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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Pierce/Thurson County, Wa
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    186

    Default How does one "get" mites?

    I am treatment free because I have never seen anything that would require treating. I have tested for mites and always come up with nothing. I assume this is because all the bees I have gotten have either come in package boxes or in queen cages. Also, that I have always used new boxes, frames, and foundation.

    So, how does one get mites? Used equipment? Nucs? Drifting? Catching swarms?
    If you think anything organic is good for you, go drink some organic solvents.
    geek, learning how to be a beek

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,939

    Default Re: How does one "get" mites?

    My packages always came with plenty.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,743

    Default Re: How does one "get" mites?

    From other bees. Not from equipment. Possibly from drifting drones.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,903

    Default Re: How does one "get" mites?

    Seyc how long have you had bees?

    If you''ve only had them a few months, and you want to see mites, just give it some more time.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Kenosha,WI
    Posts
    190

    Default Re: How does one "get" mites?

    You get mites by keeping bees (their hosts). If you have mites, you are pretty much guaranteed that they have mites if you live outside of Australia. Suggest you ask someone to show them to you or maybe time to get a vision check.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    626

    Default Re: How does one "get" mites?

    I have some mites. I guess they either came with my starting package of bees this spring or jumped on in the field. I saw a mite on a bee at my bee water fountain. They could have got on there from another bee too. That is one of the reasons a lot of people discourage open feeding. I tried it once and quickly learned my lesson. (Pest sharing, bee brawling, and opens door to robbing.)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Pierce/Thurson County, Wa
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: How does one "get" mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by RogerCrum View Post
    You get mites by keeping bees (their hosts). If you have mites, you are pretty much guaranteed that they have mites if you live outside of Australia. Suggest you ask someone to show them to you or maybe time to get a vision check.
    I know what they look like. I have seen them in other hives. I have not seen any in mine. As for the vision check, I find it easier to see the eggs at the bottom of the cells with my glasses off rather than on. Just because you are a human, I am not going to assume that you have pin worms, hook worms, or shistosomes, just because humans are their primary host.
    If you think anything organic is good for you, go drink some organic solvents.
    geek, learning how to be a beek

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,344

    Default Re: How does one "get" mites?

    "One" does not get mites. All Bee's get mites. There is really no way around it. They all come with mites it is like a bonus for you when you buy, find or how ever you get your bee's. They are just hitchhikers.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,322

    Default Re: How does one "get" mites?

    How do you test for them?
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,344

    Default Re: How does one "get" mites?

    Quarter cup of bee's into a jar of rubbing alcohol or the like and count the mites in the bottom. Quickest easiest way. Strain the alcohol and repeat on next hive.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,903

    Default Re: How does one "get" mites?

    Hi Seyc I think my question got lost in the ether , how long have you had the bees, and also, what strain are they?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,743

    Default Re: How does one "get" mites?

    They get around. Having seen NY State go from no mites to mites found everywhere back in the 1980s I find it hard to believe you have a hive w/out at least some. Not saying it's impossible, just not likely. I don't know exactly how varroa mites got to every single nook and cranny of the remotest parts of NY, but they did. Scroon Lake and Mineville for instance.

    Mineville is a place where controled open mating used to be done by Cornell years ago, because there just weren't any feral bees in the area. So where did the managed hives, the few that were kept by beekeepers, get mites from? They had to have been brought in by the beekeeper, unless varroa has other hosts which intermingle w/ honeybees.

    The short answer is, mites beget mites. No mites? No mites. Ya got mites? They came from mites.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    JACKSON OHIO
    Posts
    485

    Default Re: How does one "get" mites?

    If you have bees you have mites. Uncap some drone brood in the spring and look there.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,395

    Default Re: How does one "get" mites?

    you can get a large number of them in a short amount of time if your bees rob out a nearby hive that is collapsing from mites.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Pierce/Thurson County, Wa
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: How does one "get" mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    Hi Seyc I think my question got lost in the ether , how long have you had the bees, and also, what strain are they?
    I have had them about 8 months, I got two Italian packages then requeened with a local Russian queen and a local Cougar-WSU (Sue Coby project) queen, both bred to Russian/WSU/Caucasian drones.

    I have tested by popping open drone brood, and the alcohol dip.
    If you think anything organic is good for you, go drink some organic solvents.
    geek, learning how to be a beek

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    5,903

    Default Re: How does one "get" mites?

    OK well since you've requeened with supposedly varroa resistant bees, you might be able to keep them without treating. However a hive with NO mites is a rare thing, if it even exists.

    In your previous post, you said "Just because you are a human, I am not going to assume that you have pin worms, hook worms, or shistosomes". Couple of things. If you were somewhere in the third world where people have no medical treatment, you may be better to assume folks could have them. They are rare in the US because they are treated for.

    And the other thing people get messed up with is comparing bee / mite relationships, to either people, or other ecosystems. For example a while back I saw mites being compared to a prairie ecosystem and the relationship between prairy dogs, coyotes, etc. It's actually a whole different ball game because a (for example) prairie ecosystem, is something that's been in natural balance for a long time. Varroa is newly introduced to apis melifera and does not have a balance. One day maybe, but not yet.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,781

    Default Re: How does one "get" mites?

    On another thread, it was implicated drones play a large role in mite dissemination.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Pierce/Thurson County, Wa
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: How does one "get" mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
    OK well since you've requeened with supposedly varroa resistant bees, you might be able to keep them without treating. However a hive with NO mites is a rare thing, if it even exists.
    I am willing to concede that since I have not stuck a mite board under my hives, I do not know if the mites have been picked off and dropped, therefore, I see none on the bees.

    In your previous post, you said "Just because you are a human, I am not going to assume that you have pin worms, hook worms, or shistosomes". Couple of things. If you were somewhere in the third world where people have no medical treatment, you may be better to assume folks could have them. They are rare in the US because they are treated for.
    Not quite. Hook worms and pin worms are fecal-oral route - you scratch/wipe your butt and then eat. Washing hands after using the restroom and before eating prevents those two. Shistosomes have to go into freshwater snails so swimming/washing clothes in a stream that has untreated sewage put into it is the most common way to get it. Septic systems/sewage treatment prevents that one.

    And the other thing people get messed up with is comparing bee / mite relationships, to either people, or other ecosystems. For example a while back I saw mites being compared to a prairie ecosystem and the relationship between prairy dogs, coyotes, etc. It's actually a whole different ball game because a (for example) prairie ecosystem, is something that's been in natural balance for a long time. Varroa is newly introduced to apis melifera and does not have a balance. One day maybe, but not yet.
    Kind of like the reason that I did not mention Malaria. The primary host for Malaria is the mosquito, it does not care what happens to the secondary host, kind of like the freshwater snails that the shistosomes use. I look forward to when the bees and the mites get into better balance. I think of them a bit like fleas on a dog.
    If you think anything organic is good for you, go drink some organic solvents.
    geek, learning how to be a beek

  19. #19

    Default Re: How does one "get" mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by seyc View Post
    therefore, I see none on the bees.
    If you started these from packages....you have mites. It doesn't matter if you've requeened with Russians, VSH, survivors or whatever...you have mites. The question is how serious is your infestation. Not seeing any on your bees doesn't tell you anything. You can take a wait and see...or you can actually test. Matters not to me but if you believe you don't have mites you are only fooling yourself.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,903

    Default Re: How does one "get" mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by seyc View Post
    Not quite. Hook worms and pin worms are fecal-oral route - you scratch/wipe your butt and then eat. Washing hands after using the restroom and before eating prevents those two. Shistosomes have to go into freshwater snails so swimming/washing clothes in a stream that has untreated sewage put into it is the most common way to get it. Septic systems/sewage treatment prevents that one.
    Yes. Like I said, they get treated for. Via sewerage treatment, good hygiene, whatever. Pills are also available for infected people, if you live in the US.

    And yes, I've seen malaria used in mite arguments before also. No resemblance really.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

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