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Thread: Varroa test?

  1. #1
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    Default Varroa test?

    So whats the best VARROA test to get the best reading of mite loads?
    Thank you.
    Say hello to the bad guy!
    year five==== 31 hives==== T{OAV}

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Varroa test?

    As far as I know the alcohol wash is the most accurate. Bees for the sample should come from open brood. I would like to know of an accurate sampling method that is not lethal to the bees.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Varroa test?

    You can do a sugar shake with powder sugar

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Varroa test?

    "best" is subjective. The two least invasive and destructive would be a sugar shake and a natural drop. The most accurate is an alcohol wash but that kills a cup of bees...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Varroa test?

    the alchohol wash will be most accurate. If it says there isn't a varroa problem, you have a healthy hive, and far more than a cup of bees die ever day naturally out of that hive, 300 wont be missed. If it says you have a problem, then loss of 300 bees for the test, is the least of the problems in that hive.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Varroa test?

    I just had my hives tested by the state bee inspector a week ago and he used a half cup of bees for the sugar test ,it did not harm any bees.The bad part was that my VSH queen had the highest mite count 18 out of 300.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Varroa test?

    this thread has pictures of the double jar i used for an alcohol wash:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ht=mite+shaker
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Varroa test?

    Quote Originally Posted by DC Bees View Post
    I just had my hives tested by the state bee inspector a week ago and he used a half cup of bees for the sugar test ,it did not harm any bees.The bad part was that my VSH queen had the highest mite count 18 out of 300.
    6% infestation rate? I wouldn't call that bad this time of year. Are you going to treat or let them Winter as is?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Varroa test?

    Mark ,I have not treated any of my hives in the past 4 years. Last year I went from 17 hives down to 8 all from mites so I was thinking of giving the older hives half treatments of MAQS.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Varroa test?

    Half treatments are the path to creating resistant strains.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Varroa test?

    If you got a mite problem that you decide to treat, do a full no-holds-barred treatment of your chosen method. Otherwise, leave them alone. Half measures just make stronger mites.
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 14 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Varroa test?

    not necessarily.

    read about oliver's maqs experiments here:

    http://scientificbeekeeping.com/mite...t-update-2013/
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Varroa test?

    squarepeg - Randy Oliver's use of half treatments of MAQS may have kept some hives below the economic threshold of mites, but I can find no indication by Randy whether such half-treatments have a long term affect on increasing mite resistant to MAQS.

    If I missed that study, could you please be more specific on where I can find it?
    --shinbone
    (3rd year, 14 hives, Zone 5b, 5400 ft, 15.8" annual rainfall)

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Varroa test?

    Quote Originally Posted by GLOCK View Post
    So whats the best VARROA test to get the best reading of mite loads?
    Thank you.
    Best: Alcohol wash, most accurate
    2nd Best: Sugar shake, accurate, does not kill bees, easy, good for beginners and others

    I'd rather beekeepers to do a sugar shake, than not check for mites at all
    It's like CPR, which used to require mouth to mouth, now only chest compressions are required; it is better for have more people do CPR, than have many not do it because of having to do mouth to mouth

    On NYBeeWellness.org, is the very informative Diana Sammataro slide show on mites, which includes a mite count chart, also videos, etc.

    -Pat Bono, NY Bee Wellness

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Varroa test?

    shinbone, you are correct, and i am not aware of any study looking into the development of resistance to formic acid.

    i don't believe the mechanism of action of formic acid is well understood, (thought to cause respiratory failure in the mites i think?), but my understanding is that there is less concern over developing resistance to the organic acids than with the synthetic miticides.

    treatments, like medicines, should be be used with the least amount necessary to achieve the results while minimizing unwanted side effects, (including the development of resistant strains).

    i guess i shouldn't be commenting at all on this because i am no expert, and i haven't used any mite treatments. my reason for pointing the others to randy's work is because he is an expert and found for his situation the half treatment achieved the results he wanted.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Varroa test?

    i was asked for the source on the mite shaker, it was:

    f.w. jones and son ltd.

    they have two locations in canada.

    1-800-665-6637 bedford, quebec

    1-800-268-1840 toronto, ontario
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Varroa test?

    Quote Originally Posted by NYSSOI View Post
    Best: Alcohol wash, most accurate
    2nd Best: Sugar shake, accurate, does not kill bees, easy, good for beginners and others

    I'd rather beekeepers to do a sugar shake, than not check for mites at all
    It's like CPR, which used to require mouth to mouth, now only chest compressions are required; it is better for have more people do CPR, than have many not do it because of having to do mouth to mouth

    On NYBeeWellness.org, is the very informative Diana Sammataro slide show on mites, which includes a mite count chart, also videos, etc.

    -Pat Bono, NY Bee Wellness

    Hi Pat, Thanks for the links!

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