Where do varroa mites come from anyhow.I know they are spread hive to hive,but hypothetically,if most of the ferals were gone(So some say) and you started with a clean package(if that is possible). and all new equipment,where out in nature does a bee pick up this hitchhiker.
Drones which can fly from hive to hive.
It must also thrive somewhere besides the honey bee colonies.There must be a prolific population of these out there somewhere. is it necessary for bees to go into an infecterd hive or have bees from a mite ridden colony visit your hive?Or do these creatures lurk in the fauna somewhere waiting for a host?
I know this sounds like a chicken or egg first thing but I am curious!
The situation is one of optimal enviroment. Usually in even a feral hive you may have a few mites. But not an overwhelming number. Now a hive is good food source for mites. But mites tend to prefer drone cells to worker cells. And workers try to keep the hive relatively clean.
Now with mites the hive is a free buffet and a great place to have baby mites. However they are kept under control by the healthy hive which limits them spreading to much.
When a hive isn't healthy the mites can gain a foothold that will lead to the eventual destruction of the hive.
Now for a little history on the Varroa mite. The V mite seems to have existed in one form or another with bees for thousands of years. Since the mites are parasitic they need a host. And bees make the host for the Varroa.
Different species of bees seem to attract different species of mites.
I am not sure if the Varroa mites affect other species other than bees. I have heard Bumblebees have issues with Varroa but I haven't seen any documentation on it. And I really haven't looked for any.