Star of the show
No, its not a female bee, nor the Queen, and this isn't its actual size, it's approximately 1mm in diameter.
Varroa jacobsoni and the destructor mite have been around between 2 and three million years.
Mite infested colonies die because varroa provides a new viral transmission route for a small number of naturally occurring bee viral pathogens. This reduces the lifespan of bees when they are at the pupae stage. During the winter as your brood is shrinking this is the most vulnerable time for your bee’s to fight off the pathogen. They are at their weakest, probably in the months of November and December.
The bees in resistant colonies have learned which cells are infested with varroa and prevent the mite reproducing by removing the infested pupae.
Should you treat for varroa with chemicals?
The honest answer to this is. It depends. Email me if you are a bee keeper and want to know my thoughts on Varroa chemical treatments.
What happens when you have a varroa infestation?
That also depends upon the strength of your colony.
If during the winter and you brood is only 2000 bees strong, that means you have one full frame of healthy bee’s and your colony is unlikely to survive. In a healthy colony your frames hold up to 2000 bee’s each and there is a full and healthy brood colony that is maxxed out. Every frame contains 2000 bee's.
Honey bees seem to have developed a way of coping with varroa. They may uncap brood cells where they detect the mites and recap the cells. Bee resistant colonies have learned which cells are infested and remove the infected pupae.
Love your Bee’s and they will love you.
Please contact me now to pay and book your place on our special weekend Beekeeping course on 13/14 August in Leicester. There are only a few spaces, and its a highly intensive course that gives you all the vitial skills to become a beekeeper over one weekend.