Attraction of the Parasitic Mite Varroa to the Drone Larvae of Honey Bees by Simple Aliphatic Esters

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Science  02 Aug 1989:
Vol. 245, Issue 4918, pp. 638-639
DOI: 10.1126/science.245.4918.638


An important parasitic threat to honey bees, the mite Varroa jacobsoni, is attracted to its major prey, drone larvae, by methyl and ethyl esters of straight-chain fatty acids, in particular methyl palmitate. These esters were extracted from drone larvae with n-hexane and were identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Their behavioral effect was evaluated with the use of a four-arm airflow olfactometer.

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