Bees vs Mites – Battle Lost

Activity at the Berkeley hive was near zero today when the other hives were thriving like it was Spring. This colony was started this year from a huge swarm rescued in Menlo Park. They grew exponentially into five mediums, and while that happened, mites also grew at a fast pace. Eventually the mites won the battle as their population in the Fall decreased and when the cold weather rolled it, the once strong hive is now weak and took a toll on the remaining bees.

Today we took apart the hive and found a tiny cluster of bees on the bottom box surrounding the queen trying to keep warm. The bees were barely moving because they were so cold. Putting them in the sun and blowing my warm breath at the bees got them moving again. But there isn’t enough bees to survive and the queen was in bad shape.

We found a ton of mites on the bottom board. It was pretty nasty and I’m sure the mites won this battle against this colony. The colony left a good amount of honey behind. My guess is around 80 pounds or so. Put it in the garage to harvest some and will also give some to other hives that are currently light on stores.

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2 Responses to Bees vs Mites – Battle Lost

  1. Do you do any sort of treatments on your hives to control the mite population?

  2. Hey David,

    I am treatment and chemical free so I do not.
    But if I were to, I would most likely do the drone brood/frame method as that would not use any mitecides or other chemicals.

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