Monday, October 22, 2007

Varroa Mite

Well, I can now say I have seen mites in my hive. Bee lesson for today, assume every hive has mites. I think this is one beekeeper experience I could had done with out ……… it’s a little depressing. On my previous blog entry I described how I smoked the bees with tobacco smoke. By the way, I smoked them at 5PM and went to bed at midnight still feeling the nicotine head rush. I’ve never been a smoker, what can I say.

I came home from work today and went to check the drawer of my hive stand. The suckers are small and my eye sight is not what it used to be. I took some pictures of the drawer after pulling it out.

This is what I saw; the macro lens is my microscope.

My next step was to pour the oil from the drawer, along with its contents over 3 paper towels. I picked out the suspicious shapes and took some more pictures.

This is a digitally enhanced version of the same picture. Compare then to the shape of the Mites in this picture from Wikipidia They can't be anything else but mites.

At least the Small hive Beetles are disappearing…just 8 in the trap for the whole week. That was how many would fall in a single day a month ago.

Six mites total. The purpose of a screen bottom (like I have) is to allow any mites to fall out of the hive that may lose their grip or get groomed off. Since I really never looked for them in the drawer, and they are hard to spot; have there been mites in the trap all along or did they fall off due to my tobacco smoke?? I will try and monitor the drawer daily for the rest of the week, and continue my planned treatment. Most keepers use a sticky paper to trap them but I left a shallow layer of vegetable oil to drown them.

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