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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got into bee keeping with 2 new bee hives.

Got them home yesterday, set them up and all seem good until today.

While looking at the hives closely I noticed some tiny objects crawling around the hive sides and to, closer look they seem to be bee mites!

As a beginner I'm not sure what to do to get rid of them.

Any help/suggestions from the pros would be great!

Thanks in advance!
 

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Less likely to be varroa if only seen on the hive sides, although nothing is impossible.

Because you are a new beekeeper and at the beginning of the learning curve, the best thing at this time would be talk to the person you got the bees from, but be aware there are plenty of beekeepers with little understanding of varroa mites.

If that doesn't work out, see if there is a local bee club or individual with the knowledge to help you out, and preferably take a look for you in person.

If you ever see one of these mites again, and you have the technology, please get a pic and post it here.

Please also keep updated.
 

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Glad you are aware of the biggest problem you and your bees face. Yes, that's not a mite. They are very hard to see and rarely seen off a bee unless they are dead. You should have a plan on how to combat them because if you don't, your bees will die. Plenty of discussions on this site on how to treat for them. If you learn one thing about beekeeping in your first year it should be how you will treat mites. J
 

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Those bugs may or may not be anything to be worried about. But they are not Varroa destructor mites. Varroa are small , dark reddish-brown, ovals, a somewhat smaller than the sesame seed on a Big Mac bun. If you look at them with a magnifying glass, you will see what looks like a small fringe along one of the long sides of the oval - these are the mouth parts and legs.

But good on you to be looking so closely at your bees and their hive environment to have noticed those critters.

Nancy
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the help! I really want to take care of my bees and not be in that 60 to 80% group where they all die in the 1st year!

From what I can tell they seem to be doing pretty good so far, they stay busy all day. Come and go!

It was hot and humid yesterday, got up in the mid 90s here. On my left hive I noticed many bees wouldn't go in the hive even when it got dark. Is that normal?

My hives have screen bottom but currently there is a plastic card board like insert under the screen, should that be taken out for better ventilation or left in place. I also have the top bee feeder with 50/50 sugar water on the hives so there is no air coming in from the top.

Suggestions?

Thank you very much!
Pete
 

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It would be helpful to know what part of the world we're talking about.
In the SE USA I had those or something similar and we decided they were Thrips {sp} or something like that.
I have a thread on them.
https://www.beesource.com/forums/sh...-quot-on-swarm-trap-anyone-know-what-they-are
They were all over the top cover and sides of a hive that was right next to a gardenia bush that had flowers filled with them.

I'd leave the plastic board in. I'd also recommend making the entrance much smaller. I run no more that a 2inch wide all year, usually smaller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It would be helpful to know what part of the world we're talking about.
In the SE USA I had those or something similar and we decided they were Thrips {sp} or something like that.
I have a thread on them.
https://www.beesource.com/forums/sh...-quot-on-swarm-trap-anyone-know-what-they-are
They were all over the top cover and sides of a hive that was right next to a gardenia bush that had flowers filled with them.

I'd leave the plastic board in. I'd also recommend making the entrance much smaller. I run no more that a 2inch wide all year, usually smaller.

Sorry, I'm in Huntersville, NC which is in the outskirts of Charlotte, NC. Hot and humid today! 87 degrees with 42% humidity!

The keeper I got the bees from told me to keep it open all the way for a few days then reduce to the 3" or so. Smaller one towards the winter.

Thanks!
Pete
 

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My hives have screen bottom but currently there is a plastic card board like insert under the screen, should that be taken out for better ventilation or left in place.
Now you've opened a whole hornets nest, the screened bottom board vs non screened bottom board debate. :D

It was hot and humid yesterday, got up in the mid 90s here. On my left hive I noticed many bees wouldn't go in the hive even when it got dark. Is that normal?
It happens, however it's best especially in spring, if you can run the hive so they can all fit inside. Overcrowding or overheating will encourage swarming. Your picture looks like the hive has plenty of bees, me, I would leave that entrance as open as it is so they have plenty of room to come and go, plus plenty of fresh air to prevent overheating and thus bearding.

I also have the top bee feeder with 50/50 sugar water on the hives so there is no air coming in from the top.
Are you saying the hive also has a top entrance? If so you do not want that open when you are feeding sugar syrup, it makes it easy for other bees to come and rob your hive. My own view is not to have top entrances at all, however there are other opinions on that, all with their own reasons.

From what I can tell they seem to be doing pretty good so far, they stay busy all day. Come and go!
There is nothing more pleasing than looking at a nice healthy beehive, with happy bees, working hard. But as we have been talking varroa mites i'll tell you something. In a typical hive, mite numbers build up during the season, but because there are big bee numbers, it camoflages the effects of the mites. Only in fall, when the bees naturally reduce their population in preperation for winter, does the mite / bee ratio get to a point of danger to the hive, as the bees and brood numbers decrease, but mite population keeps growing.
Point is, this is hard to pick from outside the hive, the bees that are healthy are still working hard and things can look deceptively good. But in fall, you have to use a reliable method to get rid of those mites, so the hive can go into winter healthy, and you will still have bees come spring.

Do an effective mite treatment in fall, and you will not be one of those posts that happen on Beesource that time every year that go <where did all my bees go? A few weeks ago the hive was looking really good, but now it is dead>.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Oldtimer!

No there isn't another entrance on the top where the feeder is. It's sealed up to keep ants and other crawlies out.

It is very enjoyable sitting on the deck and watching the bees!

I'm already thinking about getting a 3rd hive if it isn't too late in the season!

Pete
 

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The board under your screen bottom board is a mite monitoring tool. Leave it in and learn how to use it. Having a completely open screen actually makes it harder for the bees to manage the inside temps. Yes, you read that right.

I, too, run with a less-than-full-width entrance almost all the time.

Make sure you keep ahead of the bees in terms of offering new boxes and undrawn frames for them to work on as long as you are feeding. Before you buy the equipment for a third hive, make sure you have enough for the two you already have.

Good luck, and have fun with your bees!

Nancy
 

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to keep the pop of the varroa mites down you need a insect foger and meniral oil
clean the foger by runing water in it afther you do that then add the meniral oil in the foger let it warm untill you squize the trigger untill it is vaporized then put the nozle in the hive then squize the trigger 2 times in the hive. it kills the varroa mite with out hurting the bees.
it is 60% effect.

if you have any questions email me
 

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Please do not use mineral oil to treat for mites. It does not work. https://www.ars.usda.gov/research/publications/publication/?seqNo115=169445. It has been known for a long time that it does not work but keeps rearing its ugly head, usually because someone watched a youtube vid in which someone swears by it. There are many safe, easy and effective ways to treat. Lots of good info here on Beesource and scientificbeekeeping.com. J
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Wanted to thank everyone that took the time to reply to my questions!

Thanks again for all the help!

Pete
 

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Thanks Oldtimer!

No there isn't another entrance on the top where the feeder is. It's sealed up to keep ants and other crawlies out.

It is very enjoyable sitting on the deck and watching the bees!

I'm already thinking about getting a 3rd hive if it isn't too late in the season!

Pete
I live in central AR., and we have fire ants. If you want to stop ants you stop them before they reach your hive, bees will not stop ants from crawling up the walls.
I use bearing grease on pvc endcaps that the hive stand (2x6's) sits on. The bees don't mess with it and the ants will not cross it.
 
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