We conducted research to examine the potential impacts of coumaphos, fluvalinate, and Apilife VAR (Thymol) on drone honey bee, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), sperm viability over time. Drones were reared in colonies that had been treated with each miticide by using the dose recommended on the label. Drones from each miticide treatment were collected, and semen samples were pooled. The pooled samples from each treatment were subdivided and analyzed for periods of up to 6 wk. Random samples were taken from each treatment (n = 6 pools) over the 6-wk period. Sperm viability was measured using dual-fluorescent staining techniques. The exposure of drones to coumaphos during development and sexual maturation significantly reduced sperm viability for all 6 wk. Sperm viability significantly decreased from the initial sample to week 1 in control colonies, and a significant decrease in sperm viability was observed from week 5 to week 6 in all treatments and control. The potential impacts of these results on queen performance and failure are discussed.
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Vol. 101 • No. 4