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Author Topic: What are Braulids?  (Read 1326 times)

Offline BeeMaster2

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What are Braulids?
« on: July 12, 2021, 05:49:22 pm »
What are Braulids? Braulids are flies that can live alongside honey bees in their colonies. Unlike most flies, Braulids don?t have wings or halteres. Braulids are commonly found on the heads of honey bee workers, drones, and especially queens, where they feed on food from the honey bee?s mouth. Braulids aren?t huge pests or problems in a colony, so there is no cause for alarm if you find them in your colony. Sometimes, they can be mistaken for Varroa.

What should I look out for? Upon emergence from their eggs, Braulid larvae construct a tunnel under honey cell cappings (as shown in this photo). This visible tunnel can indicate there is a possible Braulid presence. Regardless of this visible damage, the effects on the colony are minimal.
Jim Altmiller

Offline BeeMaster2

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Re: What are Braulids?
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2021, 05:53:01 pm »
Here is a photo of a honey frame that indicates that there are Braulids in the hive.

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Jim Altmiller

Offline rast

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Re: What are Braulids?
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2021, 09:11:43 pm »
Made me wonder why Gainesville is wanting to study them. I haven't seen them yet. 
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: What are Braulids?
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2021, 10:14:34 pm »
Woah, that is so weird!  I've never heard of them before.
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: What are Braulids?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2021, 12:05:35 am »
Woah, that is so weird!  I've never heard of them before.

Nor have I. Is this something new here in America? Have they been brought here from another Continent or region?
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: What are Braulids?
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2021, 07:02:23 am »
I found this on Wikipedia

Braulidae, or bee louse, is a family of fly (Diptera) with seven species in two genera, Braula and Megabraula.[1] Found in honey bee colonies, these most unusual wingless and small flies, are not a true bee parasite, and are barely recognizable as Diptera,[1] as they have the superficial appearance of mites or lice.

History
The first discovery of Braulidae was of Braula coeca, in 1818 by Christian Ludwig Nitzch, a German zoologist. In 1986, the genus Megabraula was discovered by David Grimaldi, an American entomologist. Braulidae are found throughout the world in Africa, Europe, Australia, North America, and South America.[2] Since they prefer queen bees as hosts, they are thought to have been brought to the United States by queen importation. Many species of Braulidae are thought to have different host honey bee races. Some of these include B. Kohli and B.pretoriensis which are restricted to Carniolan and middle eastern honey bee races and B.schmitzi with the Italian race[1]. B. coeca is the most widely known Braulidae species, most commonly seen on honey bees around the world.

Life cycle
Adults
The adult Braulidae life-cycle is intimately connected with that of honey bees. The adults roam around on adult honey bees, feeding on their mouth secretions. Although they do not harm the bees, they may be a major nuisance to them in certain areas. As adults, they will eat honey and when available, preferring royal jelly. The adults are nimble and scramble for food being fed to the queen. When present, Braulidae are most likely found in bee hives, and at times on flowers waiting for bees to hang onto. Once the adults become mature, their eggs are laid on honey bee wax cappings.

Size of Braulidae may vary. Braula will be about 1.6mm and the Megabraula will be about 3mm.[1] They have reduced eyes located just above the antennae, their antennae are hidden in grooves, and their legs are short and robust. Unlike most flies, they lack wings or halteres. They are reddish-brown in color, have a 5-segmented tarsus, and their thorax is only half as long as their head. They also lack a distinct scutellum on the metathorax..[1]

Larvae / immatures
The larvae of Braulidae are maggot-like with a flattened posterior end and pointed anterior end. They tunnel through wax and comb feeding on the wax and pollen. Because they are in the suborder Schizophora, they emerge from the puparium through the use of the ptilinum, an eversible sack on the front of the head that inflates to burst a circular exit from the end of the puparium.

Behavior
Although Braulidae may be seen on adult honey bees, they are most commonly seen on queen bees. Several (up to 30 reported) can be found on a queen bee at one time, whereas there may only be one or two at most on worker honey bees.

Phylogeny
Since its discovery, the phylogenetic placement of Braulidae has been uncertain. Up until the 20th century, because of its unique characteristics, scientists were unaware of its placement.[1] Since very little is known about Braulidae, the species Braula coeca has been the most studied.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Offline Acebird

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Re: What are Braulids?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2021, 08:32:17 am »
their eggs are laid on honey bee wax cappings.
On top or underneath?
Brian Cardinal
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Offline BeeMaster2

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Re: What are Braulids?
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2021, 09:06:56 am »
Brian,
The way it is written, it seems to say on top of the wax.
Jim Altmiller

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: What are Braulids?
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2021, 09:28:07 am »
their eggs are laid on honey bee wax cappings.
On top or underneath?

Brian,
The way it is written, it seems to say on top of the wax.
Jim Altmiller


That is the way I understand it also Jim. The article does not say how they descend beneath the wax nor how they exit. Burrowing will be my presumption. Though revealing some basic information, the article is lacking in some areas of information.   
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: What are Braulids?
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2021, 01:12:30 pm »
They burrow through the capping.  It leaves a distinct trail.  They don't go deeper than the caps.
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