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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Seattle, Wa, United States
    Posts
    14

    Default tiny jumping bugs?

    This is my first winter as a beekeeper, and I ma anxious to see the bees come through.
    So far so good, I see them come out on sunny days, and there are usually new dead ones on the landing board when I go out to check (if there are still some dying, there must still be some alive)
    I noticed weird bugs hanging around the landing board in the corners, and the entrance. Very small, and jumpy like fleas, but a bit bigger than a normal flea.
    Anybody know what that is, and whether it's reason for concern?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,485

    Default Re: tiny jumping bugs?

    could be flea beetles, they are small black bugs, they jump
    they feed on broadleaf plants
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  3. #3

    Default Re: tiny jumping bugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by turnhose View Post
    This is my first winter as a beekeeper, and I ma anxious to see the bees come through.
    So far so good, I see them come out on sunny days, and there are usually new dead ones on the landing board when I go out to check (if there are still some dying, there must still be some alive)
    I noticed weird bugs hanging around the landing board in the corners, and the entrance. Very small, and jumpy like fleas, but a bit bigger than a normal flea.
    Anybody know what that is, and whether it's reason for concern?

    Thanks
    I'm guessing what you are seeing are "spring-tails", aka, "snow fleas" - They are also known as Collembolids. They're about as primitive as you can get and still be an insect, and, obviously, their enzymes still work pretty well at freezing temps. I've seen them migrating in "herds" of thousands (probably millions actually) across the landscape, like micro-wildebeasts. I don't know where they are going, or why, but it is pretty impressive. Even moreso, when they are piled up by the 1000's like that you can scoop them up in your hand and they have an almost waxy feel - which explains why they are able to "walk on water". They have a hydrophobic coating that lets them go across water much like on land. Should be plenty on the net under collembolidae if you're interested. They are just detritus feeders, so I can't imagine they would be any problem with hives.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,044

    Default Re: tiny jumping bugs?

    Snow fleas? Raise your hand if you knew that. Man you gotta love this forum.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Strafford, NH, USA
    Posts
    337

    Default Re: tiny jumping bugs?



    Closest to raising my hand I could find.

    I only knew about them after finding thousands of them looking like they were coming out of the seam between the garage concrete and driveway asphalt a couple of winters back.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Seattle, Wa, United States
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: tiny jumping bugs?

    Thanks everyone. But so far no on the snow fleas, and no on the flea beetles.
    I maybe shouldn't have described them as bugs. They are not elongated at all. If it wasn't for the size (about 2x too large) I'd say they are actual fleas.
    I'll try to get video. probably not until next weekend that I'll be able to get to the hives in daylight.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,485

    Default Re: tiny jumping bugs?

    ya, kinda cold for flea beetles anyway
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

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