Varroa Mite Defence
From Beevital Hive Clean
To rid your hive of the Varroa Mite use Beevital® Hive Clean, an organic product
which encourages your bee colony to groom more frequently and efficiently, quickly
removing the parasite from your hive.
The Varroa Mite and the Honey Bee
The Varroa mite is a virulent parasite that lives on Honey bees and their larvae slowly weakening them by feeding off their haemolymph. Eventually, if the infestation becomes significant the bee colony can die, an event known as colony collapse.
The varroa mite can also spread other harmful diseases and so poses a major threat to UK based bee colonies.
The varroa mite originally came from the Asian Honeybee and took hold here because European honeybees do not groom as much as the Asian bee. These different grooming habits have caused varroa mite infestations to become prolific.
If you find the varroa mite in your hive, you must help your bees to remove them before their numbers increase and you face the possibility of a full colony collapse.
The Lifecycle of the Honey Bee
The Honey bee Queen lays her eggs and on the third day they hatch into small larvae. Around the 7th to 8th day the worker bees start feeding the larvae and they get larger every day.
Soon the larvae become large and robust and pearly white in colour, covering the bottom of the cell. The adult bees then begin to cap the cell. If the Varroa Mite enters the cell before the cell is capped it will take hold, if a varroa mite has not entered the cell before it is capped it will look for another open cell.
Once the cell is capped the larvae continue to develop for a further 24 hours, spinning a cocoon, shedding its skin and transforming from larvae to pre pupae.
During the next day the pupae will enter the white eyed pupae stage, about day 13 the pupae enters the pink eyed stage and 14th day the purple eyed pupae stage. The pigmentation of the pupae cuticle then changes and it gradually tans around the mouth and antennae sockets.
On day 16 the pupae are a tanned colour and their legs begin to move.
By day 18 the pupae changes to the black headed bee stage, and finally after about 20 days the honey bee chews off the capping and leaves the cell.
If there is a varroa mite in the cell then it will also escape attached to honey bee and will be able to start the process again, multiplying until the hive is infested with mites.
More info on removing the varroa mite
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