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Efficacy of Essential Oils and Formic Acid in the Management of Tropilaelaps clareae in Apis mellifera Linnaeus Colonies in Relation to Honey Production

Efficacy of Essential Oils and Formic Acid in the Management of Tropilaelaps clareae in Apis mellifera Linnaeus Colonies in Relation to Honey Production

Noor Islam1, Muhammad Amjad2, Ehsan ul Haq3, Elizabeth Stephen1 and Falak Naz4

1Honeybee Research Institute, National Agriculture Research Centre (NARC), Islamabad; 2Plant Sciences Division, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council, Islamabad; 3Insect Pest Management Programme, NARC, Islamabad; 4Coordination, Pakistan Agriculture Research Council, Islamabad, Pakistan.

Email: khattakni@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

The brood ectoparasitic mites, Tropilaelaps clareae is causing greater damage to Apis mellifera colonies and major economic losses (a serious threat) to beekeeping industry in Pakistan. Seven treatments including five essential oils of basil (Ocimum basilicum), lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), oregano (Origanium vulgare), lemon (Citrus lemon) and thyme (Thymus linearus), formic acid at three different concentrations of 25%, 50% and 100% and control were used against T. clareae in naturally infested honey bee, A. mellifera colonies in Honeybee Research Institute, National Agricultural Research Centre, Islamabad, Pakistan. The percentage of infestation by T. clareae on worker brood, number of dead/fallen mites per hive/weekon white formica sheet, percent mite mortality and honey yield per colony was determined before and after the treatments in the experimental colonies. The results revealed that formic acid and the highest concentrations (100%) of tested essential oils caused effective control of Tropilaelaps mites, whereas the infestation reduction percentage with formic acid, lemongrass, thyme, lemon, basil and oregano oils was recorded more than 96% after the end of treatments on worker brood. The highest total number of dead T. clareae mites (761) fallen on the sheet was recorded by formic acid followed by lemongrass (445), thyme (349), lemon (298), basil (283) and oregano (250) respectively. The hives treated with essential oils and formic acid also showed good persistence with over all mean percent mite mortality ranging from 64.37 to 84.33% up to fourth application of treatment. High mean value for honey yield (9.3 kg) was recorded by formic acid, followed by lemongrass (8.8 kg), thyme (8.5 kg), lemon (8.5 kg), basil (7.7 kg) and oregano (7.6 kg) per colony as compared with control colonies (3.8 kg) per colony.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Research

September

Vol. 32, Iss. 3, Pages 416-561

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