Molecular Prevalence of Acarapis Mite Infestations in Honey Bees in Korea

Abstract

Acarapis mites, including Acarapis woodi, Acarapis externus, and Acarapis dorsalis, are parasites of bees which can cause severe damage to the bee industry by destroying colonies and decreasing honey production. All 3 species are prevalent throughout many countries including UK, USA, Iran, Turkey, China, and Japan. Based on previous reports of Acarapis mites occurring in northeast Asia, including China and Japan, we investigated a survey of Acarapis mite infestations in honey bees in Korean apiaries. A total of 99 colonies of Apis mellifera were sampled from 5 provinces. The head and thorax of 20 bees from each colony were removed for DNA extraction. PCR assays were performed with 3 primer sets, including T, A, and K primers. Results indicated that 42.4% (42/99) of samples were Acarapis-positive by PCR assay which were sequenced to identify species. Each sequence showed 92.6-99.3% homology with reference sequences. Based on the homology, the number of colonies infected with A. dorsalis was 32 which showed the highest infection rate among the 3 species, while the number of colonies infected with A. externus and A. woodi was 9 and 1, respectively. However, none of the Acarapis mites were morphologically detected. This result could be explained that all apiaries in the survey used acaricides against bee mites such as Varroa destructor and Tropilaelaps clareae which also affect against Acarapis mites. Based on this study, it is highly probable that Acarapis mites as well as Varroa and Tropilaelaps could be prevalent in Korean apiaries.

DOI: 10.3347/kjp.2015.53.3.315

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@inproceedings{Ahn2015MolecularPO, title={Molecular Prevalence of Acarapis Mite Infestations in Honey Bees in Korea}, author={Ah-Jin Ahn and Kyu-Sung Ahn and Jin-Hyeong Noh and Young-Ha Kim and Mi-Sun Yoo and Seung Won Kang and Do-Hyeon Yu and Sung Shik Shin}, booktitle={The Korean journal of parasitology}, year={2015} }