Acarapidosis of bees is a parasitic disease caused by a tick of the Acarapis Wood species. Acarapidosis must be treated, as the disease leads to the death of a large number of bees. In order to prevent the development of the disease, preventive measures should be taken.
General characteristics of the disease
Acarapidosis in bees is a common disease that develops due to microscopic ticks located in the trachea of insects. The parasites, initially penetrating the surface of the body of the bee, crawl along the hairs, and upon contact with other inhabitants of the hive migrate to them. The female tick, having penetrated the trachea, fixes on it and lays eggs there, which subsequently transform into larvae.
These parasites are not able to live outside the bee's body. They do not affect humans or animals. On the walls of the hives, as well as in the combs, the tick lives no more than 5 days. In the body of a dead bee, Akarapis Vude lives up to six days. If a new suitable carrier does not appear, it dies and is no longer a danger to insects.
Individuals under the age of 4 days are most sensitive to the disease. Older insects have physiological characteristics that prevent tick penetration.
Both larvae and adult parasites, having penetrated the trachea, provide themselves with food. To do this, they pierce the wall of the trachea in order to have access to hemolymph.
If the lesion reaches a significant scale, then the lumen of the trachea is gradually filled with ticks, larvae, as well as their metabolic products. Because of this, melliferous can not fully breathe and die.
On one bee, up to 150 ticks of the Acarapis Wood species can parasitize. The disease is very contagious. Most often, cases of acarapidosis are recorded in autumn and spring - during periods when an increase in the number of young animals is observed.
Infection occurs when healthy individuals come into contact with infected individuals. Also, acarapidosis spreads through wandering bees, planted uterus, and drones.
During wintering, when the bees stay close to each other, there is an increased spread of the tick. During this period, the fertilized females leave the trachea area and move to the place in the area of which the articulation of the wings is located. Ticks move here to feed on soft chitin at the base of the wings. It also negatively affects the condition of insects - their wings are damaged and occupy the wrong position. A similar defect leads to the death of honey plants in the spring season.
The greatest spread of this disease of bees was in areas with a humid climate.
Causes of the disease
Penetrating into the body of insects, the tick causes such pathological changes:
- metabolic disorders in the body;
- deformation of the wings;
- violation of the structure of muscles, as well as cells of the outer integument of the body of bees.
The disease develops due to such reasons:
- The acquisition of new bees. This is the most common factor that determines the development of acarapidosis in the hives. Insects should be acquired only in trustworthy apiaries. Insects must pass a veterinary check.
- The union of weak families with strong in order to strengthen the first. This is especially dangerous if the queen bee shows signs of infection.
- The presence of thief bees and insects prone to swarming near the hives. They can be mite carriers and, in close contact with insects, infect them.
Infection inside the hive is also possible if there are corpses left. The pest continues to live in the body for another week and during this period is able to infect healthy insects.
Ordinary worker bees, drones and uterus are equally susceptible to acarapidosis. At the same time, insects with good immunity resist the disease, but the presence of adverse factors (cool spring, damp weather, long winters, poor honey collection) increases the risk of the spread of the disease.
Symptoms of Acarapidosis
The disease can develop over several years if the beekeeper does not carefully monitor the health of the bees and does not care about processing the hives. Clinical manifestations are observed only when acarapidosis affects about 50% of insects.
Acarapidosis of bees is expressed in the following characteristic symptoms:
- an increase in the size of the abdomen;
- improper arrangement of wings: outwardly, it looks as if they are turned in different directions;
- anxiety and causeless anxiety of insects;
- liquid insect excrement on the walls of hives;
- an increase in the volume of death at the bottom of the hives;
- the bees crawl around the hive, bounce, unable to fly, often crawling insects fill the half of the evidence and the space near them.
Symptoms of acarapidosis are not unique, therefore, certain difficulties arise in diagnosing this parasitic infestation. The presence of the disease can only be determined by laboratory tests.
Acarapidosis of bees refers to diseases with a chronic course. It can occur in a latent form, which usually lasts 2-3 years from the moment of infection. In a clear form, acarapidosis is expressed 4-5 years after the tick penetrates the apiary.
Clinical symptoms as the pathology develops are:
- the appearance of yellow spots on the walls of the trachea - this occurs within 3-6 days from the moment of infection;
- the formation of black spots on the trachea, which also becomes fragile - is observed on 14-23 days;
- the presence in the lumen of the trachea of larvae, eggs and actually mature mites;
- blackening of the trachea - from 27 to 30 days.
If the beekeeper has a suspicion of acarapidosis among his bees, he should immediately contact the appropriate veterinary authority to conduct diagnostic measures and determine the course of treatment.
In order for a specialist to determine acarapidosis in bees, it is necessary to deliver several insects to the laboratory for their research. The veterinarian examines the trachea of the affected individual through a magnifying glass.
The apiary owner needs to collect material for diagnosis. You need to take one sample from each bee family. Each should have 30-50 individuals.
Only insects that have died the day before or are still alive are suitable for research.
The material is placed in matchboxes or paper bags and sent to the laboratory. Plastic bags are not used, since in them the bodies of bees are decomposed.
Based on the results obtained, determine the course of treatment. With a confirmed diagnosis, a quarantine mode is declared within a radius of five kilometers from the apiary.
If acarapidosis was detected in the apiary, then treatment should be extended to all families. This applies not only to infected families, but also to those who are healthy, but who are in the quarantine zone. It is necessary to process all the hives with special tools, as well as replace the queens.
Treatment for this parasitic invasion can be carried out by the following methods:
- Treatment of hives with drugs, or fumigation. This should be done at temperatures from +16 degrees and above. Before processing, you need to close all the cracks that are in the hive. Between the frames you need to expand the distance. Plates or strips that contain medicinal substances are set on fire, and they emit caustic smoke, which contributes to the death of the tick. For fumigation use such means as Polysan, Akarasan, BEF, Bipin. Sachets or strips that contain the active substance are set on fire and left to smolder. In this state, they are placed in hives.
- The use of smoldering tablets. The principle of action of the tablets is similar to the action of the strips. For fumigation of hives, the drug Tedion is used. One tablet is set on fire. It must smolder. In this state, it is laid through the lower notch, moving along the bottom to the back wall. You need to repeat the manipulation 10 times every other day for a month.
- The use of plates impregnated with special chemicals (e.g. Apifit). Such products are glued to the walls of the hives from the inside. Manipulation is repeated twice a year.
- The use of special nutrition with the addition of drugs. So, for the treatment of acarapidosis, including the use of top dressing based on the drug Apimax and sugar syrup. Top dressing is placed in plastic bags or in feeders.
- The use of fir oil. A gauze swab is dipped in the product and placed over the frames. First you need to close the hive with polyethylene. Repeat the procedure three times in five days. You need to buy only a natural product. This tool not only effectively fights acarapidosis, but also increases the immunity of honey plants, helps to increase brood, and has a powerful antiseptic effect.
- The use of menthol. It is recommended to take a bag of crystalline menthol (total amount - 50 g), put on the bottom of the evidence for several weeks.
- Smoldering strips can be prepared with your own hands. To do this, take blotting paper and soak it with a solution of potassium nitrate (15%), dry it. After that, saturate a strip of paper with ether sulfonate and dry again. Cut the prepared sheets into strips with a width of 2 cm and a length of 10 cm. One strip is intended for one family, consisting of 10 streets. The strips must be ignited from one end, extinguished and hung in smoldering between the frames on the wire. Lay the canvas on top of the frame and close the doors for about 25 minutes. You must complete 8 treatments at weekly intervals.
Smoke treatment should not be carried out during the honey collection period, as there is a risk of penetration of chemicals into the finished beekeeping product. Using preparations of any kind against bee acarapidosis, it is necessary to use personal protective equipment.
After infected acarapidosis, all infected hives must be isolated for the period of anti-mite treatment.
An extreme measure is the removal of weakened infected families from the apiary and elimination through fumigation with sulfur dioxide. This will help stop the spread of the disease.
Destroyed bees should be burned.
The quarantine regimen is removed after the disease is completely eliminated. The full course of treatment takes 1.5-2 months.
In order to prevent the development of acarapidosis in the hives, the following measures must be taken:
- install hives in open areas to the sun: an increased level of humidity increases the risk of developing the disease several times, since under these conditions insects try to stay closer to each other;
- annually inspect bee colonies after wintering, observe their behavior;
- after wintering the bees, one should carefully study the condition of the framework and the hive as a whole, it is also necessary to study the composition of death to detect parasites or to verify their absence;
- in infected hives, it is necessary to replace the uterus;
- stop bee-stealing to prevent the risk of spreading the infection;
- stimulate the first fly of bees after wintering;
- to provide food reserves for honey plants for the autumn period;
- carry out activities to strengthen healthy families, create favorable conditions for their full development;
- do not get bees in doubtful apiaries;
- acquire for breeding such species of bees that are most resistant to ticks: for example, representatives of the Italian breed are more resistant.
How to recognize and treat the defeat of bees with the Acarapis Wood mite, is described in this video:
Bee acarapidosis is a disease caused by a tick that penetrates the trachea and continues the process of its development and reproduction in this area. The disease is dangerous hidden latent course and difficulty in diagnosis. You can deal with the pest with the help of special preparations: smoldering strips and tablets, as well as solutions for feeding.