about midway into this video you will see a lovely bee girl moving from upper left to lower right parts of the screen. She has a mite on her left shoulder. It looks to be the size of a pin head and is light brown in color.
At first I felt a sense of panic... "oh no, mites!" ... like one may react to any first sign of dis-ease. I did not include the site of the mite in my video narration - as I did not wish to create alarm. It is not pleasant watching someone you care about being "parasitised" by another. Mites in the hive can become problematic, and many bee keepers will use chemicals to treat them. But the chemicals themselves have their drawbacks, just as in the treatment of human diseases. And just as with human dis-eases, one of the best treatment approaches is with diet and building the immune system. In addition, low levels of mites, bugs etc in the system may be normal. It is when the system, or body becomes out of balance that the bugs can start to wreck havoc.
I chose to watch the colony closely for any more mites. My thought was that the bees have plenty of healthy food to forage upon at the Sanctuary and hopefully this was just a stray mite, not anything to worry about. If I did continue to see more mites I would consider feeding them some bee tea recipe (idea from Spikenard Farm) with honey, and herbs to help boost their immune system.
I watched throughout the summer, and in all that time only saw two other bees with mites...Not that I viewed them all... with perhaps 10,000 in the house (!) but it felt as though they were doing well, flourishing, building comb, storing pollen and nectar.
This is one of my favorite videos -
not because of the mite detected of course, but because of all the activity going on,
yet with a relaxed "rhythm" of working with, and amongst each other.
Also I appreciated the sunshine streaming in - reminding us of its presence in the life of the bees, the glistening and highlighting of the flower nectar in the wax cells - opens in me - a sense of awe and wonder