Can chelifers be made to control Varroa mites in beehives?

book scorpion (chelifer cancroides)

We get confronted with a study from New Zealand by Ron van Toor quite often: “Can chelifers be made to control Varroa mites in beehives?
The study is called originally “Ingestion of Varroa destructor by pseudoscorpions in honey bee hives confirmed by PCR analysis“.

This study proves two things impressively :
1. Book scorpions migrate from conventional beehives
2. The book scorpions suck out Varroa mites in the beehives

However, it is quite possible that book scorpions only suck out mites which have already fallen naturally and which were no longer available to the reproduction cycle anyway. This study is neither proof of nor against the effectiveness of the book scorpions in the fight against Varroa mites.


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Breeding Book Scorpions

nest book scorpion (chelifer cancroides)

The best place for breeding book scorpions is surely the environment of naturally kept animals troubled by small parasites. Beehives are the perfect place (if the bees are kept untreated) with appropriate conversions/additions of the beehive. Chicken stalls, hay floors and grain storehouses close to animal stables also offer excellent conditions. Whoever wants to breed them far away from these places in separate boxes must reproduce the same conditions.

Book scorpions can be found at the places mentioned above. Here they can be found under objects and wood lying on the floor. The sensitive animals should be taken up with a fine brush. They are easy to transport in preserving jars with rubber seals.