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

1078 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  HappyBeeing
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.
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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:
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.
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.:rolleyes: That makes the guards PO'd enough! :lpf:

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