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Author Topic: Varroa and Electrostatic Charge  (Read 86 times)

Online little john

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Varroa and Electrostatic Charge
« on: July 22, 2016, 07:08:42 AM »

I've long held the view that electrostatic charge plays a significant role in the life of the honeybee and other insects.  With this in mind, there's a potentially very interesting 1992 paper on the subject, but for the life of me I can't source a copy.  Can anybody help with a link to a free download of the paper ?  [There are plenty of organisations who will sell me a copy]

Attraction of Varroa jacobsoni, parasite of Apis mellifera by electrical charges.  [1992] by Colin M.E., and others.

Many thanks
LJ



Online little john

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Re: Varroa and Electrostatic Charge
« Reply #1 on: Today at 03:17:51 AM »
Sorted. 

Vincent J Fourcassi? - one of the authors, very kindly sent me a copy.

LJ

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Varroa and Electrostatic Charge
« Reply #2 on: Today at 10:50:28 AM »
I'd love to hear a synopsis of what it says at least...
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Online little john

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Re: Varroa and Electrostatic Charge
« Reply #3 on: Today at 11:35:11 AM »
Michael - I've sent you a copy of that paper, and also a paper on 'Insects and Electrical Fields' which, also mainly focussed on Drosophila, does expand upon the biochemical responses to electrical charge which insects can experience - especially with regard to communication via antennae etc.

For anyone with an interest in the response of Varroa to electrostatic charges, here is the abstract:
Quote
Precise measurement of the electrical charges carried by honey bee workers allows one to investigate the role of this abiotic factor in bee contamination by the ectoparasitic mite Varroa jacobsoni. A metallic cylinder charged with four different intensities (chosen in the range measured on living bees) of either positive or negative sign was used as a lure. The mite's movements in the vicinity of the cylinder was videotaped and subsequently digitized. Spatial and temporal dimensions of the paths were computed by a specially designed analysis programme. The frequency and nature of the contacts with the lure were also noted. A two-way ANOVA indicated no significant differences in the characteristics of the paths between charges of different intensities. However, the charge sign was found to influence the following characteristics: immobility, velocity, turning angle standard deviation and sinuosity. In addition, the frequency with which the mite contacted and climbed on the cylinder was higher in the case of negative charge. We suggest that the mites are not merely passively attracted towards the lure by the action of electrical forces. Rather, the detection of charges triggers a change in the movements of the animal which increases the probability to contact its host.

What these guys discovered was that the Varroa mite appears to be initially attracted to the negative charge which builds up on the hairs of the honey bee during flight.  But - although interesting in it's own right, this finding doesn't seem to lead anywhere.

LJ

 

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