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Do mites molt or shed? I have seen what appears to be a mite but I dont see any leggs or antenna. I see these all the time when I am doing a count.

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"To bee or not to bee, that is the question"
 
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None of the books that I have, say anything about them doing ether. I do know that the mites are Acari (which are mites & ticks ), which fall under the family of Arachnida (spiders, mites, scorpions…don’t forget that the varroa mite has 8 legs). Anyway, none of the mites that I read about shed or molt. I’m thinking you may be seeing dead mites that were groomed off of the bees or some other parts of the bees themselves, that have fallen off when the dead bee was being removed from the colony.

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You will see different colors and sizes. The male and female mite are different sizes, and the age of the mite has to do with the color. They also seem to "lighten" up on the sticky board as time goes by and they dry out. What you are looking at are mites. Count each one.
 

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Hi,

I have also observed the "carapace only" in my mite drops. Looking at these guys with a magnifying glass appears to show only the "shell" of the mite, 'nice', dark brown, shiny and nothing but the shell.

I too have wondered about this.

-t
 
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The bees could have torn the mites from their “shells” when grooming them off. I’m guessing that the bees could do quite a bit of damage if they wanted to.

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All arachnids moult; they have a hard exoskeleton which can't grow. I'm not sure how you tell the difference between a shed skin and the remains of a mite something's eaten, but since the mite which emerges from the cell is, in theory, adult, I wouldn't expect to see many shed skins.

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Robert Brenchley

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Birmingham UK
 
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