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Thread: Deformed wings

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Knoxville, TN


    This afternoon I found a bee with deformed wings in front of one of my hives. ( I am new to beekeeping this year)

    The wings appear to be shriveled up or not fully developed. I know it may be caused by varra in the cell while the bee was developing. However I was curious if there are any other possible causes ?

    The hive is relatively strong - it was started from a local swarm on March 31st. Two weeks ago I added the second brood chamber.

    Thanks for the advice

    Hugh in Nashville

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    crown point, NY, USA



    K- wing can be do to pesticides or T mites. But chewed, shredded, or missing undeveloped wings are from varroa most likely.

    Have you read on this site under point of veiw: Back to biological beekeeping by Ed & Dee Lusby? You should take a look if not. There is much to read maybe too much for a beginner but you should be aware of the info.

    Happy beeing,


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK


    When I saw this, I thought the answer was going to be 'yes', as I have occasionally found the odd bee with deformed wings in front of colonies which had ben recently treated, and must have had very few mites. these were always colonies which were building up. I've also found the odd fly with deformed wings hatching out of a load of fishing maggots, and suspect that it probably happens occasionally in all winged insects.

    I've now found confirmation in H. Storch's book 'At the Hive Entrance' (European Apicultural Editions, 1985). It's a translation from the German, and dates are thus northern European. He says that this happens in May; 'These bees have developed from larvae having suffered from either the cold, lack of pollen or liquid nourishment and are found prinipally in colonies nursing a large brood.' So it happens in situations where the colony has a little more brood than it can cope with properly. I'd still check for varroa first, though, before I assumed any other cause.


    Robert Brenchley
    Birmingham UK

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Tucson, Arizona, United States



    As far as I know, wax worms and ants both can also cause deformed wings, chewed wings, and missing wings on honeybees.


    Dee A. Lusby


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