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Thread: Spotting varroa

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Redlands, CA USA
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    Default Spotting varroa

    I've had an observation hive from a cutout for a couple of months. I've spent hours looking at it, but I still haven't spotted a mite. Anyone know how hard it is to see the little suckers?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: Spotting verroa

    It's pretty easy if there's enough of them. Look at nurse bees on brood frames, most of them will be there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Sacramento,California,USA
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    Default Re: Spotting verroa

    they are usually on the abdomens, when they are on the adult bees. A small round redish/brown speck the size of a fly speck, or half the size of a pinhead.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    McClure, OH
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    Default Re: Spotting verroa

    You might not be able to see them on an observation hive. For them to be visible, the hive needs to be going strong with a lot of brood. An observation hive just does not have the brood volume. How many frames in yours?

    Usually the mite numbers peak right after the flow when brood rearing starts to taper off, so more of the mites hang on the nurse bees. If your swarm is still in build-up mode you won't be seeing them as most of them will be in the brood.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2013
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    Default Re: Spotting verroa

    Quote Originally Posted by merince View Post
    You might not be able to see them on an observation hive. For them to be visible, the hive needs to be going strong with a lot of brood. An observation hive just does not have the brood volume. How many frames in yours?

    Usually the mite numbers peak right after the flow when brood rearing starts to taper off, so more of the mites hang on the nurse bees. If your swarm is still in build-up mode you won't be seeing them as most of them will be in the brood.

    Four deep, filled with brood, (2x2) with 4 medium frames above, the lower two are capped honey/brood.

    Just coming out of summer, days still in the high 80's. Lots of pollen from Crepe Myrtle, a few loquats are blooming, bottle bush, Mexican sage. Not sure I'll ever experience a true flow in my urban environment. Just ordered clover seed to cover the bare spots in my yard.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
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    468

    Default Re: Spotting verroa

    Rader has a good picture of how I have seen them. I will occasionally see one on the back of a worker bee. I didn't see many this year.
    I took this close up photo of one with my microscope last year and you can really see how hideous they are. They are like crabby/ticks.
    mite.jpg

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Spotting verroa

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    they are usually on the abdomens, when they are on the adult bees. A small round redish/brown speck the size of a fly speck, or half the size of a pinhead.
    Aren't they closer to the size of an "o"?
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Springfield, Ohio, USA
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    Default Re: Spotting verroa

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Aren't they closer to the size of an "o"?
    Yes, that's a good reference. Those that I see are just a wee bit smaller than the letter "o" when viewing the font on this site at standard magnification.
    Pete. New 2013, 7 hives, zone 6a
    To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    26,725

    Default Re: Spotting verroa

    About the size of the head of a pin.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

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