A study on infestation of Varro mites (v. destructor) in selected Agro-Climatic zones in relation to beekeeping management practices

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University of Dar es Salaam
The aim of this study was to assess the infestation of varroa mites (V. destructor) in different agro-climatic zones in relation to the beekeeping management practices used by beekeepers in order to understand the influence of environmental and human related factors in proliferation of the parasitic mite. Four agro-climatic zones were chosen for the study namely coastal zone, semi-arid zone, northern highlands and southern highlands. A total of 66 colonies from 10 different apiaries across the four agro-climatic zones were surveyed for varroa mites using the powdered sugar roll method. Questionnaires were administered to beekeepers to collect data on awareness of varroa mites and economic importance of the mite as well as the beekeeping practices used by beekeepers that could influence varroa infestation. Beekeeping officers from all surveyed zones were also interviewed as key informants. All surveyed zones tested positive for varroa mites with infestation rate varying form 30% to 75%. Honey bee colonies in the semi-arid zone had the highest infestation of varroa mites with a mean value of 3.05 mites per 100 bees followed by northern highlands, coastal zone and southern highlands with 1.3, 0.58 and 0.5 mites per 100 bees respectively. Varroa infestation was not correlated with altitude however the highest mites load was found between altitudes 1001 – 1500. Both beekeepers and beekeeping officers in all surveyed zones had very little understanding of varroa and the impacts of the parasitic mite on bee colonies. Both lack awareness of varroa and beekeeping management practices were identified to influence mite proliferation however climate was the predominant factor for variation of mite infestation among the surveyed zones.
Available in printed form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF SF538.5.V37T34M38)
Varroa mites, Varroa_disease, Honey bee, Climatic zones, Beekeping
Mduda, C.A (2019) A study on infestation of Varro mites (v. destructor) in selected Agro-Climatic zones in relation to beekeeping management practices.Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.