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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC (go Heels)
    Posts
    111

    Default Is this my first Varroa? (or not?)

    I hived two packages on Sat. and went this morning to see if the queens were released yet. Not only were they released, but they were both laying. I don't know if thats common, but it made me happy.

    I had to remove some small burr comb that was built off of the queen cages. While looking at them closely, My wife noticed a tiny little red bug. I immediately figured it was a Varroa mite. I tried to get a picture, but it kept moving. I set the comb down in the sun and got a picture of it. After looking at the pictures however, I just wanted to confirm my identification.



    Sorry for the bad picture. I started to wonder when I looked again at the pictures of Varroa on the web (like here). It looks like Varroa should be wider than they are long, and have their feet kind of out in front. My bug looked more like a really small beetle. It was longer than it was wide, and had legs out all the way around. In the picture above, I am pretty sure it was moving toward the upper right corner. It honestly looked like a tick, but much smaller than any tick I have seen. Lastly, it moves reasonably fast. Not lightning fast, but enough to make taking a macro picture hard. It definitely seemed to move very fast for it size.

    Any votes yea or nay on this being Varroa?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Sparta, Tennessee
    Posts
    2,121

    Default

    From my recollection, that doesn't look like the ones I have seen, so I would say not...
    Will be interested to see what others write.

  3. #3

    Default

    not even close...you wont find them crawling around the ground.....
    Get a screened bottom board, if you want to see mites
    Last edited by newbee 101; 05-01-2007 at 07:14 PM.
    "To bee or not to bee"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,610

    Default

    You already have your first Varroa, you just haven't seen it yet.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Default

    Look for dark reddish-brown "specks" on sticky-board. Varroa are about the same color as a "dog tick" and about the size of a "flea".

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    eastern Hanover, Virginia
    Posts
    361

    Default

    may be a spider mite. they are very bright red. if it is a spider mite, it was just there by chance. they feed on plants.
    -M@

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
    Posts
    2,030

    Default

    It looks very much like a spider mite. I find them crawling on concrete all the time, don't know why. Most of the ticks I've seen are brown or black and, you're right, bigger.
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC (go Heels)
    Posts
    111

    Default

    Thanks everyone for the thoughts. I looked around on the web for info and pictures of spider mites (and red spider mites). After looking, the closest looking mites I found on the web so far came up when I did a "red spider mite" image search on google. (google image search on red spider mite) What was most interesting was that when I went to the pages where the pictures where, they were not pictures of spider mites, but rather pictures of predatory mites that can be used to kill spider mites. (Phytosieulus persimilis). The picture that looks the very most like what I saw is on this page. If you search for the date "06/14/2005", you will see a letter that included two pictures. The one on the right looks exactly like my mite. (I wish I could post it here, but there might be copyright issues). They seemed to originally think it was a predatory mite, but were corrected that it might be a Erythraeidae Balaustium, which is a pollen eater?

    Bugs can definitely be interesting!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Default

    There isn’t any reason to wonder if you have Varroa ,YOU DO.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

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