This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Evaluating the effects of novel application methods of oxalic acid on Varroa destructor and Apis mellifera in the Southeastern United States




Baker, Christian

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis


Entomology and Plant Pathology


Varroa destructor is a devastating ectoparasitic mite of Apis mellifera honey bees. To manage it, beekeepers employ Integrated Pest Management, including the strategic use of chemicals like oxalic acid. Here, I performed colony-level field studies to examine the effects of continuous and multi-day release methods of oxalic acid application that target V. destructor as it emerged from brood cells alongside young A. mellifera. I observed that the tested continuous release method employing shop towels and cellulose boards had no effect on V. destructor or A. mellifera colonies. However, I observed that the tested multi-day application of oxalic acid via sublimation had a negative effect on V. destructor but no effect on A. mellifera colonies. Because of the need to identify diverse V. destructor management options for beekeepers, more work is needed to fine-tune the practical use of oxalic acid in A. mellifera colonies rearing brood.