Bees grooming, shaking and biting mite

Already in 2002 Sven-Olof Ohlsson in Munsala Finland filmed bees grooming, shaking and biting mites. I have published two of his video clips on YouTube for him. You can see one here where the the mite had attached fast between thorax and the abdomen. The poor bee seemed to never stop shaking to get the other bees to help her. Ohlsson stopped filming after 20 minutes, but the bee didn’t.

Here you see a successful bee removing and biting the mite. Another bee gave it a bite as well. It moved too much.

4 thoughts on “Bees grooming, shaking and biting mite

  1. I have thought for a long while that the intense breeding of bees by humans is the culprit for the loss of bees vigor to fend off mites. The main characteristics sought by man has been to eliminate swarming, increase honey production, and eliminate any aggressive behaviors. This has led bees to become a helpless, less productive animal that is now a shadow of itself. Bees that have been living with varroa do not have the characteristics that man would consider favorable at all. In fact the species of bee that have lived with varroa and adapted to living with mites are quite defensive and swarm constantly. Our goal of breeding an ideal bee has been quite a spectacular failure in the face of living with mites.

      • We don’t have too!:) They find their way back to old barns and houses, as well as old thick trees. Even up here on 59° we have several now. They do fine. A friend of mine as set up a small skep with cow dung as insulation and a wooden roof. Some years it swarms several times. This year none. They stopped flying in late June and saved their food. He doesn’t harvest. Just watch them. He hasn’t treated them for several years now. Close to my bees.

    • Beebreeding has gone wrong, to narrow genetics, I agree. Those that have succeeded in achieving a varroa resistant stock are in most cases (all?) interacting with feral bees. My two best breeder lines are coming from swarms from feral bees close to my area where I have my stock of bees, which also my neighbors have. This may in many cases result in defensive bees, more or less. But not necessarily. I have some very calm resistant colonies now.

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