensitive hygienic (VSH) behaviour. RHB demonstrated levels of VSH as high as the USDA line bred specifically for this behaviour. In addition the same QTL found to be responsible for the trait in VSH bees, was associated with VSH in RHB stock. Previous work showed that the ratio of older mites to total trapped mites (O/T) in the debris of honey bee colonies demonstrated the strongest association with colony infestation. This research showed that O/T is associated with VSH and brood removal behaviour. In addition, bees that displayed high levels of VSH in this study were also more likely to spend a longer amount of time grooming in laboratory assays. This indicates that both grooming and hygienic behaviours play important roles in the resistance of RHB stock. Their likelihood to be expressed by other stocks is discussed and recommendations for further research are provided. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher University College Cork en
dc.rights © 2014, Maria J. Kirrane. en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ en
dc.subject Varroa mite en
dc.subject Varroa sensitive hygiene en
dc.subject Russian honey bees en
dc.subject Honey bee en
dc.subject Grooming behaviour en
dc.subject Hygienic behaviour en
dc.subject Host-parasite interactions en
dc.subject Resistance en
dc.title Grooming and hygienic behaviours of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) toward the parasitic mite Varroa destructor en
dc.type Doctoral thesis en
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral en
dc.type.qualificationname PhD (Science) en
dc.internal.availability Full text not available en
dc.check.info Indefinite en
dc.check.date 10000-01-01
dc.description.version Accepted Version
dc.contributor.funder Irish Research Council en
dc.description.status Not peer reviewed en
dc.internal.school Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences en
dc.check.reason This thesis is due for publication or the author is actively seeking to publish this material en
dc.check.opt-out Yes en
dc.thesis.opt-out true
dc.check.entireThesis Entire Thesis Restricted
dc.check.embargoformat E-thesis on CORA only en
dc.internal.conferring Autumn Conferring 2014


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© 2014, Maria J. Kirrane. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2014, Maria J. Kirrane.
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