Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
General Description of the Bee Mite Family LaelapidaeThis family is the most morphologically and ecologically diverse group of Mesostigmata. Thirty-five genera of laelapids have developed ectoparasitic associations with mammals; 10 genera are free-living predators in soil; 43 genera include species associated with arthropods: Coleoptera (8 mite genera), Blattaria (2), Isoptera (1), Hymenoptera (21), Araneae (1), Myriapoda (7) and terrestrial Crustacea (2) (Casanueva, 1993). Ecology of bee-associated mites is poorly known. Mites of the genus Neohypoaspis are predators on astigmatid mites in nests of stingless bees (Delfinado-Baker et al., 1983). Species of the genus Pneumolaelaps feed on pollen and nectar in nests of bumblebees (Royce and Krantz, 1989). Melittiphis alvearius is a scavenger on pollen in colonies of the European honeybee (Gibbins and Toor, 1990). Mites of the genera Varroa, Euvarroa,Tropilaelaps are obligatory parasites of different species of Apis, inflicting significant damage to apiculture (Eickwort, 1988).