I've never done a sugar roll or alcohol test for varroa on my bees before today. So I cut out a piece of #12 mesh screen to fit under the lid of a jar... Mistake number one? Does #12 mesh work properly?
I put in about 1.5 teaspoons of powder sugar, then found a frame that had about equal proportions of capped brood, uncapped brood, and eggs. Shook bees, measured 1/2 cup, dumped 'em in, rolled around for about 30-40 seconds and then let it sit for another minute or so. Then I thoroughly shook the contents into a plastic bag, let the bees go, and added some water into the bag to dissolve the sugar. Just little random specks of pollen and junk. No varroa. And I've seen varroa in the past on bees in the hive.. a few weeks before they crashed. I'm trying so hard to avoid being blindsided this year. I did an Oxalic dribble on this swarm after I confirmed the queen was laying (but before any capped brood). It's been maybe two and a half months since their install and they are really healthy spunky bees. Is my screen mesh size a problem or is it ok? I'm planning on doing a sugar roll on another hive to see what's up there.
Thanks. I'm planning on ordering something like MAQS or Apivar but I just want to find at least one mite first. Unlike last year, I haven't seen a single mite yet... which is scary.