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  1. #1

    Question

    Do mites molt or shed? I have seen what appears to be a mite but I dont see any leggs or antenna. I see these all the time when I am doing a count.

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    "To bee or not to bee, that is the question"

  2. #2
    BILLY BOB Guest

    Post

    None of the books that I have, say anything about them doing ether. I do know that the mites are Acari (which are mites & ticks ), which fall under the family of Arachnida (spiders, mites, scorpions…don’t forget that the varroa mite has 8 legs). Anyway, none of the mites that I read about shed or molt. I’m thinking you may be seeing dead mites that were groomed off of the bees or some other parts of the bees themselves, that have fallen off when the dead bee was being removed from the colony.

    BB

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,949

    Post

    You will also see tiny white ones that weren't mature enough to live when the bee emerged.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Post

    You will see different colors and sizes. The male and female mite are different sizes, and the age of the mite has to do with the color. They also seem to "lighten" up on the sticky board as time goes by and they dry out. What you are looking at are mites. Count each one.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Ledyard, CT, USA
    Posts
    67

    Post

    Hi,

    I have also observed the "carapace only" in my mite drops. Looking at these guys with a magnifying glass appears to show only the "shell" of the mite, 'nice', dark brown, shiny and nothing but the shell.

    I too have wondered about this.

    -t

  6. #6
    BILLY BOB Guest

    Post

    The bees could have torn the mites from their “shells” when grooming them off. I’m guessing that the bees could do quite a bit of damage if they wanted to.

    BB

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
    Posts
    751

    Post

    All arachnids moult; they have a hard exoskeleton which can't grow. I'm not sure how you tell the difference between a shed skin and the remains of a mite something's eaten, but since the mite which emerges from the cell is, in theory, adult, I wouldn't expect to see many shed skins.

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    Regards,

    Robert Brenchley

    RSBrenchley@aol.com
    Birmingham UK

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