Well, I lost my second hive to the extra cold winter, although I have no doubt that the cold weather merely delivered the final cut, it was mites that left them weakened. To better address the mites this next year, I headed over to BetterBee and ordered a couple of Varroa screens and trays.
The idea is that the mites fall off the bees as a matter of course. Ordinarily, they’d jump on another bee, which helps them spread throughout the hive. With the screen on the bottom, though, they fall through the fine mesh and, lacking the wings of a gnat and the jumps of a flea, they die.
I was amused to see the tray that came with Varroa screen: straight off the elementary school lunch line. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, some super specialized high-tech plastic tray designed for mite containment, I guess.
$12.95 for the assembled screen and tray. Hmm….