BEEKEEPING IN THE NORTHEAST - An account of my beekeeping, not a treatise of expertise, but for friends & family who wish to keep bees vicariously through me, and for the occasional apiarist passer-by.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hive Beetles? No, no...Varroa Mite? Braula Coeca?

I've never seen one before. Thank goodness for a macro lens. Here is a normal looking healthy group on a honey frame but close up you can see at least this one has a beetle on it! This was taken when I took the frames back to the house and suddenly there were dozens of bees around me...this one is possibly from the back yard hive as I do not see any on the close up photos of the Italian hive. Comments from when I first posted this...thank you...are helpful, Also, my favorite old beekeeper, John Vivian and his book "Keeping Bees" commented that the female Varroa is red, the male pale...but that a harmless fly called a Braula Coeca can be mistaken for Varroa. Yes, I read over the weekend about essential oils and I've ordered some. Will post about it when I mix the feed.


Chuck said...

Mite, not beetle. Specifically Varroa Mite. All hives have them. If they don't, they will. They spread heavily on drones, which can pretty much spend a night in any hive they come across. Poor bees. Makes you want to just spend the afternoon with a pair of tweezers, picking them off every bee in the hive, doesn't it.

Hive Beetles are very visible to the naked eye. You'll see them scurry away from the light and out of the corners of your equipment, if you get them.

Christopher Beeson said...

Agreed, they are mites.

I did a couple of blog posts this summer on Natural Varroa Mite Drop Testing and then one on Powder Sugar Dusting as a natural control method if you're interested.

Also, you can use a variety of essential oils mixed into syrup to help (if you're feeding syrup).