Did a powdered sugar shake test on the hive today. Yup, I have lots of mites. I also had a bunch of pissed of bees dressed as ghosts for halloween. Two followed me around for about 10 minutes and 3 waited for me at my car.
Another thing I found is that if the strap in my hat is too loose, my hair pops out the sides of my helmet and the bees know just what to do.
What I did was shake 1/2 cup of bees in powdered sugar for about a minute. Angry bees will result and can be heard in the jar giving off a cloud of sugary buzzing. Shaking the powdered sugar into a baggy to count at home makes them even more angry and you have to shake even more to get the sugar and mites to fall through the clump of bees that wants to clog the screen I was using.
Once I got most of the sugar out the the jar, I let the bees settle for a bit. Should have waited a long long bit. But, I didn't see any dead bees as a result. Most flew away and found me very interesting.
I walked about 100 feet from the hive and still had bees following me. If I walked back towards the hive more bees came up for a visit. It was fun and I learned alot from the bees today. No stings in me anyway. Not sure about my jacket.
Might count to follow shortly. I know it is high.
Ok, for a 1/2 cup of bees +/-... 68 mites counted. Assuming I have 200 bees/cup % infestation is 34% if we have closer to 300 bees/cup I have a 22.67% infestation of mites. If we add these two percentages together and divide by 2 we get an average of both the high and low percentages at 28.34%. Basically I have a hive with lots and lots of mites.
I did a powdered sugar dusting of the hive. That should have knocked out a few mites and is not a fix for the number of mites in the hive.
The bees that I collected are from the brood combs.
Powdered sugar containing mites from powdered sugar shake test. I used more sugar than I really needed. I mixed up the amount of powdered sugar for a sugar shake test with the amount of sugar for a sugar dusting of the hive.
The powdered sugar was dissolved in a jar of water. The mites float and can filtered off for counting.
The varroa mites are easy to count once filtered out from the powdered sugar.