A global citizen science platform
to discover, share and identify wildlife

Join Project Noah!

Varroa mite

Varroa destructor


The Varroa destructor is an external parasitic mite that attacks the honey bees. It's the small shiny reddish brown disc on the thorax of the bee. Pic 3 shows the result of the virus that has inflicted a beehive. The mite preferentially infests drone cells, allowing the mite to reproduce one more time with the extra three days it takes a drone to emerge vs a worker bee. This can cause genetic defects such as useless wings or viruses and fungi in the bee.


Spotted on a honey bee at a farm near Redmond, Washington.


I took pic 3 near Conway, Arkansas in October 13, 2016 at a friends bee yard. Since this picture is not of the same spotting as the first two I'm hoping that PN will allow it in this spotting. My friend now has to treat his hives with chemicals to kill the mites.

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID


Brian38 9 months ago

Thanks Lauren! Great article! Very informative.

LaurenZarate 9 months ago

Fascinating. I didn't expect the mite to be so large. I was reading that the phoretic phase female is usually found under the sternites so it is amazing that you have that picture of one on the thorax. This article is really neat for all of us who didn't know much about this mite http://www.ask-force.org/web/Bees/Rosenk....

Brian38 9 months ago

Thanks Greyson for commenting. It's hard to believe that the primary cause of decline of the western honeybee is mostly due to the introduction of this mite.

Greyson Smida
Greyson Smida 9 months ago

i feel so bad for this poor honeybee ;w;

Spotted by

Washington, USA

Lat: 47.69, Long: -122.08

Spotted on Aug 21, 2018
Submitted on Nov 27, 2018

Related Spottings

European Paper Wasp, Honeybee Parasitic mite on a honey bee

Nearby Spottings

Lungwort lichen Western yellowjacket Common chicory Northern alligator lizard