Results 1 to 13 of 13
  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
    6,272

    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
    4,469

    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
    387

    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
    6,272

    Default Re: tiny jumping bugs?

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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Worcester County, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,684

    Default Re: tiny jumping bugs?

    Hey, thanks...I noticed these for the first time about a week ago in front of one of our hives (they were clearly visible on a piece of plywood). I was gonna post a question about it, as I have never seen this before.

    deknow

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    863

    Default Re: tiny jumping bugs?

    Snow fleas came to my mind briefly. But, when I lloked at your location I dismissed them. They may be out west I just don't remember hearing about them.

    When I was a county extension agent in upstate NY I would get one or two calls each winter about them. Most people would feel better once I explained what they were. One year and older gentleman came in wanting to know what these bugs were. Once I mentioned snow fleas he was on the war path! He wanted to know what to kill them with. He didn't want them in his house or on his dog! When I told him there was nothing to kill them with he said if the sevin didn't kill he would use some of the DDT he had left in the garage. The more I tried to talk him out of spraying them the more determined he was to do it!

    Maybe you or Dean could post a picture?

    Tom

  10. #10

    Default Re: tiny jumping bugs?

    TWall, I don't want to be argumentative, but I think springtails are about as ubiquitous a bug as bugs get and probably occur from pole to pole and everywhere in between. Here is a link to a close up pic, from the west coast, and a bunch of other images can be jumped to from there. These are bright red - I have seen similar springtails once here in the east. Most that I see look like cigar ash when they are piled up in clusters, or like fleas individually - till they blast off. http://www.flickr.com/photos/xjoncam...ol-334033@N24/

    So, I'm still inclined to think that the bug at the root of this discussion is/are springtails. The list of tiny jumping bugs that are active in snow temperatures has to be pretty short, no?

    Regards,
    Brian

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Knox Co, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    863

    Default Re: tiny jumping bugs?

    Brian,

    I dismissed Seattle more because my experience with people seeing them is on top of snow on a clear sunny day. I wasn't sure how extensive their range was.

    Thanks for the info!

    Tom

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Aberdeen, Idaho
    Posts
    501

    Default Re: tiny jumping bugs?

    A fellow student in college collected snow fleas from 1 foot print in the snow. The foot print was a size 12 in insulated boots, and it acted as a trap for the migrating snow fleas. The fleas filled a quart jar full to the bottom of the threads.
    Dave

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Glencoe, Okla USA
    Posts
    310

    Default Re: tiny jumping bugs?

    I suggest collecting a few of these bugs in a glass or plastic container and taking them to your local County Extension Center to see what they are and how much danger they might be to your bees.
    Let us know the results!
    Last edited by Myron Denny; 01-05-2013 at 07:35 PM.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads