Friday, June 12, 2015

Varroa Mites Discovered!

Well, here we go. I was wondering if this day would come.

So it's been 24 hours since I went ahead and coated my pull-out "storyboard" (screened bottom board with pull-out drawer) with Crisco. Yes, you heard it right. This trick creates a surface that insects fall onto and actually stick - not simply run away. Even though it wasn't 'coated' before, it has been useful for monitoring the hive activity. Interesting to see various items dropped - like wax flakes, pollen and other stuff. I am still researching droppings that look like small black rose thorns.(??) Any ideas fellow Beekeepers...

Anyway, now that it is sticky with Crisco - I have discovered "Varroa destructor"  It's a parasitic mite that only reproduces in honey bee colonies. It attacks honey bees and spreads varroosis disease and also transmits DWV, the deformed wing virus (I actually remember seeing one bee running around last week with a messed up wing.) Now that I'm actually able to find mites, and count them, I count ~ 20. Included is a video I took of one I saw still alive and kicking.

I have found various dead bees around during the last week. However, that is expected - we are now in the middle of a 4 year drought. The weather bounced from rain to 104 degrees to full thunder/rain back to 100 degrees again. 

After all this, I'm not worried about anything, this hive seems to be strong and going well. The queen is cranking out enough eggs for new bees to overcome any environmental setbacks. However,  I will open it up this weekend and do another inspection and document anything (else) of interest.

Cliffhanger: I just got a ZomBee Watch reminder email - I will report on my ongoing findings of that... 

No comments:

Post a Comment