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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Chillicothe, Ohio
    Posts
    8

    Default Varroa Mite Question

    I did a 24 hour IPM board inspection for Varroa mites. Took it off late yesterday afternoon.

    Question # 1- How hard is it to identify the mites? I see lots of wax particles and pollen but there's something I can't identify with a magnifing glass. I took pictues of this, put it on the computer and zoomed it and it looks like it might be VM's from the pictures I've seen on the internet but I'm still not sure. I have to do a lot of zooming to even see what I do see. I thought the mites would be a little easier to see than this. Am I wrong about this? I've taken pictures of the bees on the frames while out of the hive, put them on the computer and zoomed them and saw no mites on any of the bees.

    Question # 2- The temp was in the high 80's yesterday. When I took the IPM boards (2 hives) off just before dark the porch was covered with bees. Was this because of the heat created by the IPM board being there and causing a heat build up?

    Question # 3- It finally rained last night and today for the first time in awhile. This morning when I went to check on the ladies there was 2 or 3 pupa and 2 or 3 larvae as well as maybe a dozen dead bees on each porch. All the larvae was drones. Did I see this because of the rain or do you think there's another problem?

    Being a bee dummie sure is frustrating! In my humble (ignorant) opinion both hives seem to be thriving considering they were both started from Nucs the first of July. I appreciate the help of you more experienced beekeepers here cause I need all the help I can get!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,821

    Default

    >Question # 1- How hard is it to identify the mites?

    If you ever see them once, it's pretty easy. If not, you may mistake them for debris. Eyesight also plays into this. They are quite small, you will probably need reading glasses if you need them to read.

    > I see lots of wax particles and pollen but there's something I can't identify with a magnifing glass.

    A magnifying glass is a good idea.

    >Question # 2- The temp was in the high 80's yesterday. When I took the IPM boards (2 hives) off just before dark the porch was covered with bees. Was this because of the heat created by the IPM board being there and causing a heat build up?

    When it's hot they beard. A SBB will help, not cause this.

    >Question # 3- It finally rained last night and today for the first time in awhile. This morning when I went to check on the ladies there was 2 or 3 pupa and 2 or 3 larvae as well as maybe a dozen dead bees on each porch. All the larvae was drones. Did I see this because of the rain or do you think there's another problem?

    Could be any number of causes. If you inspected recently that could be the cause. You broke open some drone somewhere. If the rain leaked in some of them might have gotten chilled. If there's a dearth now, they might have decided to dispose of some. If there are a lot of Varroa they might have chewed out some infested ones.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Chillicothe, Ohio
    Posts
    8

    Default Thanks Michael

    Thanks so much for your reply. I have the SBB but thought the IPM board blocking it may have caused it to get too hot.
    I've read so much on your site and it's great. Someone on here has a saying "Experience is a hard teacher. It gives the test then the lessons." I really like that. Wish I had thought of it first. I think that's what happens with most beekeepers.
    It quit raining and the bees are back to normal.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,599

    Default

    Yes, having the sticky board in the screen bottom board, especially on a hot day, reduces the ventilation in the hive and will cause bearding.

    It's the time of year where bees will start throwing out drones and removing drone larva. If there is no or few mites (which prefer drone larva) and they are removing drones, chalk it up to being the ending of the season. The daylight hours are getting shorter quicker now, bees are starting the hunkering down for the winter activities.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

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