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  Monday, 15 March 2021
  1 Replies
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I had a hive swarm on me last summer and it didn't regain enough population to make it through the winter. It was a first year hive from a nucleus colony. The fact that it swarmed too I would have thought the mite count would be low since swarming should interrupt the mites life-cycle (not having an egg-laying queen for a couple weeks). I was surprised to see a pretty massive mite population when I did the post-mortem. Any ideas on what would cause this? I'm wondering if my source for "hygienic" nucs may not be that or maybe some robbing last fall could have introduced more mites? Given that the hive was weak, I did not treat for mites last fall.

1 year ago
HI, I think you answered your own question "I did not treat". Mites build up in the Fall when the bee population is getting smaller. Does not take long for the mites to overcome and infect the hive with a virus if not treated. Even though the hive swarmed there were a ton of mites ready to emerge from the brood that was left. When the new queen started to lay there was likely a large number of mites ready to reproduce. Hygienic bees might help but they are not enough by themselves. A mite treatment or combination of different treatments are the key. Good luck, we all loose hives every Winter. As they told the old Indian, "endeavor to persevere". (Outlaw Josey Wales). Peter
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