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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,380

    Default 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?
    To everything there is a season....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lewisberry, Pa, usa
    Posts
    6,080

    Default

    Could this hive with high mite counts be removing larvae?

    I know yellowjackets scavenge for such things.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,380

    Default

    I didn't see any larvae, but that's a possiblity. They may be scavenging them as soon as they are dropped outside. Waiting around for the next free meal to be dropped in their lap.
    To everything there is a season....

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

    Default

    If it was that, Thats a good thing. Shows good behavior in your bees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Albany, NY
    Posts
    48

    Post

    Most likely the yellowjackets are looking for more brood or weakened bee's being removed from the colony. I have one hive myself with a large mite count and all the deformed bee's some with mites were removed from the hive. Yellowjackets have been making a meal out of the weakened bee's. However as nice as it is to see the bee's removing those bee's the hive needed treatment

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,741

    Default

    My yellowjackets (ooohh...I hate calling them "mine"), like to poke around under the hive between the cinder blocks. I'm hoping that's not where the nest is. I think they're just sniffing the odor of brood coming out of the screened bottom board.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

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