Welcome, Guest

Author Topic: Mites on Queens?  (Read 176 times)

Offline Ben Framed

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 4245
  • North Mississippi
Mites on Queens?
« on: June 22, 2020, 02:45:17 am »
Have any of you ever found a varroa mite attached to a queen? I am wondering if the nurse bees do such a good job grooming their queen that mites do not have a chance to latch and stay attached to a queen, until the mite is ready for move on to doing its thing? Or, do nurse bees detach mites as soon as one decides to adhere to a queen? 
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline AR Beekeeper

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 345
  • Gender: Male
Re: Mites on Queens?
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2020, 07:46:08 am »
I have seen a varroa mite on a queen only once.  It was not attached, only running around on her thorax.  I have never inspected dead queens for varroa so I don't know if they had varroa attached under the abdomen, which is the usual attachment location on workers.

Offline Robo

  • Technical
  • Administrator
  • Galactic Bee
  • *******
  • Posts: 6698
  • Gender: Male
  • Beekeep On!
    • Bushkill Bee Vac
Re: Mites on Queens?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2020, 09:05:49 am »
Yes, on the thorax.   I think you will have a hard time seeing one on her underside.   An observation hive is about the only way to see mites on the underside, but I have never seen a queen walk on the glass like workers do.

[ You are not allowed to view attachments ]
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison



Offline Ben Framed

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 4245
  • North Mississippi
Re: Mites on Queens?
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2020, 10:29:40 am »
Thank you both for your answers and the picture. I would like to ask; If our queen or queens do suffer the attachment of varroa, wouldn't that mean she would have a higher chance of being infected by the viruses that Varroa Destructor carry and transmit? Wouldn't this also weaken our queen even if she (did not) obtain one or more of these virus, just as it would weaken and shorten the life of our worker bees when the fat bodies are tapped into and depleted by varroa destructor, as described by Dr Samuel Ramsey? 

Thanks, Phillip
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline AR Beekeeper

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 345
  • Gender: Male
Re: Mites on Queens?
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2020, 11:02:13 am »
Yes.

Offline JurassicApiary

  • House Bee
  • **
  • Posts: 136
  • Gender: Male
Re: Mites on Queens?
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2020, 01:05:59 pm »
Good thread, BF.  Robo, thanks for that pic; I've never seen that before on a queen.

Online TheHoneyPump

  • Field Bee
  • ***
  • Posts: 789
  • Work Hard. Play Harder.
Re: Mites on Queens?
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2020, 03:11:46 pm »
This is believed to be a significant reason, contributing factor, as to why queens nowadays do not last as long as years ago before varroa. Sudden queenlessness and short lived queens has become normalized in the era of varroa. I personally have not seen a varroa on a queen, but you have to know and expect that when the colony infestation level is up some of the mites must get to her as well.  The bees are always grooming the queen, so many mites are probably removed before she is affected.  However in a weak or weakened colony, the grooming is likely much less and much less effective.

What I have seen on queens are the bee louse. Rarely though.  I used to see them on packages and some nucs that I bought.  Never have seen them in my own stock.  The treatments applied to control varroa (OAV etc) knock out the louse completely, and quickly.

Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees Buzz Bees

Offline Ben Framed

  • Galactic Bee
  • ******
  • Posts: 4245
  • North Mississippi
Re: Mites on Queens?
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2020, 04:33:25 pm »
> This is believed to be a significant reason, contributing factor, as to why queens nowadays do not last as long as years ago before varroa. Sudden queenlessness and short lived queens has become normalized in the era of varroa. I personally have not seen a varroa on a queen, but you have to know and expect that when the colony infestation level is up some of the mites must get to her as well.  The bees are always grooming the queen, so many mites are probably removed before she is affected.  However in a weak or weakened colony, the grooming is likely much less and much less effective.

Thank you Mr HP. This is exactly where I was going and was to be my next questions and suggestions. Perhaps early Superseders, lost queens leading to queenless hives, non resourceful laying queens during Severe mite infestation and other reasons may be a direct cause of the varroa destructor in certain cases. This would explain much. If so, and I tend to believe it is so would explain a lot. And not only that. When folks treat with formic or certain types of formic produces, many complain that sometimes  many bees are lost at treatment time. Some have reported even the loss of the queen in certain cases. I am suggesting that these weak die off bees of treatment time may also be a direct cause of death at treatment from the effects of varroa destructor when using the organic formic treatments. Now I am speaking in terms of when all is administered correctly according to guild lines for such. I am suggesting perhaps the loss of certain queens at this time may very well be due to an already unhealthy queen. Therefore it may be good if she does die, especially if the keeper has an adequate supply of banked queens on hand to replenish the weak Sickly die off queens. Some may totally disagree but I do believe this theory is in the realm of possibilities.

Phillip
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.