Several of my colonies have symptoms which seem to fit tracheal mite infestation symptoms. My colonies so far are testing no varroa (over several tests with several different methods.)
crawlers; lots of bees remaining in hive, seemingly not flying; replacing queen has been common this year (as evidenced by hives having supersedure cells even with a decently laying queen) ; low honey production for the population size; k-wing here and there, not in large quantity; a failure to thrive as a colony - plenty of capped brood but the population never quite builds up.
I've ruled out other diseases so far, but am considering the possibillity that there are tracheal mites, even though you don't hear much about this kind of mite any more. It occurred to me today when a crawler that hitchhiked on a removed frame raised its wings into the k- wing formation as I put my hand close to try and get it to fly off.
These symptoms seem to be spreading to all my hives, though some hives were really booming at the beginning of the season. Where can I get tracheal mite testing - does anyone know if there is testing available these days? I'm willing to pay for testing. And then...should I just do grease patty treatment proactively even if I don't find a place to test?
It could be n. cerana and tracheal mites. You need to expose the trachea of the bee and you can see the color of the trachea; it should be white looking, if off color you have the mites. I forget how to do that you might find it on Randys site.
Not trying to be a wise guy, but have you tried reaching out to a master bee keeper? Seems like you've had issues with these hives for a while now.
Maybe try your state's ag department for a qualified bee vet to come and inspect. If you have something serious, I would imagine you would feel terrible passing it on to fellow bee keepers in your area. Good luck.
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