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This is my second year at beekeeping, I have (8) colonies & so far I've never treated my bees for anything.

Although I rarely observe varroa mites I'm beginning to suspect they're above the acceptable limit...
Every weekend when I inspect my colonies I notice about 3-4 bees with the Deformed wing virus in each one.
I noticed during today's inspection that one of my hives had about 4-5 dead or "dead looking" drones in wide open cells, I pulled them out with a paper clip, two of them were dark brownish & accompanied by a mite.

So I looked at my frames again one by one in one of my (3)deep hives and didn't see more than a dozen mites...


What would you do in my situation?
Are mites hard to see because they're generally hidden inside capped brood cells?
Does anyone here have any explanations for the dead drones (can mites actually kill pupae)? (I did check with a tooth pick...no its stringy, not AFB)
 

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If you still have drone brood I would suggest pulling some to check for mites. When they are still white but starting to get color in their eyes, it is easy to spot mites on them. Also look for white mite feces in the cell after you pull pupae out. An alcohol wash or sugar shake or sticky board test may be in order. I think I only once ever saw mites on live bees and that was a hive that was loaded with mites. Whatever you see on bees is usually only a quarter of the concentration of brood in cells.
 
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