Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design



Committee Chair

James Amrine.


Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman is the most serious pest of the honey bee Apis mellifera L. Varroa mites transmit several viruses, bacteria and fungi to the bees, which results in a condition called parasitic mite syndrome. There are no completely reliable treatments available to control the mite. Fifty-one beehives were artificially infested with varroa mites by using three different methods. Observations on mite population growth during three infestation attempts were made. All colonies were inspected for the presence of the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida Murray, no beetles were found. Thirty-five colonies were used to establish the efficacy of essential oils and ApistanRTM to control V. destructor. Three essential oil treatments were delivered into the hives using different application methods. Eight percent Wintergreen in mineral oil was delivered by using a modified bottom board. A 2:1 blend of lemongrass and spearmint oils in a 50:50 sucrose to water solution was administered to the bees with Boardman feeders and quart Mason jars with perforated lids. A combination of paper towels and grease patties containing lemongrass and wintergreen were placed into the hives. Treatments were applied for 29 days. ApistanRTM was the best treatment. There were no differences between essential oil treatments and their controls. The essential oils tested did not appear to control varroa mites under the conditions of the experiment. It was also observed that lemongrass essential oil may alter hygienic behavior in honey bees, and wintergreen evaporated from a modified bottom board produced behavioral disturbances in bees.