Jerry, the problem with trying to see the mites on the bees outside the hive, is that: there are more mites inside the hive, living inside the capped brood, breeding, having a great time in there eating up the lives of the pupae. Just because you don't see mites on the bees does not mean that you may not have a mite problem. I am serious.
I did not notice any mites on my bees outside either. I even looked at pictures I had taken and didn't see any. But I know for a fact that I had extremely high mite counts.
When I did the sticky board mite count in the middle of September (way, way, way, way too late), I don't even want to tell how many mites I had over a three day period. It is too embarassing to say aloud or on my computer screen. It was horrible!!!!! Have a beautiful day, wonderful life, great health. Cindi