Evaluation of the efficacy of essential oils of Lavandula angustifolia and Eucalyptus globulus for the control of Varroa destructor in Apis mellifera: A randomised field study

Varroa destructor is the most harmful and widespread parasite that spreads disease in bees. Eucalyptus spp essential oils (EOs), has been shown to be effective against V. destructor. Additionally, Lavender spp EOs treatment, resulted in mite mortality rates of 95% to 97% of V. destructor. During the treatments, 20 mL of each oil or the placebo was distributed on two sheets of papier-mâché located on the frames of the brood chamber inside each hive. The miticidal effects of Lavandula angustifolia and Eucalyptus globulus EOs were analysed. Parasitic load and mite fall were evaluated under field conditions. The mean infestation rate obtained from each of three treatment groups at the beginning of the study was less than 3.6%. Then, the infestation rate increased gradually in each group until day 36. The infestation rates in the groups treated with L. angustifolia and E. globulus EOs were lower than those in the control by more than two percentage points and never exceeded 10%; the differences between the control group and the L. angustifolia group were statistically significant (p <0.05). Both EO treatments were applied in four doses, which produced a prolonged effect that lowered the rates of parasite birth and reinfestation. The L. angustifolia EO was effective; in that treatment, parasitic loads were maintained at levels lower than those in the control group starting at the second treatment dose due to the reproductive cycles of both species.
Bees, Parasite, Mite, Varroosis, Ecological control