Tracheal Mite


Tracheal mites are a serious parasite of honey bees and are responsible for the death of bee colonies and poor performance of other colonies. They are not known to occur in Australia.

This internal parasitic mite lives in the trachea or breathing tubes of the adult bee. Tracheal mite infections are also known as acarine disease, caused by the parasitic mite Acarapis woodi.

There are three known mites in the genus Acarapis including A.woodi, A.dorsalis and A.externus. The two latter mites are external, they are found on the bee’s thorax and are blood feeders. They are not considered a pest of honey bees as there have not been any reports of either of these mites causing visible symptoms or injury to bees, or the presence of these external mites affecting colony performance.

Acarapis externus mites have been reported in Australia, whereas the presence of A.woodi have not.

This Primefact looks at the following topics:

  • mite biology
  • treatments
  • impact
  • diagnosis
  • management


Factsheet 1092 First Edition

Published: 01 Mar 2011