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I have had packages in for a week. I looked at the trays and they have various colored bits of what I am quessing are falling wax, wood bits, bee body parts etc. I'm guessing this is normal but I don't really know what I'm looking for. Mites obviously, but I don't know if I would recognize them or not. Are they like flea's, when you wet them they make a blood stain?

Are there other things that may show up on the trays that would suggest problems above?
 

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Suggest that you do an archive search at this site, and maybe Google. The mites are small, reddish-brown, and look like a small tick under magnification. I recollect that Michael W. has some pictures at his website.
 

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I use a small hand held magnifying glass to check things out personally. Once you identify what you are looking for it becomes easier.
 

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smark . . .

I installed my first package Apr 12, 2003.
Found my first mite on June 9th.

They are hard to see, a magnifying glass helps a lot. This time of year, w/ lots of pollen collection, ect., the sticky board quickly get covered w/ debris (covering up mites). I would suggest starting w/ a clean board and NOT leaving it more than a 24 hrs period. After you learn to reconize the mites, you cand extend the "time in" to as much as 5 to 7 days.

Please . . . keep looking!
 

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>Mites obviously, but I don't know if I would recognize them or not.

http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/graphics/photos/mar00/k8707-1.htm
http://rnoel.50megs.com/2000/dbmites.jpg
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/Varroa2.jpg


>Are they like flea's, when you wet them they make a blood stain?

No. They are hard like ticks. And purple, like ticks. But they are much smaller.

>Are there other things that may show up on the trays that would suggest problems above?

Many things show up to give an idea what is happening in the hive. Whether it's good or bad depends on the time of year. For instance seeing a lot of recent (assuming you clean the board off now and then) wax from uncapping would indicate they are USING stores, which means there is a dearth. If the hive is light this might indicate you need to feed. Unless, of course, it's January in Nebraska and the temps are subzero in which case feeding is a hopeless cause and cappings accumulating are a forgone conclusion.
 

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take a ball point pen and lightly make a ink mark without pressing too hard. a mite is that size or a little smaller, and the color of a red candy apple. Looks kind of like a little tick, but wider, and they can move pretty fast.
 

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FordGuy . . .

Please dont take offence


>color of a red candy apple

Are you sure?

Red candy apple . . . Im thinking bright red, fire-engine red, sour-cherry red.

"Candy apple red" does not describe ANY Varroa mite that I have seen.

Help????
 

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I didn't say it was brownish purple.
Colors can be pretty subjective when you get into nuances. But it's not really reddish brown, precisely. It's more purplish than red to me, but it's more brown than purple.

What color do you call the legs and head of a cordovan bee?
 

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Colors CAN be pretty much subjective.

From a newbees' POV, I think its better to give a "reference", like cordavan bee, or something. Not everyone has seen a real, live cordovan bee. I havnt. And if they are like mites, I expect they come in a range of colors too.

Mites are hard to find, hard for some to "see" even when you show them a sample (try it at a bee meeting). No where in literature can I find V-mites described as "purple" in any way.

Newbees have it hard enough without looking for little "purplish" dots too


A lot of us listen to your "every word", maybe the "other literature" needs to be changed
 

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Um, I'm a rookie, too, but maybe another rookie's perspective might help.

The first couple weeks after installing my package on undrawn foundation, I found a rainbow of colors on my bottom board insert. Bits of candy from the queen cage, bits of wax paper fluff from the pollen patties, and lots of multi-colored pollen that must have simply been discarded as early on, the bees didn't have enough cells in which to store them.

As for the color of Varroa mites, I vote for copper--think of them as the shape and color of those novelty pressed pennies you get at theme parks.
 

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Purplish is not the same color as purplish brown. Purplish brown is brown with a hint of purple to it. Purplish is mostly purple with any other tints left undescribed. Varroa are most certainly not purple in color.
 

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>Varroa are most certainly not purple in color.

Very well said, thank you.

Now we have reddish-brown (RonS), red candy apple (FordGuy), purplish brown, almost cordovan (Michael Bush) and copper (Lupine).

Maybe its a good time to let this subject drop
 
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