Good news first. I found eggs and it looks like a good mix of brood with a few drone cells mixed in. Yeah!
Bad news. I saw a varroa mite on one of my bees! I’ve poured over my photos and I’ve only seen the one bee with a mite. What a sad find! Hopefully it will not be a problem for the rest of the Island bees.
This is not supposed to be the case out here on Block Island — we’re out in the middle of the ocean, thirteen miles from the mainland. As far as I know no varroa mites or diseases have ever been found in the hives on the Island.
Unfortunately this is no longer true and I’m still trying to figure out how it happened. I’ll have to keep an eye on the hive and talk to some beekeepers out here to see if they’ve noticed this pest in their hives.
I’m researching this problem and so far I’ve found that there are several things I could do that might help my bees. To start I’m going to increase the Honey B Healthy and hope that they can shake this off. I’ve also read that the mite doesn’t like the smaller cell size on the Top Bar Hive so maybe the problem will correct itself. If anyone out there has dealt with varroa mites, I’d love to hear what you did to help your bees.