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mite-infested Bee

 
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2530
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:52 am    Post subject: mite-infested Bee Reply with quote

April 19 2017 was sunny and mild.
Overnight, 19/20th, temperature dropped below freezing and we had 1" of new snow,
Found this 'barely-alive' bee on a dry spot on our deck.
Brought it indoors but it never recovered. Took a look under a lens and saw it was heavily infested with mites. Killed the mites with alcohol.

Top: bee after alcohol treatment
bottom: mites that washed off in the alcohol.
I have seen many mite-infested insects but don't recall ever seeing this many on one insect.

I believe the bee is a solitary, soil-dwelling Halicitid Bee.
Will clean up the poor bee and take a closer look at the mites.

63mm El-Nikkor enlarging lens, f/4, D90, Zerene stack for top image.


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NU.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

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Olympus microscope and objectives
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18086
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked Exclamation
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mortenoen



Joined: 14 Feb 2017
Posts: 56
Location: Nissedal, Norway

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting and pretty nasty Sad
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2530
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cleaned the bee as best I could.
Family: Megachilidae; Osmia sp. (Mason Bee).

The mites were 6-legged nymphs and as such not structurally interesting.

_________________
NU.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives
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rjlittlefield
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18086
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What are your thoughts about the mites? Parasitic, phoretic?

--Rik
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Lou Jost



Joined: 04 Sep 2015
Posts: 1664
Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a spectacle! The look mostly unattached, like they are just hitching a ride, as Rik suggested. Lots of mites live in flowers and get from flower to flower by riding on bees and butterflies and hummingbirds. But I've never seen such a crowd!
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Lou Jost
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NikonUser



Joined: 04 Sep 2008
Posts: 2530
Location: southern New Brunswick, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have seen mites on insects that have been very firmly attached. These mites were not attached, except to the hairs and each other, and appear to be phoretic.

Top: ventral brightfield
bottom: ventral,polarized showing very bright spots at base of claws and in the body.

Both: Oly BH2/BHS. 10xx + 1.25x + 2.5x NFK; Zerene stacks


_________________
NU.
student of entomology
Quote – Holmes on ‘Entomology’
” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives
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Lou Jost



Joined: 04 Sep 2015
Posts: 1664
Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, what detail!!!!!!
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Lou Jost
www.ecomingafoundation.wordpress.com
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Olympusman



Joined: 15 Jan 2012
Posts: 3320

PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:09 pm    Post subject: Mite infested bee Reply with quote

That's some mite infestion!

Mike
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Michael Reese Much FRMS EMS Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA
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MarkSturtevant



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
Posts: 248

PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phoretic, I suppose, but maybe they were infesting its home, eating something in there.
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Mark Sturtevant
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abpho



Joined: 17 Aug 2011
Posts: 1423
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. That's nuts.
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