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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    North Bend, OH, USA
    Posts
    272

    Default Question About Clustering and Mites

    I was doing mite counts, just a daily track record to see if temperatures effect the count.

    Last night it got really cold and my counts (mite drops) were cut in half.

    Is this do to the cluster, cold air, less movement, less space (all those bees jammed together means less mites dropping through)?

    I'm just curious and would like to know.
    Richard
    Carriage House Farm, North Bend, Ohio

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,658

    Default

    I've no solid answer for this one, but all of the above sound like good theories
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    North Bend, OH, USA
    Posts
    272

    Default

    I'll start keeping a record of min and max daily temps along with the mite counts.
    Richard
    Carriage House Farm, North Bend, Ohio

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    tecumseh:
    all sound like excellent mechanism to explain the difference in data. the latter part of this list I would (without further evidence) think is most likely.... plus you would think given the varroa bioliogy that their number should be declining at this time of year. you might also consider that there (reasonable) should be a relationship between brood rearing with a time lag associated with any natural drop count.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    North Bend, OH, USA
    Posts
    272

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tecumseh View Post
    tecumseh:
    all sound like excellent mechanism to explain the difference in data. the latter part of this list I would (without further evidence) think is most likely.... plus you would think given the varroa bioliogy that their number should be declining at this time of year. you might also consider that there (reasonable) should be a relationship between brood rearing with a time lag associated with any natural drop count.
    I have. I have noticed a much higher drop count on the hives that have the new queens (either large colonies "requeened" with small swarms or from my experimental split) that were virgins/new/raised in late June/July.

    I was thinking this was due to the queen continuing to lay later into the autumn season where as the older queens have cut back. Its been over two weeks since I opened the hive (doing powder sugar treatments) because they seemed to have clustered quite well and we are getting into the 20s at night. I rather not fumble around in them till night time temps get back into the 40s.

    I am itching to see the size of remaining brood space.
    Richard
    Carriage House Farm, North Bend, Ohio

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Powhatan, VA
    Posts
    98

    Default

    When the bees cluster on cold days- any mites that fall off a bee will probably fall on another bee in the cluster- thus minimizing the number of mites you find on the sticky board. That's what I believe.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Lima, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    722

    Default

    Another thing to consider...as it gets into the winter months there will be less and less brood, and thus more of the mites will be on adult bees rather than in the cell.

    -Tim

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