Pests

Varroa Mites

An enormous threat to bees and are, most likely,responsible for more recent beekeepers quitting apiculture than any other pest. The mite is small but can be seen with the naked eye. Mites are about the size of a pin head and are reddish/brown in color. More than 85% of the mites in a colony are in capped brood cells and not visible.
When to check:

  • Spring – Sample April to mid-June to establish colony condition
    If 2-3 or mites are in sample – perform non-chemical treatment
  • Fall – No later than mid-August
    If more than 10-12 mites are found chemical treatment is indicated to improve winter survival rates

An excellent article about controlling Varroa mites in Wisconsin.

Wax Moths

Bees can fend off the moth during the summer. However, frames removed from the hive contain eggs which hatch and eat up wax, brood and honey. Left unchecked wax moths will destroy the comb. You put nice looking frames away in the Fall and discover they are ruined a couple months later.

Small Hive Beetles

The larvae of the small hive beetle eats wax, pollen, honey, brood, and eggs. They are sometimes introduced into a hive via a package or Nuc. They crawl in and out of hive and a severe infestation will slime your honey