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The best way to remove those mites is by a moist cotton swab(Q-tip) and various other small tools (paper clips). The bumble bees have a few different mite species. Some species hook onto queens before they leave the mother nest and overwinter on them. Then in spring when she founds her own nest, the mites just jump off her. Most of the mites are harmless to the bee and actually eat nest garbage. When there are too many mites on a queen, it can harm her (like pictured here).
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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I wish you could get one of them and a close up picture of it. I wonder if they are mites or if they are Braula coeca or if they are some other thing peculiar to bumble bees... they may or may not be a problem for her.
 

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Oh wow. Yes, get a picture if you can. Very interesting, and may help answer a question I posted the other day. Thanks for sharing!
 

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That is interesting. It looks really sad! Nice footage though, I liked watching the bee suck the honey. Bumblebees are cute. :)
 

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I'll have to look for that on our bumblebees. I've noticed something like it ... fuzzy spiders. At certain times of the year you will see a spider that you don't recognize, very large, very fuzzy. If you blow on it the fuzz runs away. Close photography reveals hundreds of baby spiders. But it is too soon after breakfast to post the pictures.
 

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I'll have to look for that on our bumblebees. I've noticed something like it ... fuzzy spiders. At certain times of the year you will see a spider that you don't recognize, very large, very fuzzy. If you blow on it the fuzz runs away. Close photography reveals hundreds of baby spiders. But it is too soon after breakfast to post the pictures.
Probably not a good idea to disturb spiders with babies. If they get separated from the parent I imagine a decent number of them don't make it.
 

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The mites of bumblebees are of intense research concern because of the use of bumblebees in greenhouse pollination, and their consequent distribution to naive and suseptible populations worldwide.


Survey of mites on Bombus in Argentina, includes images.
http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/93/03/28/PDF/hal-00930328.pdf

Mites on Bombus in Germany
http://www.tb1.ethz.ch/PublicationsEO/PDFpapers/Schwarz_INSECTES_SOCIAUX_1997_44_303-310.pdf

Survey of mites on Bombus in Virginia
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/esa/envent/1984/00000013/00000006/art00041

Notes on mites on Bombus from New York
http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/25008994?uid=2&uid=4&sid=21103505899603

Host choice by phoretic mites on Bombus
http://www.tb1.ethz.ch/PublicationsEO/PDFpapers/Huck_OECOLOGIA_1998_115_385-390.pdf

Mites on bumblebees in New Zealand
http://www.canterburymuseum.com/assets/documents/CM Museum Records 2005.pdf#page=37
 

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I wish you could get one of them and a close up picture of it. I wonder if they are mites or if they are Braula coeca or if they are some other thing peculiar to bumble bees... they may or may not be a problem for her.
I just put the honey pan back out there (I've got to take it in so the night varmits won't partake). I'll keep an eye out to see if she comes back, try to roll off some mites with a wet cotton swab and see if I can take a picture though a microscope.

It's raining...I was surprised to see a bee flying around the area as if waiting for me to put the honey pan in place. Do you think it's okay for a bumblebee to sip honeybee honey?
 
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