Tag Archives: DWV

?? “mite bomb” ??

I treated only 1 hive with oxalic acid. They absconded 2 weeks later. The others had very high mite levels and lots of DWV. 2 queens from — heading splits died with their colonies during cold snap in Dec. with lots of food on the next bar (both TBH). Langstroth hive from a nuc from —– died between Jan and Feb. The only hive that survived well was headed by a swarm queen from another beekeeper. The other surviving hive is alive but puny.

RESPONSE: I am unsure that the Oxalic acid or the high mite numbers caused the bees to abscond in your hive. Oxalic acid ONLY kills mites on the adult bee bodies – if there was a lot of brood when you used the oxalic, all those mites would have survived since it does not penetrate cell cappings. Splits (see report from last year) have heavy losses – depends on the time of year the splits were taken and what was done to try to get them up to speed to survive winter.  It is a good idea to try different stocks. You may have had a colony that was a “mite bomb,” a colony with lots of mites and they spread to your other colonies and thus you did not have good survival, despite the different stocks.   I hope you small survivor colony is progressing well.

DWV – deformed wings

I did not have visual confirmation of mites, but did find a few deformed wings on dead bees in October.

RESPONSE: We do not believe seeing mites on bees or deformed wing bees are useful for predicting mite infestation. We know our bees have mites. When we see a mite on an adult bee and see bees with Deformed wings –we are seeing the “tip” of the iceberg – that colony has mites at a high enough level to be at extreme risk of NOT surviving winter.