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Author Topic: Finally... varroa mites  (Read 2325 times)
luvin honey
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« on: March 19, 2012, 08:56:35 AM »

Well, I have them. When I was checking out the entrances this week, I noticed 3-10 small, red/brown, round, insect-like objects on the front porch of each hive. An Internet search revealed my suspicion: Varroa.

My questions are:
1. Should I be able to see these on my bees? I went through every hive yesterday, saw drone larve with no mites and couldn't find any bees that appeared to have mites on their backs.

2. How will I be able to tell if my hives start struggling with mites?

3. Is splitting a good way to break the brood cycle and interrupt the mite cycle?

4. When would these have shown up? I never saw evidence of them in any of the past 3 years of beekeeping. I didn't see any evidence last fall, but they're getting cleaned out of the hives this spring.

I do not plan to use any chemicals in these hives. Thanks in advance!
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kathyp
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« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2012, 10:24:37 AM »

you will see them if they are on the bees.  they may be grooming them off. that's a good thing and would explain the mites out the entrance.  the best way for me to check is to take pictures of brood and bees and look at them on the computer.  i also pull the SBB slider out and take pictures.  it's amazing what you find on that thing!  grin

if you have lots of infected brood.  if your numbers are going down.  if they are pulling lots of brood so that they can't build up.  deformed wings.  lots of dead bees.  deformed larvae.  your gut....

breaking the brook cycle can help, but you do it at the expense of your build up.  if you split with the old queen, you are only breaking the cycle in one hive. 

it seems early to me for them, but if you have brood you can have mite build up.  they have probably always been there.  did you have a warm winter?  you have never have had a complete brood break if you did.

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luvin honey
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« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2012, 03:07:36 PM »

Thanks much! I do already have brood, some capped. And we had a very warm winter and spring for WI. I've never seen the mites on the bees or hive bottom before, but it's possible I missed them. Thanks for the help Smiley
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tefer2
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« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2012, 05:24:14 PM »

i like to coat my slide in tray with vasoline petroleum jelly. Anything that falls through gets stuck and is easy to count. Uncapping some drone brood will tell you also.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2012, 11:16:43 PM »

>My questions are:
1. Should I be able to see these on my bees? I went through every hive yesterday, saw drone larve with no mites and couldn't find any bees that appeared to have mites on their backs.

If you have trained your eye to spot them, possibly.  Most people don't see them.
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/Varroa2.jpg
http://www.bushfarms.com/beespests.htm#varroa

>2. How will I be able to tell if my hives start struggling with mites?
You need a count.  A natural drop on a sticky board or a board under a SBB in 24 hours (or more than one day divided by the number of days) will give you an idea.  A sugar roll can also be helpful.  You need to quantify them.

>3. Is splitting a good way to break the brood cycle and interrupt the mite cycle?

A walk away split would break the brood cycle in one half of the split.
http://www.bushfarms.com/beessplits.htm#walkaway

>4. When would these have shown up? I never saw evidence of them in any of the past 3 years of beekeeping. I didn't see any evidence last fall, but they're getting cleaned out of the hives this spring.

They died and are being hauled  out with the trash.  You have had them the past 3 years.

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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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Ken
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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2012, 08:53:20 PM »

You need to pull the drone larvae from capped cells.Open several.You won't hurt the drone count.
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luvin honey
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« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2012, 08:04:34 AM »

Thanks, everyone Smiley
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The pedigree of honey
Does not concern the bee;
A clover, any time, to him
Is aristocracy.
---Emily Dickinson
Bradeeen
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2013, 02:44:54 AM »

Can you share some pics of these i am interested to get information about these ants. Please share some details abut it and pics if possible. Thanks for help in advance.
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