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Mite Monitoring

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  • Mite Monitoring

    I’m just a month into having my first two hives. Having fun and enjoying having them around. The two hives are a bit different in behavior, but both appear to be getting on just fine. Out of curiosity, I’ve done a few mite drop counts on a removable (non)sticky board. Hive A has had very few, and hive B has had quite a few drops. Today I looked after just 24 hours and was surprised to find 65 mites on B, and 0 on A. I have no reference, but from what I’ve read that’s over 5x what’s considered treatable. I’m not going to treat and I’m not all that concerned, but thought I’d reach out to see what some of you have seen for counts before.

    On a side note, wouldn’t a hive that has “hygienic” traits naturally have much higher drop rates than one that doesn’t? Makes sense that they would if they are grooming, ankle-biting, or whatever that they would release more mites than a hive that doesn’t. Am I sideways on this?

  • #2
    I honestly don't know the answer to this. Your reasoning is sound, but I would think that the level of mite drop would significantly decrease with time as the breeder mites are eliminated from the hive.
    Neill Sayers
    Herbhome Farm
    Arkansas Ozarks, USA
    Zone 7a


    • #3
      Yes, I hadn’t considered that but that seems logical. Hive B is not thriving and has not built any new comb for a month (none at all since I added a box to the two built boxes they already had), entrance activity is steady but less than half of Hive A. I’m thinking Hive B isn’t going to make it. I’m open to any suggestions for hive manipulation ideas, but I’m not sure if there is enough summer left to be effective.


      • #4
        I would wait it out. I’m also a lazy bee keeper. But I’ve overwintered some hives with mite counts as high and they came out just fine.