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New paper published in the Journal of pesticide biochemistry and physiology

Our newest paper is now out in the Journal of Pesticide Biochemistry Physiology. This study entitled Discovering Aethina tumida responses to attractant and repellent molecules: A potential basis for future management strategies, was led by Morgan Roth, a former PhD student in the lab of collaborator Dr. Aaron Gross (Entomology, Virginia Tech).

Abstract: Small hive beetle (Aethina tumida) management has been highly dependent upon chemical and mechanical control over the past two decades; however, many of these methods have not been consistently effective or safe for European honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies. Here we explore the behavioral and physiological effects of the attractants isopentyl acetate and pollen patty upon A. tumida adults, and also investigate the mixture of attractants with repellent compounds, which were previously untested against A. tumida. Electroantennograms established sensitivity of A. tumida antennae to both attractants and all repellents with the exception of DEET, with antennae displaying greatest sensitivity to the repellent pyrrolidine. A walking-response olfactometer, designed specifically for A. tumida, was used for all behavioral experiments. It was found that both pollen patty and isopentyl acetate were attractive to A. tumida adults; conversely, mixes of attractants and repellent volatiles led to less attraction or avoidance of what was previously a significantly attractive source. Of all repellents tested, pyrrolidine was found to be the most repelling molecule, with significant avoidance of the attractive source at a 10 mg treatment of pyrrolidine. The results of this study indicate that, at the behavioral level, the repellent compounds pyrrolidine and 1,4-dimethylpiperazine resulted in a negative preference index indicating a repellent behavioral response. By strategically implementing a repellent source in an apiary environment, A. tumida adults could be deterred from entering and invading hives.


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