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New Bee 2 

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I've just found a queen bumble bee dying on the path. She had at least 10-15 beige mites on her upper thorax. I know this site is for honey bees but thought that this warranted a mention. I'm hoping that these don't go for honey bees too.
 

BlidworthBees 

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Could you put the queen in a warm safe place and offer her a little sugar water ? she may just be exhausted . I frequently rescue and revive bumblebees.


This is some information from FACs on Bumblebee Conservation Trust website



I'm seeing bumble bees covered in little mites - what should I do?

These mites do not actually harm bees directly (see below). In sufficient numbers they can make flight or even movement difficult. We suggest that people try coaxing the mites off the bees using a childs paint brush.

At least 15 genera of mites are associated with bumblebees. The most familiar of these are mites of the genus Parasitellus which are very often to be seen attached to the bodies of adult bumblebees, particularly queens. These mites are only ever found in close association with bumblebees. However, they do not feed directly upon bumblebees, but are phoretic, using the adult bees for transport between nests. This is a common phenomenon; mites have poor locomotory abilities, but with their small size they can easily attach themselves to larger organisms and so gain a free ride. Parasitellus species are thought to feed upon wax, pollen, and other small arthropods that are found in bumblebee nests. Only the deutonymph stage is phoretic, colonising new nests by transferring from workers to flowers, and then awaiting the arrival of another worker. The prevalence of Parasitellus spp. is generally high - up to 80% of queens are affected. With this level of prevalence at the beginning of the season, it is not surprising that the vast majority of bumblebee nests become infested by the end of their growth.

Because these mites do not feed upon the bees themselves, it is debatable whether they have a negative impact. However, infestation levels can be high. Up to 165 mite have been found on a single. It seems inevitable that loads of this magnitude must hamper a queen's ability to fly, and so her ability to find food, a mate and a hibernation site. Try to help these queens by brushing off the mites.
 
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victor meldrew 

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Pollen mites ?
More likely to be Braula ! a wingless fly that also sits on honey bee Queens and nicks sustenance rather than feeding off the bee!1

John Wilkinson
 

New Bee 2 

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Thanks all .. I quarantined the bee + mites just in case. Based on what you've said I think its best to play it safe & keep her away from my hives
 

Grub 

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:sifone: a whiff of a ciggarete will have them running.

Grub
 

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