IPM Mite Control Thresholds

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Economic Thresholds & IPM StrategyDewey M. Caron University of Delaware

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IPM – Integrated Pest Management“Several techniques are employed simultaneously to solve specific pest problems”I=INTEGRATED – ideally use of more than pesticide chemical control P=PEST – mites sure but applicable to any of the 3 P’s M=MANAGEMENT – as you mange the bee population you manage the P’sAlternative BMP’s Best Management Practices names: Alternative Treatments (non-pesticide)

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IPMIPM is a decision-making process for control of PESTS PEST = pathogens, parasites, predators of honey bees, their colonies &/or products Bee Mites have changed the face of beekeeping – no longer bee-havers We are management specialists!

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Four Fundamental Strategies for Pest ManagementDo nothing Reduce numbers of pest Reduce susceptibility of the host Use combinations of the last two

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Goals to Focus on When Developing a Pest Management PlanReduce pest status Conserve environmental quality Accept tolerable pest densities Improve net profits Timing…NOT calendar treatments

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Implementation of Pest Management StrategiesPest identification Pest population assessment Economic evaluation* Timing of controls * Is economic damage possible/imminent?

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How to Achieve These GoalsEfficient sampling methods Valid decision guidelines Integrating a number of effective tactics for an overall plan of attack Acceptance of higher mite levels

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IPM in PracticeMONITORING Mite levels fluctuate within & between seasons. We must carefully sample (=scout or monitor) and then use best estimates to determine risk level – if risk elevated we control! We MUST - Understand bee/mite life cycle - be able to ID mite & predict #

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Varroa mite – a pest or vector?K-Wing or Wingless bees of value?

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Illustration series from Martin IN: Mites of Honey Bees Dadant & Sons, Inc 2001Adult female mite enters larval cell as it completes development. She hides on side wall as pre-pupa spins cocoon

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In 60 hours she lays 1st egg (male). After 24 hours she lays female egg one every 24 hours

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Her son (male) develops feeding on pupa & mates w/ sister as she matures

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When adult bee emerges 1.3 adult female mites are mature – if eggs on drone 3X are mature

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SOLUTION?

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Control Collapse w/ Pesticides“Resistant” mites increase with each generation Due to: (1)selection pressure (2)Sub-optimal exposure

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EILETAverage densityTimePest density80706050403020100Economic ThresholdApply controlsAvoid exceeding economic injury level

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Mite NumbersIncrease seasonally

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Mite NumbersVary between colonies & yearsHigh mite yrLow mite yr

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MonitoringOn brood - worker - drone On bees - ether roll - powdered sugar - alcohol wash In colony - Sticky board

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IPM THRESHOLD Monitoring can supply a number - a “guesstimate” One or more numbers can be obtained - use number(s) to evaluate mite population - one mite in sample = X mites in colony (1=50 in U.S. -- 1=100 Europe) Determine an appropriate risk level - one mite vs 100 vs 1000? Assumption: 3000 mites in fall represents a minimally acceptable conservative risk??? Balance of costs vs benefits

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Valadation of mite sample [bars] to actual numbers [background] Not perfect but good correlation

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ThresholdAn acceptable level of pests [mites] – determine necessity of further controls A number to use to evaluate mite control efficacy efforts Allows estimation of risk if no pesticide chemical is integrated into the control The basis for IPM – a decision process utilizing modern pest control practices

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ThresholdSpring/summer (April or May or Mid-June) Sticky boards – over 5-10 Adult bees – over 3-4 Brood – over 5% Exceeding threshold means additional control may be useful Pre-fall (mid-August, Sept too late!) Sticky boards – over 50-60 means additional control Adult bees – over 10-12 Brood – over 5-10% Exceeding threshold means additional (chemical) control needed

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Last Updated: 8th March 2018

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