Sean Kelly. The place where you got your package bees from probably did treat for mites. They wouldn't say that if it wasn't true (or would they). Mites can be picked up from other bees from other bee yards, anywhere, so in the beginning your packages could have been mite free, but that does not mean they would be "clean" all the season. That is why the mites are so horrible. Sometimes people believe that they are free of them, then the mites are carried into their "free from mite" colonies and if the beekeeper believes that there are none, this where a problem can come up. The mites multiply like crazy dudes in the hives. Each female mite that enters the cell can lay up to about 5 eggs or so, of which of course 1 is male, who usually doesn't make it out of the cell and dies. These females leave the cell on the bee and others climb out. This is significant reproduction.
I did my second sugar shake on Wednesday last. I put newspaper down under the colonies for about an hour to get the majority of the sugar that fell through. Then put in the sticky boards and about 24 hours later I took them out and began mite counting.
I have white styrene boards that I have drawn grids across in permanent pen. I sit at my kitchen table with a little device that straps onto my head that has a magnifying glass and I count each mite, using a clicker counter on my left hand. Now I really look like something from out of space.
My mite counts were about the same as when I did the sugar shake 10 days ago. Between 2 to 14 in the 10 colonies. Most having about 5. These numbers are reasonably low, considering I leave the boards in for 24 hours to get a really good count. But, I still need to keep on with the sugar shake. We are just getting into the honey flows here, so there is not any sugar that would contaminate human consumption honey. I don't even think that there will be honey for us this year, maybe at the end of August, but right now they are still building up the brood nest and they need the food for that.
Anyways these nasty little mites. I found two that were still alive. I wanted to torture them, but thought that would still be a nasty thing to do, considering they really are just simply trying to live themselves. They just picked the wrong host to suck the blood out of and destroy larvaes :evil:
I picked these two mites that were alive and put them on a plate, just to observe them. Man, I never realized how fast these little critters can move. No darned wonder if they fall off they can run around and get right back on another bee. Eeeeks!!!! Why are there so many hideous critters that take advantage of other nice critters?
I'll never forget the time when I was weeding and an earthworm came out of the ground. It even had some kind of louse attached to it. I was absolutely disgusted and killed this worm, I knew for sure that this louse was gonna suck it dry. Oh well, have a wonderful day, great life, Cindi.