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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Josephine County,Oregon,USA
    Posts
    138

    Question Overwintered and NO dropping mites .....huh?

    Well,I'm Really surprised and don't know what to make of my first mite drop sheet for my overwintered TB colony. It was a 3 day test and ZERO mites dropped. I mean,Yeah! This is Great news, but How the heck could this be? I assume there are a few in there but Zero drop??? Those bees are Busy movin and shakin too.....building up like crazy for a month and have built 6 new combs,etc. You'd think something would be dropping other than wax flakes and pollen and debris. I looked with a 10x jeweler's loupe too.

    Here's my only theory. I had a massive die off this winter-probably down to 1000 bees(or less), and all I can guess is that All or nearly All mite infected weaker bees died,leaving only the strongest to keep the queen warm during the crisis. OR can a Spring hive be clean because the queen stopped laying for a month or more in winter stopping the cycle? At this point she's been laying since end of Feb.

    Are any of Your hives mite-drop-free during Spring built up? Is this actually common? Thanks for letting me know what you think.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,121

    Default Re: Overwintered and NO dropping mites .....huh?

    Did you do a sugar shake or alcohol wash test? I suspect that you will find some level of mites with one of those tests.

    More on mite testing here:
    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/sick...oring-methods/
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,506

    Default Re: Overwintered and NO dropping mites .....huh?

    I would continue to monitor. Drop rates are highly variable. My guess is all the mites are in brood cells, not many crawlers right now.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Josephine County,Oregon,USA
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Overwintered and NO dropping mites .....huh?

    Rader - Oh, I see what you mean that a sugar shake would probably show some! Last year a few dropped every time I put a sticky under though,even a month after my new package I had a count of 3.
    I'm not invasive enough to kill bees with alcohol, I just smash a few between bars with carelessness and fumbling when I do inspections. That makes the guards PO'd enough!

    burns375 - Yes, I'll test again soon. I guess it wasn't a big deal, I was just Really surprised!

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