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Author Topic: Mites  (Read 2478 times)

Offline Eugene Willson

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Mites
« on: September 02, 2015, 12:00:46 am »
 I feel I have been lucky, I have not seen one mite all year. They are not that hard to see are they? I have no problem seeing eggs and have even taken a loupe to check out drones.
  Before I started I read up and thought for sure that I would get mites even using no foundation and small cell size.
 I have 4 eleven frame ( 1 1/4 spacing for brood  with 1 3/8 spacing for supper) and one top bar hive.
 I guess the question is am I missing the mites, or just lucky?
Thanks
Gene

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Offline monarchis

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Re: Mites
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2015, 02:47:58 am »
Gene welcome to the forum. I think the way that you checking for mites is not reliable. Try the varroa test with sugar shake.

There is a video from Bill:

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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Mites
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2015, 09:13:54 am »
>They are not that hard to see are they?

Yes.  Until you see them, they are very hard to see.  Usually they are in the cells (where you can't see them) or on the abdomen of some bee between the tergites.  Once you see them they aren't nearly as difficult to see.
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/Varroa2.jpg
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/Varroa3.jpg
http://www.bushfarms.com/beespests.htm#varroa

> I have no problem seeing eggs and have even taken a loupe to check out drones.

Have you pulled out any drone pupae and looked at them?

> Before I started I read up and thought for sure that I would get mites even using no foundation and small cell size.

You have bees in North America.  You had mites when you started.  You have mites now.

> I have 4 eleven frame ( 1 1/4 spacing for brood  with 1 3/8 spacing for supper) and one top bar hive.
 I guess the question is am I missing the mites, or just lucky?

You are missing them.  But you may or may not have any significant number of them.  A sugar shake or a sticky board would answer the question of how many.
http://www.waldeneffect.org/20100913mite.jpg
http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/How_to_count_varroa_mites_with_a_sticky_board/
http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/bees/varroa_mite09.jpg
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Offline Eugene Willson

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Re: Mites
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2015, 05:58:49 pm »
Thanks,
  I had a really busy Wednesday one hive swarmed with three swarms. Caught them all in the same tree .
Anyway Thursday I pulled about 25 drones , most had dark eyes but the rest was white.  I did not see any mites even with a 10 power loupe. Then I killed about 20 live drone one with a malformed wing with the same result. So I put about 100 bees in a jar with some alcohol.
Still could not see any on the bees or in the alcohol. Maybe not enough bees?
 I think I just won't worry about it until I see some problem.
Have a great day!
Gene
There is no such thing as a free lunch.
 R Heinlein

Offline OldMech

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Re: Mites
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2015, 09:24:57 pm »
You have them, dont even try to convince yourself otherwise. If you have a GOOD strain of resistant bees you can be a bit more relaxed about it, if you have generic bees, then you need to prepare to treat them.
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Offline hjon71

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Re: Mites
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2015, 09:50:26 pm »
Generic bees? I'm imagining plain cardboard boxes and burlap sacks lol.
You can bet, generic or high fashion bees;-), there are mites.

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Offline Eugene Willson

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Re: Mites
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2015, 11:16:50 am »
 Hi,
I agree with you all, just wonder why I can not see them. I deal with spider mites on my plants and they are tiny, you really can not see them without a loupe, are the bee mites that small? I saw the pics of them and they look easy to see on pulled drones.
Gene

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Offline GSF

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Re: Mites
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2015, 10:06:44 pm »
To some extend, mites sort of blend in on bees. IMHO (& bad eyesight).
When the law no longer protects you from the corrupt, but protects the corrupt from you - then you know your nation is doomed.

Offline biggraham610

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Re: Mites
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2015, 11:20:21 pm »
Spider mites eh.......... :shocked:
Like Michael said, once you see them, they are easier to spot. Like everyone else said, if you have bees you have mites. They are a lot bigger than spider mites, just no webs to curl up the leaves. Most damage is done under capping, and when you have no problem spotting a mite on a bee, you have a serious issue. Good Luck. G
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Mites
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2015, 05:43:45 am »
Gene,
Where did you get your bees from? We're they from feral bees that you did a removal from? Are they hygenetic bees?
I rarely see mites in my observation hive. I find one or two in the bottom trays occasionly but not on the bees. I do not treat and I have not had any problems caused by mites.
Do you use screen bottom boards and trays? Do you see than in it?
It may bee your bees are doing a good job keeping them under control.
Jim

Offline Eugene Willson

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Re: Mites
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2015, 11:50:24 am »
 Hi,

Where did you get your bees from?
 
 draperbee and gold star.
 
 The gold star are small cell untreated dark bees and I have them in a top bar hive 48 inches long no screen. The draper are mite survivor Italian.
The Italian have swarmed twice with multiple swarms since the first week in June when I received them. I now have five colonies of these with screen bottom boards, two will be recombined. it may be that all the breaks in brood rearing has reduced the mites.
I just wish I knew what I am doing /not doing to make them swarm so much.

  Ignorance is correctable, stupidity is forever LOL.
 Gene
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 R Heinlein

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Mites
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2015, 01:44:15 pm »
>I just wish I knew what I am doing /not doing to make them swarm so much.

Bees in a top bar hive require putting empty bars in the brood nest to keep them from swarming.  Otherwise the brood nest gets cramped once they start storing honey as it makes a barrier to expansion of the brood nest.  Getting bees to move far enough horizontally to keep them from swarming is a bit trickier than vertically.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm#management
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Offline Eugene Willson

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Re: Mites
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2015, 03:05:40 pm »
 Hi,

Bees in a top bar hive require putting empty bars in the brood nest to keep them from swarming.

 The ones that were swarming are in vertical hives, and I did have the problem with the top bar hive and too late started putting empty bars in it and they swarmed once.  Now I have been making sure they have as many empty bars in the brood area as they can cover with bees.  I was wondering, do you put the brood area as far as you can from the entrance for the winter and let them work towards the entrance or the other way around? Right now they have the brood about two  bars in and then honey farther away.
Thanks,
Gene
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 R Heinlein

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Mites
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2015, 06:31:17 pm »
Even in a vertical hive you have to keep the broodnest open during swarm season and never let them run completely out of room.
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesswarmcontrol.htm

Swarming is a complex behavior.  The solutions are not too complicated, but neither are they simple...
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Offline Eugene Willson

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Re: Mites
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2015, 10:01:34 pm »
Thanks to all for the info and advice!
 I found my first mites today and they are easy to see, ugly little critters in the loupe, I at least know that I can see them LOL.
 It is to bad we cant breed billions of sterile males and eradicate them...
Have a great holiday!
Gene
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 R Heinlein

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Mites
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2015, 09:03:34 am »
The males are laid in the capped cell and never survive after the bee leaves... so no chance of solving this with sterile males.
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