Apis cerana javana preferences and semiochemical attractiveness in the Australian context (#626)
The Asian honeybee, Apis cerana has now been declared endemic to Australia after its recent establishment in Cairns. However, it is still considered a major risk to Australia, as it is natural host of the Varroa destructor mite. This parasitic mite is yet to enter Australia but is known to be deadly to the European honeybee, Apis mellifera. Thus, there is a need to control and limit the spread of Apis cerana throughout Australia. Here we report the results of our research with Apis cerana where we have established its spontaneous preferences in term of shape, colour, sugar, viscosity and odours in an Australian context. We also explore the attractiveness of known semiochemicals to enable trapping of this species. We show that the spontaneous preferences of Apis cerana contrast to the ones displayed by Apis mellifera and Tetragonulla sp. in the same biota in various aspects, particularly with regards to their viscosity and colour preferences.