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Can mites survive through winter when queen is in shutdown?
 

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Yes without issue which is one reason I see "brood breaks" themselves without a mite treatment as hocus pocus at best when it comes to reducing varroa population.
 

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Can mites survive through winter when queen is in shutdown?
Well, clearly they can.

Yes without issue which is one reason I see "brood breaks" themselves without a mite treatment as hocus pocus at best when it comes to reducing varroa population.
Brood break means the mites 1)do not propagate and 2)are targets for physical removal (if the bees care to remove them and capable of doing it).
That is significant enough.
 

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Brood breaks, mainly just interrupt the exponential reproductive increase of the varroa, which helps, at least somewhat.

But I agree with VTBeeeGuy, a break without treatment, is not particularly effective as control strategy. Warm season, beekeeper-induced brood breaks, in the absence of treatment seem to me to be more costly to the colony's long-term success than anything.

The natural brood pause of early winter (when coupled with the reduced flying opportunities which cause the hive or yard to be isolated from re-infestation) is the most effective treatment window of the whole year.

But in answer to the OP's question: yes, the wretched varroa will survive the winter brood pause. And even in frigid, snowy Livingston County NY (I live in Rensselaer County, which isn't much balmier) your queen will be laying again in a few weeks time. So, the varroa will be back in the breeding business by the end of Jan. Unless you seize this rapidly-closing window to treat them with OAV. In which case. nearly all the varroa (90+% of them) will be killed in a single treatment. And because no bees will be flying in or out of your yard for a couple of months, your bees will have the first couple of months of their spring build-up nearly mite free.

Nancy
 

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"Warm season, beekeeper induced brood breaks with the absence of mite treatment seem more costly to the colony long term than anything" couldn't agree more Nancy that's exactly how I see it as well.
 

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One winter during a warm spell, I was doing an OA drip on my hives and I literally saw a varroa mite craw across capped syrup. I think the mites know when a human is around, it was crawling fast.
 

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some but not many survive winter here.

in the spring i look carefully at capped drone brood that gets built in between boxes and gets broken open when remove the boxes.

with many colonies i won't find any in those first rounds of drone brood, but they start showing up more and more as the season progresses.

i assume some are in there and i just don't see them, and i believe more find their way in with the drifting in of drones and workers from other colonies.
 
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