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Thread: Deformed Wings

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Santa Cruz, CA

    Default Deformed Wings

    I currently have 8 hives, 6 of them establishing nucs. I was doing my first inspection on the nucs today and noticed, through thousands of bees, that about 3 or 4 of them had deformed wings.

    Of those noticed, 3 were nurse bees, the other a drone.

    I understand that DWV is a result, typically, of varroa mites. I did treat for varroa earlier this spring and their numbers are currently very low.

    Obviously 3 or 4 is a very low number, but should I be concerned?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Fort Gay, WV, USA

    Default Re: Deformed Wings

    How did you get your number on the varroa count? Sugar roll, bottom sticky board, etc. If it was from a sugar roll that means 3 to 4 percent load wich is ok. DWV is a result of varroa mites true, but they could have been hold overs from last fall at this point with exception to the drone. Just keep a good eye on your varroa count and if it goes above a 10 with sugar roll, then it's time to work with the problem some more.
    Thomas Bartram

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA

    Default Re: Deformed Wings

    I think meant that you saw 3 or 4 bees with deformed wings? And that wasn't a mite count, right?

    While it's not great to see any, it probably isn't a big number given the thousands and thousands of bees in a single colony. Keep an eye on it, though, and keep watching your mite levels like a hawk.

    I occasionally see a set of bad wings, too. Poor creatures.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Morro Bay, California, USA

    Default Re: Deformed Wings

    DWV predates Varroa in North America. It can be vectored from flower nectar and other sources. Varroa, however, is a very efficient propagator of the virus. Varroa are essentially micro hypodermic needles directly injecting hemolyph from one doomed bee to the next.

    DWV is easily observed, so is a good proxy for Varroa -- it can be detected by undertaker bees ejecting crippled but still living bees without even opening the hive.

    What you need to learn (effectively from experience, and poorly from a message board) is what level of DWV is the natural background for your climate and hives, and what level represents incipient Varroa problems.

    There is no shortcut to experience. Do a mite test (sugar shake is not destructive to small nucs). Use that hard data to correlate with the observed DWV -- crippled bees on the porch, or crawlers on the ground.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009

    Default Re: Deformed Wings

    You better take the DWV as a warning and do a alcohol wash and see how your VARROA load is.
    If for some chance you have high numbers now you'll have a mess by JULY If you don't treat.
    Good luck.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}


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