Parallel evolution of Varroa resistance in honey bees; a common mechanism across continents?

Grindrod, IR and Martin, SJ ORCID: 2021, 'Parallel evolution of Varroa resistance in honey bees; a common mechanism across continents?' , Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 288 (1956) , p. 20211375.

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The near-globally distributed ecto-parasitic mite of the Apis mellifera honey bee, Varroa destructor, has formed a lethal association with Deformed wing virus, a once rare and benign RNA virus. In concert the two have killed millions of wild and managed colonies, particularly across the northern hemisphere, forcing the need for regular acaricide application to ensure colony survival. However, despite the short association (in evolutionary terms), A. mellifera populations across the globe have been surviving many years without any mite control methods. This long-term survival, or Varroa resistance, is consistently associated with the same suite of traits, recapping, brood removal and reduced mite reproduction, irrespective of location. Here we conduct an analysis of data extracted from 60 papers to illustrate how these traits connect together to explain decades of mite resistance data. For the first time we have potentially a unified understanding of natural Varroa resistance that will help the global industry achieve widespread miticide free beekeeping and indicate how different honey bee populations across four continents have resolved a recent threat using the same suite of behaviours.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Environment and Life Sciences > Ecosystems and Environment Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Publisher: The Royal Society
ISSN: 0962-8452
Related URLs:
Funders: Bee Diseases Insurance Ltd, UK.
Depositing User: USIR Admin
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2021 12:03
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 07:24

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