Honey bee-Tracheal mite

Acarapis woodi

Pest description Tracheal mites are microscopic parasites that live in the tracheal tubes of adult honey bees. To identify them, bees must be dissected under a microscope. Infected colonies of bees have dwindling populations, do not cluster well and often die during the winter.

Management-chemical control

  • menthol-Treat in fall or early spring. Treatment must end one month before the first nectar flow.
  • vegetable oil-1 part vegetable oil plus 2 parts white granulated sugar, formed into a 0.5 lb patty. Place on brood nest top bars during spring and autumn.

Management-alternative control

Genetics-Honey bees vary greatly in their susceptibility to tracheal mites. Certain populations of bees are tolerant of tracheal mites and the use of honey bees maintained and selected for desirable apicultural traits and survival in the presence of tracheal mites can provide a viable alternative to chemical treatments.

For more information:

Honey bee tracheal mites: Gone? But not for Good. P.A. Moore, M. E. Wilson and J. A. Skinner. (bee-health.extension.org) 2015, 2019