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!