We developed a rapid method for extraction of DNA from honey bees, Apis mellifera, and from the parasitic bee mite, Varroa destructor. The advantages include fast processing and low toxicity of the substances that are utilized. We used lysis buffer with nonionic detergents to lyse cell walls and proteinase K to digest proteins. We tested whole thorax, thoracic muscle mass, legs, and antennae from individual bees; the mites were processed whole (1 mite/sample). Each thorax was incubated whole, without cutting, because exocuticle color pigment darkened the extraction solution, interfering with PCR results. The procedure was performed with autoclaved equipment and laboratory gloves.
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