2015 Survey Q & A – Mite Problems

Q -In August I discovered severe mite problems in my 9 hives. I used powdered sugar and it seemed to generally improve the hives. I re-queened 5 hives. Those survived. The other 4 had a mite setback and died by late October. One hive had no bees. The others had dead adults. Two hives may have lost queens and I did not know it till it was too late.

A – Sorry to hear of your health issues. Mites can quickly overwhelm a colony and your discovery of a severe problem after not giving them as much attention as normal is not unfortunately, an unusual occurrence. I would have recommended a more ‘aggressive’ mite treatment than powdered sugar – powder sugaring is not very effective under the best of circumstances and seems to offer limited relief to the bees only under very low mite pressure.
Let’s hope this year is a better one for our bees and the mites do not get an upper hand over our management.

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