V-Mites, Queens, and Yellow Jackets
Just noticed something this evening that I thought was interesting and I'm wondering if anyone has ever noticed a similar scenario.
I recently did a mite check at one of my yards with 7 hives. I left the trays in for 3 1/2 days and pulled them to do a count. Six of the seven had only a few mites each - after 3 1/2 days! Needless to say I was very happy to see those kind of counts in late August.
The seventh colony was a different story. There were dozens of mites scattered all over the entire board. This one will need some attention soon. The population is a bit higher in this colony, which would no doubt account for higher drop counts, but it seems way out of proportion compared to the other hives.
My first set of questions .... Only this "one" colony among the others is having such a problem with mites. Could it be related to the queen and her offspring's' lack of hygienic behavior? Do I need to replace her? Any other possible reasons?
Second.... I just happened to notice something this evening while standing in the yard, just watching the activity. The Yellow Jackets have been terrible for the last couple of weeks and as I gazed over the whole yard I noticed that most of the hives had a few YJ's darting around, being pests. But in front of this one hive with the high mite counts there were about 20 or more YJ's flying and crawling around in the grass within a few feet of the front of the entrance. Some were scavenging on hive debris and a couple of dead bees, but most just seemed to be rooting around in the grass.
Maybe there is no connection, but it struck me as odd that they were concentrating on the one colony that has such high mite counts. Anyone else ever seen this before? Does it mean anything, or is it just a coincidence?