Author Topic: Mites On Queens  (Read 682 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Jen

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 9817
  • Thanked: 199 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Upper California
Mites On Queens
« on: April 01, 2021, 03:40:51 pm »
In the beginning of my beekeeping adventures, that would be 15+ years now, I've seen mite attacks from just a few mites on my sticky boards, to mite attacks in the thousands. As the hive dwindles I notice that the queen is not affected by the mites. The queen has no mites on her body! Why is this?
There Is Peace In The Queendom

Offline The15thMember

  • Regular Member
  • **
  • Posts: 58
  • Thanked: 11 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Traveler of the Multiverse, Seeker of Knowledge
  • Location: Western North Carolina
Re: Mites On Queens
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2021, 03:49:23 pm »
Queens do get mites on them occasionally, but I don't believe they are more or less attractive to the mites than any other bees, so the probability that a mite will pick out the queen in all those thousands of bees in the hive just isn't there, I guess.  Here's a short article and a picture of a queen with a varroa mite on her back.
https://www.honeybeesuite.com/seeking-taste-royal-blood/

I don't know this, but I'd also guess that since the queen's retinue grooms her regularly, they may remove any mites that get on her. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline iddee

  • Administrator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 5857
  • Thanked: 325 times
  • Gender: Male
  • Location: Sophia, N. C.
Re: Mites On Queens
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2021, 05:44:14 pm »
What member said X 2.
“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.”
― Shel Silverstein

Offline Bakersdozen

  • Global Moderator
  • Gold Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 3922
  • Thanked: 375 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Olathe, Kansas
Re: Mites On Queens
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2021, 09:50:27 am »
I think Queens without mites might be attributed to the retinue of bees that groom her and feed her.   Also, a Queen will emerge from the Queen cell in 16 days.  Mites prefer a longer time in the cell which is why they prefer Drone larvae.  Drones will emerge after 24 days.

I reread 15thMember's post and see that we are in agreement about the queen's retinue.

Offline Jen

  • Gold Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 9817
  • Thanked: 199 times
  • Gender: Female
  • Location: Upper California
Re: Mites On Queens
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2021, 12:32:27 pm »
Fascinating! and Of Course! I don't know why the grooming factor didn't occur to me. I thought that maybe the queens abdomen was tougher and the mites couldn't bite into it. Thanks!  ;D
There Is Peace In The Queendom