Measuring Impacts of Neem Oil and Amitraz on Varroa destructor and Apis Mellifera in Different Agricultural Systems of South Florida

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Alvarez-Ventura, Stephany C
Florida International University
honey bee; varroa destructor; neem; amitraz; organic; farm
thesis / dissertation description
This thesis analyzes mixtures of neem oil and amitraz as alternative control for Varroa destructor, a major pest of Apis mellifera, under different agricultural settings. In organic and conventional farms, the different treatments were applied in colonies to determine impacts on mite loss, colony strength, and honey yield. The results demonstrated neem to have the least effective control on mite mortality, while the neem and amitraz mixture had the most. Furthermore, no long term impacts on queen fecundity and colony strength were noticed between treatments. However, queen fecundity and honey yield was significantly higher in sites with higher flower abundance and diversity, demonstrating higher colony strength in these sites. Further understanding of the relationship between apiculture and agricultural management is vital for conservation of pollinator health and associated habitats.