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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,709

    Default How do U collect bees for mite sample?

    Previously,,,I just treated for mites seasonally as directed by the miticide I was using. I am moving to "as needed" so I need to do mite samples. I see pics with bees in jars and various containers and different means,,,sugar,alcohol,ether,,, to dispatch the mite from the bees and count the mites. A thread here showed 1/3 cup or 300 bees with a formula a % to make decisions etc. which seems reasonable place to start.
    On a hobbyist scale, checking each hive might me possible but it would seem a large scale hobbyist might find it impractical. Would you sample 1 in 5? Do you take your samples from the brood nest or if you could snag them from the entrance, would that be an acceptable source. If you knew you were the only beekeeper and there were no feral hives in your area,,,,set up a feeding station, collect a sample from them use it and expect as accurate results as any other sample?
    How do you get the bees in the sample container? The obvious is brush them in. I going to wear the leather gloves to do this since this will most likely agitate them. I can just see my clumsy self with big gloves, jar in one hand, brush the other, brush them in, try to pick up the lid and get it screwed on
    Thoughts?????Ideas??? NOOOOO,,I'm not getting out of beekeeping
    thanks
    Rick SoMd

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    821

    Default Re: How do U collect bees for mite sample?

    Rick why you’re not evaporating OA one time? It takes you not longer than 2 minutes per hive and you know how many mites you have in the hive. You will find them on a sticky board in a few days and they are DEAD. OA kills all mites outside closed cells. With the other methods you also can find out how infested the hive is but they are still in the hive damaging bees.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,709

    Default Re: How do U collect bees for mite sample?

    I'll plead ignorance here what is OA? Plus, I do not use SBB.
    Thanks
    Rick

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    276

    Default Re: How do U collect bees for mite sample?

    Hi Rick,

    Here`s how you do it. Take bees sample from brood frames, not honey frames. Shake bees off 2 or 3 brood frames into a wide container. I use a square plastic tub. Make sure and I repeat MAKE SURE the queen is not among these bees. If possible find the queen first to make sure you are not taking her in your sample. You have to work quickly because the shaken bees will have a tendency to fly away but enough of them will remain in the tub for the sample. You want to take 2-3 frames so you get an overall picture of what`s going on in the hive. After you shook the frames take the tub and bang it on the ground to force the bees in one corner. Now scoop them up with a 1/2 cup measuring cup and put them in a mason jar.

    The trick is to work quickly and purposefully. Once the bees are in the mason jar just add about a half of a cup of wood (rubbing) alcohol and shake the bees for a good 10 minutes. I mean shake them. Don`t just swirl them around. You want to dislodge the mites from the bees. Then drain the mess through a coarse sieve to catch the bees but let mites go through. Strain them into another white container otherwise you won`t be able to see the mites. Count the mites. Treat as per your area and season thresholds.

    Luc
    Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you`ll be among the stars!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,698

    Default Re: How do U collect bees for mite sample?

    You know those urine sample bottles....get the larger one...ask your lab for a few.
    Take the bottle and a brood frame...no queen...and either in an upward motion or a downward motion...seen both done, move the jar across the frame of bees, close lid....next hive...same jar. You need a sample of about 300 bees. That is about a 2/3 full jar. Then add some windshield washer fluid...good to -30C or rubbing alcohol.
    Shake the tar out of the jar for 8 minutes, or let set for 1/2 hour.
    Then take a wide mesh strainer. Strain the bees from one jar to another. The mites will go through the strainer, not the bees.
    For the first few times count the bees and then the mites. Once you have an idea of how many bees = 300, just count the mites and divide. Re use the liquid.

    Now if you are a larger beekeeper, one takes a sample from 15% of the hives in a yard. A good cross sample though..some weak hives and some strong hives to get a fairly accurate reading.
    If you are a smaller operator you can take a sample from each hive.
    http://www.capabees.com/main/files/p...athreshold.pdf

    You can also make a shaker jar....take two plastic jars of the same size. Cut the lid tops off so all you have is rings. melt the rings together after inserting screen which will let the mites and the liquid pass. Then you fill one side with liquid, collect bees with the other side put both lids on the jars and shake and then tip and count...wish i could find a pic...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Nassau County, New York, USA
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: How do U collect bees for mite sample?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick 1456 View Post
    I'll plead ignorance here what is OA? Plus, I do not use SBB.
    Thanks
    Rick
    I think OA is Oxalic Acid. But it is not legal in US. Heavily used in Europe.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Rochester, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: How do U collect bees for mite sample?

    Here's a way to do it, without killing the bees.

    http://www.extension.umn.edu/honeybe...aMites_155.pdf

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Calvert, Md,USA
    Posts
    1,709

    Default Re: How do U collect bees for mite sample?

    O.K. I'm going to stick my neck out to be cut I guess. Worst is I partly wasted my time and efforts and all that thought me maybe having something on the ball will be dismayed
    When I use to collect insects for my college courses,,,,I made an aspirator collector. A plastic jar with tube out and a shorter tube for a mouth piece. Fitted a faucet screen on the mouth tube so, obviously, you didn't inhale your specimen. Figured why wouldn't this work for bees Put one together and played all yesterday "suckin up" yellow jacket on my Hummingbird feeders. Worked great.( you should have seen the HB applause as I carted those B@#$#$%ds away) Put the as yet un-named contraption in the freezer,,,10 min. later,,,Jacket cicles. BTW,,,There were no YJ today.
    Put on my veil and gloves,,,,figured I'll be makenm mad with what I going to do. I siphoned bees from up inside the hive and the washboarders between two different hives next to each other. Got what I felt was 1/3 cup, put it in the freezer. Ten Min. later, put the bees in a measuring cup. Sure enough,,1/3 cup. Lucky! Put the bees in jar,,,,added alcohol,,,,shook violently for 8 - 10 min. Bees into sieve over a 2 cup measuring cup,,,,,,washed bees with sink sprayer. Poured that into funnel with paper towel. Repeated process with water.
    1 mite
    O.K ,,let me have it
    Rick

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    24,455

    Default Re: How do U collect bees for mite sample?

    Rick,
    Get yourself an empty used one pint mayonaisse jar and a can of starting ether. Open your hive and go into the brood chamber. Find a frame of capped brood w/ lots of adult bees on it and w/out the queen. gently scrape the jar across the face of the comvb scooping up bees and not digging into the comb. Easier than it might sound. When you have as many as you want grab the cap, grab the starting fluid, shoot a spritss of fluid into the jar and put the cap on. whioch will take some practice so you don't just shoot the bees out of the jar. Holding the jar by the lid end of the jar shake it back and forth for a while and then let the bees fall to the cap end of the jar and count the mites on the glass. Then throw them away.

    After all that, what is your deciding factor on whether to treat or not?

    Don't take your sample from the face of the hive when bees are bearding. It won't give you a good reading. I did once and found no mites and didn't believe it so I took the sample as described above and got 15 mites.
    Mark Berninghausen "Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board." Zora Neale Hurston

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