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Parasitic Mites of Honey Bees

Parasitic Mites of Honey Bees

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Varroa mites (Varroa destructor) can be seen on the surface of both adult and immature honey bees, and they can move about quickly. The adult female Varroa mite is a shiny, reddish-brown, shield-shaped object about 1.5 mm wide and 1 mm long. They can be seen crawling on the surface of bees or on hive parts. Sometimes a few dead mites can be found on the bottom board of the hive. They feed on both brood and adults by puncturing the body and sucking the body fluids of the bee. Varroa reproduce in sealed brood cells. They spread rapidly from one hive to another as bees drift into the wrong hive or when bees rob honey from the colonies that are too weak to defend themselves. It is safe to assume that all of your hives have some of these mites!




Greg Hunt