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Honey Bee Parasites

Adult female Varroa mite

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The Varroa mite is an external parasite that is visible to the naked eye. The female mite is brown to reddish brown in color, measuring 1.1 to 1.2 mm in length and 1.5 to 1.6 mm in width (about the size of a pin-head). The flattened shape of the female's body makes it easy for the mite to hold on to the bee and move easily into the cells of developing bee brood. Males are smaller about 0.7 mm by 0.7 mm and yellow to grayish white in color. Adult males do not feed and are not found outside of brood cells.