October 29, 2010

This is a Bee with DWV

Deformed Wing Virus is spread by varroa mites. As the parasites feed on the bee pupae, the growing bees are damaged and viruses are vectored. Normal colony behavior at this time of year is to have the queen lay fewer eggs (less mouths to feed over Winter). However, varroa foundresses don't slow down, so there are more mites per bee, and girls with DWV are common. We find several of these bees walking around everyday. It's alarming but we're not alarmed. We just hope the colony's genetics are hygienic enough, as now is the height of their battle against the varroa.
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