Tropilaelaps mites are external parasites of honey bee colonies that feed on the haemolymph of both drone and worker bee larvae and pupae, and adult bees. There are several species of Tropilaelaps mites, notably Tropilaelaps clareae, T. mercedesae, and T. koenigerum. Each species has a different geographic range, but they are all found in Asia.
Adult tropilaelaps mites are active, red-brown mites which can be seen with the naked eye. They will lay their eggs in the brood cells of honey bee larvae and feed on the developing honey bee larvae.
Tropilaelaps mites can also spread viruses, and can cause an irregular pattern of sealed and unsealed brood, as well as deformities in adults.
TransmissionTropilaelaps mites are spread through movement of infested hives and adult honey bee drifters.