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Discussion Starter #1
How can you tell if your bees have tracheal mites? Are there specific signs? Would I need to test for it? What is the outcome?
 

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I believe the only sure way to tell is to examine one under a microscope. You would need to cut off the head and first set of legs. Then examine the trachea(?sp?) with a 400x microscope to look for dark scar tissue and possibly even the mites themselves. There are other symptoms displayed but none of which are specific as to only be displayed by a bee positive with tracheal mites. Otherwords, the same symptoms may be caused by other bee disorders.

Later, john
 

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Like John said. Disection is the only way to really tell. Pull off the head. Slice a disc off of the front of the thorax, to include the prothorasic trachea. Place that in a solution of pottasiumhydroxide (KOH) over night. That will eat away the muscle tissue and leave the exoskeleton and the trachea. Look at that under the scope and if they are there, you will see the mites in the tracheal tubes. Pretty neat.

What are you seeing that makes you suspicious?
Not much you can do, that's effective, from my experience. Others will disagree. Menthol usage is good for the menthol producers, I guess.
 

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"The population of Acarapis woodi may vary seasonally. During the period of maximum bee population, the number of bees with mites is reduced. The likelihood of detecting tracheal mites is highest in the fall. In sampling for this mite, one should try to collect either moribund bees that may be crawling near the hive entrance or bees at the entrance as they are leaving or returning to the hive. These bees should be placed in 70% ethyl or methyl alcohol as soon as they are collected. One should not collect bees that have been dead for an unknown period because they are less than ideal for the diagnosis of tracheal mites."

"No one symptom characterizes this disease. An affected bee could have disjointed wings and be unable to fly, or have a distended abdomen, or both. Absence of these symptoms does not necessarily indicate freedom from mites."

You can use a dissecting scope of 40X [40 power] or a little higher. The 400X microscope is used for Nosema detection.

"Methods for diagnosing Acarapis woodi are listed below. Each of these methods has its advantages and disadvantages.

Method 1
Pin the bee on its back and remove the head and first pair of legs by pushing them off with a scalpel or razor blade in a downward and forward motion. Using a dissecting microscope, remove the first ring of the thorax (tergite of prothorax) with forceps. This exposes the tracheal trunks in the mesothorax. When the infestation is light, it is necessary to remove the trachea. Place the trachea in a drop of lactic acid on a glass slide for clearing, and cover with a cover glass for examination at X 40-100 on a compound microscope." > http://maarec.cas.psu.edu/bkcd/bee_diseases/trachael_mites.html
 

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That's almost an exact quote from 'The Hive and the Honey Bee' pg.1114. They must share references. My bad on the 400x. I just read that whole chapter including Nosema detection and got my #'s mixed up.

Hope you find good news!:)

Later, John
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This bee had odd shaped wings and she couldn't fly, I found her about 4 feet from the hive. We've had others like this as well, not the wings but the wandering around outside the hive. I took a pic of this one and another beek mentioned the deformed wings. When I looked up tracheal mites it talked about the wings and the wandering. I had emailed the Dept. of Agriculture about getting them tested but hadn't heard anything. I don't have the tools to check this out for myself so I was hoping I could collect some and ship them for testing somewhere.
 

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Oh great... Soap Pixie is still in trauma from having unintentionally killed a bunch of drone larvae on burr comb this morning, and now you want her to yank off a bee's head. !! :eek: :popcorn:


I think she is seeing K-wing in her photo.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oh great... Soap Pixie is still in trauma from having unintentionally killed a bunch of drone larvae on burr comb this morning, and now you want her to yank off a bee's head. !! :eek: :popcorn:


I think she is seeing K-wing in her photo.
Baby steps for me people, baby steps! :p
 

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Deformed wings is often a sign of varroa mites.

Probably the most visible symptom of tracheal mites are many bees at the front of your hive stumbling around, unable to fly. The tracheal mite infestation is so bad the bees can't get their breath to fly.
 

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The problem w/ the bee shown on the blue glove, most likely, is from Varroa mites, not T-mites.

Whats your latest (and history) of V-mite counts?
 

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There may be no problem with the bee in your glove except its old and worn out from working in your hive. Michelle, you may worry a tad bit too much.
 

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This bee had odd shaped wings and she couldn't fly, I found her about 4 feet from the hive. We've had others like this as well, not the wings but the wandering around outside the hive. I took a pic of this one and another beek mentioned the deformed wings. When I looked up tracheal mites it talked about the wings and the wandering. I had emailed the Dept. of Agriculture about getting them tested but hadn't heard anything. I don't have the tools to check this out for myself so I was hoping I could collect some and ship them for testing somewhere.
I'm thinking this sounds like the deformed wing virus that is spread/agravated by varroa mites.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
There may be no problem with the bee in your glove except its old and worn out from working in your hive. Michelle, you may worry a tad bit too much.
I wasn't worried at all until another experienced beekeeper told me the wings were a sign of Trachael Mites. ;) I thought I just took a picture of a cute bee on my glove.
 
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