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This page is credited in full to Dave Cushman who created it. His voice is expressed in black colour text and any additions or comments in blue belong to myself. Credit: Dave Cushman’s website.



Braula Coeca the Bee Louse
(Pronounced Browler Seeker)


Braula, the bee louse is a wingless fly. The adults are small (slightly smaller than the head of a dressmaking pin), reddish brown in color. The colouration and size is similar to the varroa mite however braula have six legs, while varroa have eight legs. While several adults are often seen on a queen, usually only one will be found per worker.

These do little harm to the bees, but the larvae disfigure comb by burrowing through cappings. They are not parasitic, they merely steal food from the worker bees.

With the advent of varroa and the treatments that are dispensed to deal with it, braula is much reduced as it succumbs to most miticides.


Now indeed a rarity I cannot remember the last time I saw one, but as a producer comb honey I dinna miss them.



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