Understanding the Honey Bee’s Biggest Threat
The Varroa Mite
The Life Cycle of Varroa Mites and their Effect on Honey Bee Colonies
Varroa destructor, commonly known as the varroa mite, is a parasitic mite that attacks and feeds on honey bees. As a parasite, varroa mites weaken and transmit viruses to their host honey bees, causing a disease called varroosis. While varroa mites may be small, an infestation is a big problem for honey bee hives. In fact, millions of colonies around the world have died in recent years from varroa mites, making them the number one threat to honey bee health.
How Varroa Mites Spread in a Hive
To understand how to combat varroa mites, we must understand the life cycle. Varroa mites hitch a ride on adult bees to enter a hive. Once inside, the mites slip undetected into uncapped brood cells with vulnerable developing bees. Here, the mites wait until the bees cap the brood cell, and then begin to feed off the developing bee and reproduce under the brood cap.
When the baby bee emerges from its cell, more mites emerge with it, and transfer to other brood cells on the backs of adult bees. Due to the exponential nature of varroa reproduction, colony infestation levels can quickly get out of control. Viruses accumulate in the colony, and higher varroa levels further weaken the bees, rendering them unable to survive.
Breaking Down the Way Mites Feed off Bees
Varroa mites feed off bees’ fat body tissues and not bee blood. Check out the Samuel Ramsey’s research for the latest breakdown of what Varroa destructor is actually eating when they feed off honey bees
Spread of Varroa Mites Around the World
How Varroa Mites Multiply
Varroa mites multiply under the brood cap, doubling in population every 22 days.
In four months, just one mite becomes 15 and it only takes one female mite.
In 12 weeks, the number of mites in a western honey bee hive can multiply about 12 times.
Tools for Varroa Management Guide
The Honey Bee Health Coalition offers a guide for managing Varroa mites.
Find our products near you.
NOD products are available in 27 countries across the globe. Search for a distributor in your area.
Beekeepers ask. We answer.
We want to make sure all your questions are covered. We’re always evolving our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section to include up to date answers and videos about our products, treatment and more. See all FAQs >
What are the temperature guidelines and best practices for planning when treating?
Formic Pro, or MAQS? What is the difference between the two treatments?
I use medium boxes where should I be placing my strips?
OUR WORKER BEES
Meet the people behind NOD Apiary Products.
we love bees.
NOD Apiary Products Ltd. is a manufacturer of sustainable honey bee health products.
NOD Apiary Products Ltd.
374 Sidney Street
Canada K8V 2V2
Phone: +1 613 398 8422
Toll Free: +1 866 483 2929 (North America)
Fax: +1 613 398 0495
Get the latest buzz.
Signup for our email newsletter to stay up to date with apiculture news, research, and more.
COPYRIGHT © 2022 NOD APIARY PRODUCTS LTD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.