I saw a post on a thread not long ago that said not to rely on the mite drop test to determine mite levels. That got me thinking (dangerous I know).
My problem (in my head) is this: Different bees show different levels of hygienic behavior. This level, as I understand it, can vary even from hive to hive. Let's say hive A has a high mite, on the verge of death mite load. Unfortunately, they show nearly no hygienic behavior. As a result, the sticky board only reveals a low mite load.
Let's say hive B has a low mite load. Hive B has extremely hygienic bees. They groom, they chew, they tie blocks to mite legs and sink them in the feeder...they're bad dudes. As a result, the sticky board reveals a low mite load.
The only universal solution that my inexperienced brain can think of is this: All hives will present an accurate mite drop because mites naturally fall off from time to time with or without grooming by the bees.
Is a mite drop test a risky thing to be doing? Or do mites fall off at a measurable rate regardless?