Book scorpion & bee in symbiosis against Varroa mites

Book scorpions (Chelifer Cancroides)

This pseudoscorpion has the potential to keep the Varroa at bay. Since 2014 I do research and try  to cultivate book scorpions in bee hives. I believe in the effectiveness of these animals in controlling the Varroa mite. However, I have to say explicitly that there is (at the moment) no evidence for this. There are “only” a lot of clues that point this out (see below).

Selling book scorpions and claiming they would significantly decimate the Varroa is wishful thinking and not helpful. There is simply no proof of this (at the moment).

Book scorpions on top beam
Book scorpions on top beam

Efficacy of the scorpions

The efficiency of the fighting of varroa mite by book scorpions has not (yet) been proven. The video evidence for the picking of a mite from a living bee has not yet succeeded. There is, however, a chain of indications that leave common sense little doubt about it:

  • Torben Schiffer was able to film the consumption of varroa mites under laboratory conditions years ago. I myself have also recorded this under the microscope.
  • A study from New Zealand (see downloads) proves the consumption of Varroa mites in the beehive by DNA analysis of the book scorpions even in conventional magazine hives. But of course fallen mites could have been eaten, which were no longer available for the reproduction cycle anyway.
  • My infrared video recordings (see below) show that the book scorpions come closer to bees in a targeted and fearless manner, touch them carefully and reach into their fur. The bees allow it.
  • With every mite killed, all potential offspring are destroyed. With the rapid reproduction of mites, this means that each mite removed in spring reduces the mite population by 60 animals in autumn.

On the menu of the book scorpions there are also other prey animals:

Further videos here.