What do varroa turds look like? I have lots of small black specks on my removable bottom trays I'm assuming is varroa poop. Any other ideas?
More likely it's wax moth feces. Wax moths tend to move along the midrib of the combs mostly where there is pollen in the combs. They are hard to spot because they are hiding back in the midrib behind the cells. Sometimes you can see the tunnels. Sometimes you can't. Also they get in the grooves of the top and bottom bars.
These are all strong, vibrant colonies so I guess I'd be surprised if they were all infested with wax moth. I haven't done a full inspection since I supered in June so I don't know for sure. What does varroa excrement look like? What I'm seeing (on all my bottom boards) are elongated black specks distributed pretty much uniformly across the bottom board.
I'll be harvesting in the next week or two so I can do the full blown inspection then.
Wax moth feces runs from about the size of a varroa to a bit larger. A varroa is only a spec. My guess is varroa feces is microscopic. There are always small pieces of debris on the bottom. Most are pieces of wax from uncapping honey or from emerging brood or from wax scales that are dropped or fall. These usually run from white, to yellow, to brown.
Also the bees chew out cocoons on old brood comb when the cell size falls below a certain level. These would be darker.
Greetings . . .
Pat: Forgive me for asking, but could the specs actually be MITES? Adult females Varroa mites are oval (elongated) and flat, about 1.1mm lg x 1.5mm wide, reddish-brown in color.
Michael: What other indications would you expect (at this time), if Wax Moths are present?
In a way it's like the mites. Once you get good at spotting them you know what they look like. The wax moths in the midrib are not easy to see, but once you seen a larvae move in them you realize what they look like. Other than feces and webs, which may be hidden, it's the tunnels in the midrib that give them away. Sometimes it's the motion of them moving.
Varroa turds are white specks left inside a cell, on the wall.
Definately not mites, because I can see them too, amongst the black specs. They look like black slivers, about 1/4 the size of the varroa. In some cases, there are several strung together, but mostly single flecks. There are enough of them that they must be falling from above.
Do you have dark comb somewhere in the hive? Probably chewed out cocoons or other dark parts of the comb. There is always debris on the bottom.