Acarapis woodi

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Acarapis woodi (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): USDA - ARS
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Acarapis woodi in honey bee trachea (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Lilia De Guzman, USDA
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Acarapis woodi (Rennie) - (tracheal mite)

The mite is a serious problem for bee keepers in many countries. It was first described from Europe and has spread to North America (first record 1984), to Japan (first record 2010, affecting mainly the Japanese honey bees Apis cerana japonica) and to other regions. It is now present in most countries where honey bees are kept.

The mites live inside the tracheae of young honey bees where they puncture the tracheal wall and feed on the hemolymph. Infested colonies are weakened with a corresponding decline in honey production. The life cycle of the mite may be completed in 3 weeks. Severe infestations may lead to the death of the colony during the winter. Resistance to the mite has been reported from some honey bee breeds, e.g. from "Russian" stock.

The female mite has a length of 140 to 175 µm. Males are smaller, 125-135 µm. A. woodi is the only species of Acarapis living inside the trachea of honey bees. It can be separated from other species of that genus by morphological features of the female.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Tracheenmilbe
• English: tracheal mite
• Español: acarapisosis
• Français: acarien des trachées