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Honey Bee Parasites

Diagram of tracheal mite life cycle

Picture 23 of 31

The entire life cycle of this mite is spent within the respiratory (tracheal) system of the honey bee, except for brief migratory periods. Within 24 hours after worker bees emerge from their cells, female mites collect within their tracheae where the microscopic mite feeds and reproduces. Each female mite lays 5 to 7 eggs which require 3 to 4 days to hatch. Male and female mites develop from egg to adult in approximately 14 days. Eggs hatch into six-legged larvae then molt to a non-feeding or pharate adult stage and then finally molt to the adult stage. All stages of the mite; eggs, larvae, pharate adults and adults may be found in the tracheae of older bees.