Tuesday, May 15, 2007

When you sleep with the dogs…

You wake up with mites.

The bottom of my hive is made of wire screen mesh. These types of bottom boards became popular after the invasion of the varroa mite, a parasitic mite that inflicts bee colonies. Almost every bee colony is infested with these mites to some degree. Anyway, the theory behind the screened bottom board is that when the mites happen to fall off the bees, they will fall through the screen and onto a tray that can be inspected by the beekeeper. Counting the mites is one way to gauge the severity of the mite infestation of your bees.

Tonight, I pulled the tray beneath my screened bottom board and I found three varroa mites. They are so small they look like random dirt specs- but they move. I also found lots of little flakes of beeswax which leads me to believe the bees are busy drawing comb. Additionally, I found little green pellets which were kind of mushy. I think these are pollen pellets that the bees were working into the comb and happened to drop.

Ah, the fun things you can see without even opening the hive!

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