Thursday, May 27, 2010

On the day Artemis's queen went walkabout I cut out some interesting pieces comb for dissection later.

This chunk has three larger cells which may be queen cells.

This is the same piece of comb cut open.

These are three of the larvae I found inside.

The one on the right has two varroa mites on it.  The upper mite was actually still alive.

I believe the difference in the colors of the larvae are due to a difference in age.

This is a close up of the mites, the upper one being the one that was alive.

They remind me a bit of red spider mites that occur on some plants.  Those mites, however, are bright red and run about frantically in circles.

These mites are just plain horrible.

I want to avoid using hard chemicals and will try the sugar method first.  It's rather like giving the bees a shower with finely pulverized cane sugar.  The sugar is supposed to remove some of the mites and the bees will start grooming to the remove the sugar and will remove some mites as well.  I'll take some photos when I do the treatment.


  1. Hey, thanks for stopping by my blog and providing the link to yours. I am so enjoying your bee stories, as a fellow neophyte! What's this sugar shower treatment for mites? How interesting, I'd love to hear more. I've vowed to practice non-invasive holistic bee keeping so any tips is much appreciated.

  2. @Roxana. Thanks for the comment - it's so nice to know that there are people I'm not related to who like my blog!

    The theory behind the sugar shower is that the bees groom themselves to remove the sugar and may remove a mite or two as well. I used regular cane sugar, ground it up finely in a blender and sprinkled the sugar into the hives.

    Artemis swarmed yesterday! Look for a new post on the blog!

    Thanks again! Rosie