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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Berkeley,California, USA
    Posts
    483

    Default Are white mites on bottom board a sign of VSH?

    In examining my dark wooden pull-out boards 24 hourse after dusting with sugar (and having scraped off all of the accumulated sugar one hour after dusting yesterday), I was suprised to find many mites of lighter and lighter shades of tan including 2 tiny mites on one board that were snow white and looked like the mite babies I once saw in some video.

    I would never have noticed these white mites on a white bottom board or on a board covered with powdered sugar.

    Are white baby mites like this on the bottom board evidence of Varroa-Specific-Hygiene (VSH)?

    -fafrd

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Farmington, NM
    Posts
    743

    Default Re: Are white mites on bottom board a sign of VSH?

    Description
    Adults: The adult female mites are reddish-brown to dark brown and oval in shape, measuring 1.00 to 1.77 mm long and 1.50 to 1.99 mm wide. Their curved bodies fit into the abdominal folds of the adult bee and are held there by the shape and arrangement of ventral setae. This protects them from the bee's normal cleaning habits.

    Adult males are yellowish with lightly tanned legs and spherical body shape measuring 0.75 to 0.98 mm long and 0.70 to 0.88 wide. The male chelicerae are modified for transferring sperm.

    Eggs: The eggs are oval in shape and white in color, and are laid singly on a cell wall. Eggs are approximately 0.30 mm long and 0.23 mm wide. Eggs generally cannot be seen by the unaided eye.

    Nymphs: Male and female protonymphs are undistinguishable without dissection. Protonymphs have eight legs, pointed chelicerae (mouthparts) and are a transparent white color. The body appears circular, as they do not develop the oval shape until the deuteronymph stage. After the protonymph molts, the mite becomes a deuteronymph which resembles the adults with a reduction in setae. The mite will once again molt into the final adult stage


    My guess is you are seeing male varroa.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Berkeley,California, USA
    Posts
    483

    Default Re: Are white mites on bottom board a sign of VSH?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhfury View Post
    Nymphs: Male and female protonymphs are undistinguishable without dissection. Protonymphs have eight legs, pointed chelicerae (mouthparts) and are a transparent white color. The body appears circular, as they do not develop the oval shape until the deuteronymph stage. After the protonymph molts, the mite becomes a deuteronymph which resembles the adults with a reduction in setae. The mite will once again molt into the final adult stage[/I]

    My guess is you are seeing male varroa.
    Pretty sure I saw both Male Varroa, which were the tan-colored mites I saw, as well as a couple of Varroa nymphs. The Nymphs were smaller than the red-colored and tan-colored Varroa and they were a translucent white color.

    Any thoughts on my earlier question: Are nymphs on the bottom board a sign of Varroa-Specific-Hygiene? They normally only exist within the capped cells, right?

    -fafrd

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,700

    Default Re: Are white mites on bottom board a sign of VSH?

    I think the white is the shedded exo-skeleton

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Berkeley,California, USA
    Posts
    483

    Default Re: Are white mites on bottom board a sign of VSH?

    Honeyschack,

    appreciate the suggestion but do not think it is correct. This was an entire and very small white mite. I saw movement. I'm pretty sure it was a Varroa nymph.

    Without a magnifying glass and having a dark background, I would never have noticed these small white nymphs. In fact, I shrugged off the first one and didn't really think too much about it, but when I saw the second, I examined both much more closely to be sure.

    Just don't understand what it means. If the nurse bees haiul a contaminated larvae out of capped brood cell, The primary mite that infested the cell, along with any ofspring she has bred, will all be removed, right? That is the only explanation I can think of. The queen in my hive is still laying and I still have open and capped brood.


    -fafrd

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Farmington, NM
    Posts
    743

    Default Re: Are white mites on bottom board a sign of VSH?

    Quote Originally Posted by fafrd View Post
    Are nymphs on the bottom board a sign of Varroa-Specific-Hygiene? They normally only exist within the capped cells, right?
    yep/yep

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    1,106

    Default Re: Are white mites on bottom board a sign of VSH?

    I'm digging up a little ancient history here to see how this compares to my latest IPM board inspection. The hive in question has a VSH queen introduced a few weeks back, and her offspring are taking over nurse duties from some "hygenic Carniolans." Both this hive an another hive of the same strain of Carniolans dropped 2 mites during a sugar roll last week, so they should have the same mite load. But the other hive dropped 7 mites during the week, whereas the VSH hive dropped 71. It is positively raining mites even though the level of infestation should be 1% or less. VSH behavior?

    And here they are, a mix of colors that are all adult shape. Some of these may just be cast exoskeletons (the very light ones). I've seen the males and immature forms on frozen drone pupae, and these are not that shape.

    Varroa 002Compr.jpg

    Varroa 007Compr.jpg

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