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Singh N.K.,Zrifin Apiary | Eliash N.,Zrifin Apiary | Kamer Y.,Zrifin Apiary | Zaidman I.,Zrifin Apiary | And 2 more authors.
Apidologie | Year: 2015

Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman (Acari: Varroidae) is an obligatory ectoparasitic mite of honey bees. In view of limited success in mite control, the use of synthetic repellent was evaluated. The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of common arthropod repellent N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET) on the chemosensing of the V. destructor and its hosts, the European honey bee (Apis mellifera L.), by electrophysiological and behavioural bioassays. In electrophysiological assays, the nurse headspace served as a positive stimulus for the V. destructor foreleg, whereas a queen headspace was used as a positive stimulus for honey bee antennae. Two effects of DEET on V. destructor host chemosensing were evaluated: short-term inhibition and long-term inhibition. The inhibition observed in the presence of DEET simultaneously with a positive stimulus was termed “short term inhibition”, while inhibition that occurred following the administration of the compound alone was termed “long term inhibition”. In V. destructor, DEET served as a long-term inhibitor to the response of the chemosensory organ to nurse bee headspace volatiles, whereas in honey bee, it caused short-term inhibition of antenna response to queen volatiles. Consistent with electrophysiological studies, DEET significantly inhibited host choice of mites, whereas even a 10 times higher dose did not alter honey bee behaviours (e.g. antennating, grooming, fanning etc.) or worker attraction to a queen. These data suggest that DEET may selectively disrupt the honey bee chemosensing of V. destructor. © 2014, INRA, DIB and Springer-Verlag France.

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