Discovery and field testing of a new acaricide against the mite Varroa destructor, an invasive parasite of honey bees

Citation

Plettner E, Dawdani S, O’Neill M, Macias Sámano J, Feng X, Castillo C, Higo H, Ibrahim A, Pernal SF (2023) Discovery and field testing of a new acaricide against the mite Varroa destructor, an invasive parasite of honey bees. American Chemical Society Fall 2023, 13-17 August, San Francisco, CA. https://scimeetings.acs.org/exhibit/Discovery-field-testing-new-acaricide/3918658

Abstract

The mite Varroa destructor is an external parasite of honey bees, Apis mellifera, that causes serious damage to colonies by weakening the bees and transmitting diseases to them. Varroosis is the most prevalent cause of losses of honey bee colonies during wintering in temperate and northern climates. Climate change in recent years has exacerbated the losses of colonies, as the mites are becoming more difficult to control during warmer fall periods. Additionally, mites are developing resistance to the most commonly used synthetic treatment (amitraz), and there are few practical alternatives. Therefore, to practice integrated pest management, it is necessary to find new acaricides that can be rotated with the other methods or with amitraz. Here we describe the discovery and field trials of a new compound with strong and selective acaricidal activity against varroa mites. We have found that para-substituted dialkoxybenzenes with three-carbon substituents have two activities with varroa mites: 1) they impair the ability of the mites to arrest on a food source and 2) they paralyze and eventually kill the mite. Tests of the most active congener for both activities, 1-allyloxy-4-propoxybenzene, in the field have demonstrated that the compound is a promising new tool for control of varroa mites.

Publication date

2023-08-13

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