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fjblair
08-07-2008, 10:45 AM
How can I do a mite count with a solid bottom board?

Thanks

WayneW
08-07-2008, 11:10 AM
I'm new, but without a board for them to fall on ( screened bottom board) i cant see this being possible...... With a screened board you can count the ones that fall through the screen, but with just a plain BB, they can get back into the hive,( i would imagine), making a count impossible if not extermely inaccurate (and thus useless).

Oldbee
08-07-2008, 11:35 AM
Dadant has an adesive board with lines on it and a plastic screen. You peel the protective cover off the board and place the screen on top. You can than slip the board in the entrance under the bottom box. I have found though, that the screen doesn't always stick properly to the board; it's plastic and flexible. Also, if the bees have made any burr comb to the bottom of the bottom board [even unattached] it will pull up the screen. I don't use it anymore. The board without the screen is used on a regular SBB. You almost have to 'invent/make' your own; plastic sign board perhaps. The problem I have found is finding a screen so the bees don't get stuck themselves.

The other way is to use a pint canning jar with only the rim over a cut piece of # 8 hardware cloth. You collect about 100 bees in the jar with some powderd sugar and gently shake for a second. Dump the sugar out through the screen in a pan or something and count the mites. The bees are dumped back into the hive; they are OK. My bee inspector uses this. It isn't really a mite count, but just a rough estimate of what the population might be in a hive.

fjblair
08-07-2008, 03:21 PM
Sounds like their is no really good way to do it. I was going do convert to SBB next season anyway.

If I can't get a mite count should I go ahead and treat or wait it out? I would rather not treat but not sure of the right move if I don't have a mite count.

Dave W
08-07-2008, 03:57 PM
How can I do a mite count with a solid bottom board?

Thanks

You can make something called a "Beltsville Insert".

tecumseh
08-07-2008, 04:02 PM
fjblair writes:
Sounds like their is no really good way to do it. I was going do convert to SBB next season anyway.

If I can't get a mite count should I go ahead and treat or wait it out? I would rather not treat but not sure of the right move if I don't have a mite count.

tecumseh ask: would you under go an extremely uncomfortable antibiotic treatment if you did not know if you were sick or not?

there are (contrary to you above assumption) any number of ways to test for varroa mites. what any of these test means (ie do I have a problem, yea or nay) is something a bit difficult to ascertain (the bottom board count using a screened bottom gets no pass here either).

if you are a newbee??? I would suggest (encourage) that you try one or two processes just to familarize yourself with how these things are done. none require any qreat quantity of time or material when done on a limited scale.

a good place to begin is a simple removal of capped drone brood (a fork or capping scratcher are quite handy tools for doing this simplist of test) the next time you do an inspection. this test cost almost nothing and the drones are of little value unless you raise queens. I use this 'test' quite often simply because it requires no added equipment and is easy to do on the spurr of the moment.

the sugar roll test and the starter fluid test use almost exactly the same equipment. one kills the sample bees and the other does not.

Oldbee
08-07-2008, 05:50 PM
"Sounds like there is no really good way to do it". --fjblair.

Well, I wouldn't give up completly on it! If you really want to get an 'accurate' mite count you can still use those [weak] Dadant sticky boards. They worked fine for me the first year but the second,..the screen would NOT stay flat/stuck. Somebody [such as yourself?] might come up with a way to keep it flat and secure on that sticky board.

"If I can't get a mite count should I go ahead and treat or wait it out".--fjblair.

"tecumseh ask: would you undergo an extremely uncomfortable antibiotic treatment if you did not know if you were sick or not".

In some cases;..................yes and yes. *In the second,...if it were a question of whether I had Lyme disease or Rabies,..absolutely. p.s., I respect tecumseh's advice and knowledge about beekeeping and almost everything else.

*In the first: If this is your first year of having bees [package/nuc] and you have, maybe 1-2-3 colonies of bees you "MIGHT" be able to 'get away' without any treatments. However, I am disappointed/sad when new beekepers end up with all their hives,..dead,.......in the spring. It happened to me. All that reading and building enthusiasm during the winter and then,..in the new year,..............nothing left but,..............what 'they' call,................"deadouts".

Ross Conrad, in his book, "Natural [organic] Beekeeping ", he writes about using Apiguard [and others] as a mite treatment. It's not completely chemical free beekeeping, but something to think about.

Poptart
08-07-2008, 06:33 PM
If you can not get a mite count, Look very closely at your bees. Just like looking at the family dog for ticks. I have not treated my hives for over ten years with anything. I may see a mite or two. When I start getting worried is when you see a whole lot of bees with mites riding their backs. Screened bottom boards are the way to go. The bees are becoming more hygenic and when they clean each other the mites fall through screen and have no way of getting back in the hive. With a solid bottom they fall off, wait a minute and hitch hike on the next passing bee.

high rate of speed
08-07-2008, 07:23 PM
Why buy adhesive boards or sticky boards when you can make them yourself.
And get an accurate count.

Oldbee
08-07-2008, 07:42 PM
Why buy adhesive boards or sticky boards when you can make them yourself.
And get an accurate count.

You can make adhesive boards and sticky boards all you want,...by the 1'000s if you wish. The problem is [without a SCREENED BOTTOM BOARD] is preventing the bees from getting stuck along with the mites and making it a simple operation without a lot of work.

high rate of speed
08-07-2008, 07:52 PM
Wasnt aware it was such a big deal or job to count mites,without a screened bottom board.We count them all the time on pallets,with no screened bottom boards.

clintonbemrose
08-07-2008, 08:53 PM
The old way when we started counting mite drop with solid bottom boards was to cut white construction paper to size to fit in the opening and then spray it heavly with Pam spray then insert the paper and come back in 24 hours to count the mites.
Clint

Oldbee
08-07-2008, 09:08 PM
"We count them all the time on pallets, with no screened bottom boards". hrs.

And how exactly do you do that?? I am assuming there are 4 to 8 hives on a pallet? Do you 'count them',...one by one,...........or,...two by two's?? How many do you get? Do you sweep them with a bee brush into a 'counter'? That would be nice.

Maybe us 'small timers' can learn something.

[edit by mod]

Tom G. Laury
08-07-2008, 09:32 PM
I call them testers. 3/4" x 3/16' slats, app. 20" long x 6" wide. They have 1/8" hardware cloth on top. I put sticky paper ( shelf liner ) underneath the screen sticky side up. I use em to count natural or chem induced mitefall. Bees can't clean them off.

high rate of speed
08-07-2008, 10:22 PM
[quote=Oldbee;342121]"We count them all the time on pallets, with no screened bottom boards". hrs.

And how exactly do you do that?? I am assuming there are 4 to 8 hives on a pallet? Do you 'count them',...one by one,...........or,...two by two's?? How many do you get? Do you sweep them with a bee brush into a 'counter'? That would be nice.

1.MANN LAKE STICKY BOARD.
2.PLACE IT IN THE HIVE
3.24 HRS LATER
4.PULL THE STICKY BOARD
5.ALMOST FORGOT,THIS IS A NATURAL DROP.
6.COUNT THE MITES
7.PROCEED WITH OR WITHOUT TREATMENT.
8.HOPE THIS CLEARS THINGS UP

Yours truly,

[edit by mod]

Barry
08-08-2008, 12:08 PM
Since this is the thread where it's happening, I'll make my comment here.
When I created the Commercial Beekeeping Forum, my biggest concern was that it may create an "attitude" of "them verses us", and my second concern was that the forum would become a "chat room" for the commercial guys that know each other. I'm seeing both concerns coming true.

I will delete any post that possess either of these two, and if it continues, the forum will be shut down.

"You'll find no "know-it-all's" here."

http://www.beesource.com/forums/showpost.php?p=274202&postcount=3

fjblair
08-08-2008, 12:42 PM
Thanks folks.

I am a newbee and don't really trust myself to make a decision without doing some kind of count. Like I said before I really don't want to just treat although some have told they just always do it.

When is the best time to switch to the SBB?

Dave W
08-08-2008, 02:14 PM
Thanks folks.

I am a newbee and don't really trust myself to make a decision without doing some kind of count. Like I said before I really don't want to just treat although some have told they just always do it.

When is the best time to switch to the SBB?

You may switch to a SBB anytime. But, dead-of-winter might be a poor time :)

Best time would be early spring when hive-size and bee population are both at their smallest. But, "anytime" is Okay.

A "Beltsville Insert" can be inserted into the entrance of a standard BB (if entrance is at least 3/4" high). The BI was the "first???" way of counting mites.

Flyman
08-08-2008, 06:34 PM
I built a bunch of drop "boards" out of 28ga aluminum sign metal which any sign shop should have. It is white enameled on one side. Cut to width and you are ready. Like Clinton, I spray with Pam. Mites don't escape and bees don't stick to it. Drill a small hole on the front edge. Makes it easier to pull it out with the edge of your hive tool. The material cost is cheaper than the Dadant sticky boards and they will last a lifetime. Since the size you need for a hive is pretty small, many sign and metal shops have "drop off" they will sell you for scrap rate.

Good luck, Tom