Varroosis is the disease caused by Varroa destructor, most commonly known as the Varroa mite, which is an external parasitic mite that attack and feeds on honey bees. This mite can reproduce only in a honey bee colony. The mite attaches to the body of the bee and weakens the bee by sucking fat bodies. This also allows the mite to be a vector for at least five debilitating bee viruses, for example the deformed wing virus (DWV).

Image Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright

A large infestation will lead to the death of a honey bee colony, usually in the late autumn through early spring.

Image Courtesy The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), Crown Copyright.

The mite in the middle at the bottom is a Tropilaelaps mite.

There are many discussions on how and when you should treat for Varroa. Our advice is to read from reliable resources (e.g. BeeBase, BBKA) and use your common sense to determine the best solution for your hives.

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