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Evaluation of Essential Oils for the Management of Parasitic Bee Mites, Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) In Vitro

Evaluation of Essential Oils for the Management of Parasitic Bee Mites, Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae) In Vitro

Muhammad Abu Bakar1, Muhammad Anjum Aqueel1, Abu Bakar Muhammad Raza1, Rashid Mahmood2, Ziyad Abdul Qadir2, Muhammad Arshad1 and Mubasshir Sohail3 

1Department of Entomology, University of Sargodha, 40100, Sargodha, Pakistan; 2Honeybee Research Institute, National Agricultural Research Centre, Islamabad, Pakitan; 3Nuclear Institute of Agriculture, Tando Jam-71000, Pakistan.


The experiment was conducted at University College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha, Sargodha during 2015. The apiary had 20 Langstroth standard colonies of Apis mellifera naturally infested with Varroa destructor. Varroa destructor (Anderson and Trueman) is the most destructive pest of honeybees and a major threat to beekeepers in different areas of the world. Many control measures including application of chemicals, are adopted to control the infestation of mites in honey bee colonies. Chemical are still the most effective option; however, they pose different threats; due to which they should be alternated with non chemical options. Natural acaricides are considered important alternative control measure for Varroa mites. This study was planned to check the efficacy of different essential oils (Lemon oil, Eucalyptus oil, Wintergreen oil, Orange oil and Neem oil) in different concentrations against percent mortality of Varroa mites. The essential oils were applied at different concentrations (100 ppm, 200 ppm and 400 ppm) and percent mortality data were recorded after 12, 24, 48 and 72 hrs of the application. The results of present study were showed that lemon oil and eucalyptus oils were best compounds to manage Varroa mites at 200 ppm concentration. Percent mortality of Varroa mites was 59.2% and 58.3%, respectively after 72 hrs. When selected essential oils with different concentrations were applied against Varroa, no mortality of bees was observed. Neem oil gave (90%) significant control at 400 ppm concentration. There was no significant mortality observed in winter green oil. So, the neem oil, eucalyptus oil and lemon oil can be used against Varroa mites to improve the production of honey. 


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Pakistan Journal of Agricultural Research


Vol. 34, Iss. 2, Pages 254-493


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