Varrro mite is an external parasitic mite that attaches to and feeds on honey bees, they are the most serious pest affecting honey bees worldwide.
The mites are tiny reddish-brown external parasites of European honey bees. Varroa mites are a notifiable pest, which means if you suspect you have found signs of varroa mite in your hives, you must report it immediately by calling the Exotic Plant Pest 1800 084 881
The varroa mite migrates easily and spreads quickly between adult bees.
The mite will spread in various ways, including by drifting bees and absconding colonies or between colonies and apiaries during everyday apiary management practices. The mites will quickly transfer to a healthy colony and attack the healthy bees when beekeepers swap hive components, infested brood, and adult bees during normal routine activities.
Varro mites need honey bees for their survival and to reproduce. An adult mite may live and feed from an adult bee for up to 3 months. Left untreated, varroa mites will kill any bee hive it infects. All feral and untreated bee colonies will eventually die.
It is recommended that beekeepers conduct regular inspections and take samples from their hives to check for varroa mites.
Methods of Detection
Varroa mites are small, reddish-brown parasites that can be easily identified with the naked eye. They are about the same size as the Braula fly (Braula coeca). There are three main methods for detecting varroa mites in a hive: using an alcohol wash, performing a sugar shake test, or uncapping drones.
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