Bücherskorpion Eats Varroa

October 21, 2016

Editor’s Note: Translated from German via Google Translate, original text here.

From: Berliner Morgenpost

Global beekeeping is one of the greatest problems of our time. Due to the lack of bees, which fulfill an important function in the pollination of many crops, agriculture generates annual losses in double-digit billions. One of the main factors for beekeeping is the Varroa mite, a bee parasite originally living in East Asia, which was introduced to Germany in 1977. The one-millimeter mites feed on bee-larvae and also transmit pathogenic viruses. Up to 30 percent of the bee stocks are destroyed by Varroa mites each year. Fighting has been quite difficult. If the chemical club is used, the bee peoples are attacked. In the case of organic control agents, such as ant or oxalic acid, treatment success is often only 80 percent. Now a small, strange animal gives occasion for new hope: the pseudo-scorpion.


In the course of his examination work, the Hamburg teacher and hobbyist Torben Schiffer recently discovered that Bükerskorpione also liked to eat Varroa mites. In a laboratory experiment, one can easily observe how the sclerotic scorpion, which is about three times as large as a Varroa mite, falls onto the mite, grabs it with its scissors and injects poison from a poison gland in the tip of the scissor finger. Then the still struggling victim is led to the mouth tools and with these a bit is bitten into the body wall. Digestion liquid is pumped into the prey by the resulting opening, and these are subsequently sucked out.

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