Varroa Does Not Feed on Hemolymph

A new study by Samuel Ramsey debunking the assumption that Varroa feed on honey bee hemolymph, concluding that they feed on the fat body.

Since 1972 research on the behaviour of the Varroa mite on honey bees has been assumed as accurate in asserting Varroa feed on a honey bees hemolymph.  This new study debunks this proving that they actually feed on the fat body of the honey bee.  In this fascinating presentation Samuel Ramsey takes us through his research – the methodology and how he comes to his conclusions – leaving one with the certainty that this ground-breaking study’s results impact on treatment timings, protein feeding and the development of systemic pesticides for Varroa.

The study tasked with proving that Varroa do not feed on hemolymph, but on its fat body, had to too find out where they mostly attach to the bees, and its not on the top of them, to the contrary, mites on the top of the bee are those looking for a new host as they demonstrate questing behaviour, while over 90% will be found underneath the honey bee between its plates. Checking for Varroa correctly?

Ramsey takes us through the impact of Varroa feeding on the fat body of the honey bee through extra oral digestion (those mites that release digestive enzymes breaking down a part of the host), and proposes answers to questions regarding why and how viruses take greater hold on honey bees when Varroa are present.  Ever considered why for many years before Varroa, honey bees suffered with Deformed Wing Disease, and when Varroa found their way into hives it proliferated?  Watch on.

And how could this finding impact on our previous research and understanding of the affect that pesticides have had on honey bees, why over past decades did it appear to be less than it is today?  Does part of the answer lie in the breakdown of the fat body which holds the first line of defence against them? And is there a bigger problem coming than Varroa in the Tropilaelaps mite, a key new study which this research informs?

This webinar, hosted by Fleming Vejsnaes, is presented in practical layman’s terms that every bee lover and beekeeper cannot afford to miss as it addresses the multiple functions of the honey bee fat body and what it means to the health of our honey bees.  While talking mites, there is intriguing information shared that talks to so much more.  #WorthWatching.

Varroa Does Not Feed on Hemolymph. Samuel Ramsey. vanEngelsdorp beelab, Maryland is the copyright of WeBInar Danmarks Biavlerforening, and was published on their YouTube channel on Jul 11, 2018.

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