Southerns Beekeeping Association

Southerns Beekeeping Association Forums Bee Keepers Varroa mite is to be found throughout South Africa


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    Lantz Mattinson

    I have found Varroa mite in one of my hives. Do you have any resources on this and whether I can do anything to save the hive?

    Lantz Mattinson

    feedback from Sharon Lage:
    Varroa is to be found throughout South Africa (although we have only found it in our hives once).

    I had a chat with Mike Allsopp (SANBI – who did his Masters Thesis on Varroa) a month or two ago – he remains of the view that our Scutellata and Capensis bees are tolerant to varroa because the absence of varroacide applications and a live-and-let-live approach to our managed and wild honeybee populations.The reasons include genetic diversity, Scutellata extreme cleaning regimes and shorter brood capping times (which don’t allow the varroa to reach maturity). So just let them bee.

    If you are very concerned, you can sprinkle icing sugar over the bees – they will start to clean each other and in the process remove the varroa from each other.

    Varroa is normally more prevalent in winter, and weaker swarms are more susceptible. Check you brood box (just not this week with the extreme cold we are having) to ensure you are a) Queen right and b) do not have an abundance of drone brood in the combs. If you find a lot of drone brood, cut that brood out is your comb. The longer hatching time of drone brood allows matches the varroa life cycle and allows fertile varroa to hatch.

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