Only one species, Locustacarus buchneri, is known from bumble bees. Locustacarus trachealis and Locustacarus masoni are respiratory parasitizers of Orthoptera.
Locustacarus buchneri is an internal parasite of bumble bees occurring in tracheae and air sacs. Husband and Sinha reconstructed its life cycle based on their observations in the USA (Husband and Sinha, 1970). In late April, Bombus bimaculatus queens emerge from overwintering sites in the soil. Within a few days, larviform female mites (Figs. 1-2) in the tracheae enlarge as they ingest hemolymph, and their ovaries begin to function. Nearly one week after emergence of a queen bee, mite eggs hatch. Males have poorly developed mouthparts (Figs. 4-7), are short lived, and do not leave the host bee. Larviform female mites migrate to the tracheae of worker bees, attach to the tracheal walls, molt, and begin to enlarge. Adult females (Fig. 3) have only two legs and a greatly distended body and cannot leave the host. In the first week in July, male bees and new queen bees emerge. Males of Bombus (Psithyrus) spp., B. vagans, and other B. bimaculatus occasionally enter the nest and may bring in or take out larviform female mites in their tracheae. By early August, new queen bees have mated, left the nest, and some may have entered diapause at sites several inches below the ground. After the new queen bees leave the nest, few new workers are produced and older workers accumulate more and more mites. The number of mites in worker and male bees in August is sufficient to severely injure the bees. Diarrhea has been observed, and some bees are lethargic and no longer forage. Because worker bees, male bees, and the old queen bee die during fall, the only mites that survive to the following April are in the tracheae of young queens in diapause.
Bumble bees with Locustacarus buchneri had significantly reduced lifespans in the laboratory (Otterstatter and Whidden 2004).
This species was introduced to Japan with commercially bred Bombus terrestris from Belgium and Netherlands (Goka et al., 2001).
A single work reports this mite from the honey bee, Apis mellifera, in Poland (Tomaszewska, 1988).