prof. Mgr. Stanislav Pekár, Ph.D.

BACKGROUND: Extensive application of pyrethroids to control Varroa destructor, an invasive mite devastating bee colonies, has resulted in a global spread of resistant mite populations. In this study, we analyzed the spatio-temporal dynamics of resistant V. destructor populations in Czechia, stemming from the L925V mutation. Mites were collected during 2011–2018 directly or from winter beeswax debris, and polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR–RFLP) and densitometry was used to detect the L925V mutation.

RESULTS: Pooled samples of 10 mites were classified, based on their PCR–RFLP patterns, as tau-fluvalinate-sensitive (56%), resistant (9%), or mixed (35%), with the latter including sensitive and resistant homo- and heterozygotes. We identified two zones with higher frequencies of resistance, one in southern Moravia and the other in Bohemia. The mutant populations were evenly distributed throughout the monitored districts, with a few temporal and spatial local fluctuations. The greatest increase in resistance was observed in 2016, following massive losses of bee colonies in the winter of 2015. This event appeared to be closely associated with fluctuations in resistant mite populations and their dispersion.

CONCLUSION: Two outbreaks of resistance were detected in Czechia
however, the amount of applied tau-fluvalinate was not correlated with the frequency of resistance in mites. There was no remarkable increase in mite resistance in 2011–2018, although the use of tau-fluvalinate increased 40-fold between 2011 and 2015. PCR–RFLP analysis, performed on mites present in beeswax debris, is a suitable method for monitoring the L925V mutation in V. destructor.

Stara J., Pekar S., Nesvorna M., Kamler M., Doskocil I. & Hubert J. (2019): Spatio-temporal dynamics of Varroa destructor resistance to tau-fluvalinate in Czechia, associated with L925V sodium channel point mutation. Pest Manag. Sci. 75 (5): 1287–1294. DOI: 10.1002/ps.5242