very small transparent ribbed walking sticks matter if you do cause some damage as
with no colour. these are only to be counted, not checked ARE YOUR BEES
Having found ‘your eye’ you will for damage but you do not want
soon learn to seek & find more to squish them so badly HYGIENIC?
but perhaps only a few as they
that they cannot be recognised
are just long enough to straddle WHY NOT FIND OUT?
for what they are.
the wire mesh or get caught on
Again, having found the first Founded 2004
the expanded metal mesh.
then suddenly you will find a WHY?
However, having found just one Your bees may already be hygienic … you
second, then a third. Turn the
you have the sign that a bee just don’t know it yet.
tray to catch the light from
pupa has been uncapped and different angles as this helps to You are probably using one or more of the
removed. A worker has chemicals that are now causing as much,
reflect light off the tiny
tugged on that antennae maybe even more problems than the mite
shiny bodies. Even if doubtful
and it has broken off and about what you are seeing itself,
been dropped. pick them up. 1. Foundation you buy is already
That find is really more loaded with residual chemicals.
significant as it indicates to Take them home for study 2. Drone eggs are removed when
you that a pupa has been with your microscope and Formic Acid is used.
removed from its cell and surprise yourself because 3. Drone semen viability is greatly
the hive. A closer search Larval Antennae even at 20X you will see tiny reduced
of the tray will usually mites with tiny legs. They are 4. Queen, Worker & Drone longevity
identify very tiny baby varroa mites, filled with a watery liquid and will collapse reduced.
watery white, transparent, and often only like a burst balloon if you are the least 5. Varroa has become immune to some
found because you see a tiny spec with little bit clumsy when collecting them. They chemicals.
dots that are its legs. These were dropped need collecting almost daily and checking 6. Acaricides placed in colonies expose
off the pupa during its removal and will soon after as they do dry out and shrivel not only mites to the compound, but
usually be found fairly local to where the a bit. eggs, larvae and adult bees.
antennae were found and Ron Hoskins 7. Queens dying or being superceded
under the brood area. Very early.
difficult to pick up but 8. Failure of the colony to produce a
slight dampening of the SN3 5AD new queen.
brush and teasing it to a 01792 525 364 These are only a few of the problems
point will help. Gently ease 07737 400 515 documented by eminent entomologists.
it off the brush inside the firstname.lastname@example.org,uk
pot. It doesn’t really Baby Varroa Mites www.swindonbee.org.uk
WHAT IS NEEDED? 1. Grooming adult mites, from adult and place the mites into two more pots
Suggested equipment needed to conduct bees by other worker bees. marked “Damaged” and “Undamaged”.
Hygienic Checks. (In order) 2. Uncapping and removing larvae by I don’t doubt you will be successful but only
Well-made varroa floor with worker bees. your diligence will prove how successful. (I
removable smooth white tray. The The first may be checked at almost any checked more than 50,000 in 2 years).
screen should preferably be of the time of the year. If you are able to breed queens
woven wire type. The second only when there is then make some from the best
A strong hand-held magnifying lens. plenty of capped brood. groomer colony and follow a control
(I use a 7X sensor loupe by study of each new queen. The
HOW TO DO IT?
“VisibleDust”, as used for cleaning drone father has obvious influence
A day or so before
sensors on SLR digital on the new queen so the odds are
cameras. These have 6 inbuilt that not all your new queens will
thoroughly clean the
LED’s but cost over £50 in head grooming colonies.
varroa tray/s. Antenna & Baby Mite
2010). If more than one hive then hives
A very fine artist brush, 4- For Uncapping behaviour you will need to
and their trays should be
0’s. wait until late spring but may continue as
Small pot with lid to hold long as there is an abundance of sealed
For Grooming behaviour take the
mites. (1oz plastic honey pot brood, For this check I DO NOT
tray carefully from the hive,
perhaps) recommend the use of the expanded sheet
protect debris from the wind and
More pots needed if more than one metal type varroa mesh as the cut edges
take to the collecting place.
hive involved. create a trap for the larval bits you are
Using a strong magnifying lens and the
A dissecting microscope, 20 to 40X. seeking to find on the tray.
fine artist brush, gently collect
And at the apiary somewhere well lit As before, take the tray to the
mites, placing them into a pot
to sit comfortably, out of the wind, collecting place. Protection from
taking extreme care not to inflict
a building, shed, greenhouse, even the wind is extremely essential
your damage. For record purposes,
this time as some of the debris is
the front passenger seat of a car
if more than one hive is involved
may have to suffice to collect mites. very small and very light.
the pots should be numbered. At home,
Do not be tempted to wrap debris in Though you may still see and collect adult
with top light switched on, place a few
newspaper for sorting at home. You mites you must ‘adjust’ your eyes to look
mites at a time on microscopes white
will no doubt inflict your own damage. for other things. Not quite as easy as it
platen. Using the fine brush gently bring
seems as the larger mites will keep
WHEN TO DO IT? each mite into view and turn them to view
attracting your attention.
I have found two types of hygienic both sides. You may find the carapace
What you may first look for are the
behaviour in my hives. damaged or legs removed. Make a record
partially formed antennae of larval bees.
These look like