The Varroa mite

A deadly and dangerous bee parasite

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Varroa mite attached to adult bee showing symptoms of deformed wing virus (DWV)


Varroa mites at various development stages in a bee colony brood comb

Mite Migration

The Varroa mite originated in Asia, but has since spread towards the west and now threatens the Western honey bee almost all over the planet. Only Australia has managed to keep the parasite at bay to date.

Body structure:

idiosoma (main body region) and gnathosoma (mouth and feeding parts). The mite has four pairs of legs and piercing and sucking mouthparts.

The hairs on the top and bottom of the mite’s body enable it to cling to the honey bee.

The parasite feeds on the hemolymph of both adult bees and their brood.

Female Varroa mite top right and male bottom left, below.

Varroa mite development stages

Varroa population development

Honey Bee Viruses (PDF)

Spread of the Varroa mite

Hanging a Varroa mite control strip between the combs in a beehive

Varroa diagnosis (PDF):

Vor- und Nachteile verschiedener Diagnosemöglichkeiten

Varroa gate model

Model from Bayer

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