If you’ve got bees, you’ve got Varroa mites. The only questions are how many, and how much harm are they doing to your bees? In the late summer and early fall, mite levels soar in relation to the shrinking number of bees. So, the mite levels are going up while the number of bees is going down – thus more mites are parasitizing fewer bees.
And at the same time your hive is raising their all-important, and physiologically different, winter bees. These bees need to live much longer than regular bees in order to bridge the colony through the winter broodless period and be alive to restart the brood build-up that will eventually be next season’s foragers. Unfortunately, the mites cause physical harm to honey bees and brood. They also pass on deadly diseases that will amplify the damage they cause and further shorten the life spans of the winter bees.
Getting the mite levels down as soon as you can at the end of the season is the key to protecting your hives.
Decisions about what to do are best made with up-to-date information about the size of the problem.