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I bet a C02 drop would be just as effective and wouldn't kill the bees either.
Never heard of that. How does one do that JRG?

I'm not so sure that one method is necessarily better than another, but that it's a matter of consistently sampling an accurate same sample size. Then drawing consistent conclusions from what the results indicate.

Any sampling technique is an indicator, not necessarily a direct correlation of X number of mites in the sample equaling X number of mites in the hive. No one I have ever asked has ever said that 1 mite in a 300 bee sample correlates to 100 mites in a 30,000 bee colony.

How many people ever take more than one sample from the same hive to compare results? It might be interesting to do multiple samples from the same hive at the same time or on consecutive days, to see what that would show.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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>Which do you prefer for sampling?

Sugar, if I have to... natural drop is even easier with a tray under an SBB...

> I would prefer the sugar shake method as it doesn't kill the bees but I wonder if the alcohol wash is more accurate?

Yes, alcohol wash is more accurate. IMO not enough to be worth killing bees over.
 

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>Which do you prefer for sampling? natural drop is even easier with a tray under an SBB...
Easier? Very true, but in my experience, not accurate. I've found that the mites that drop (w/o any treatments) are the ones that were dead, dying or just "fell off." Take that same hive and do sugar shake or alcohol wash using bees in the brood nest and you'll get a different (and IMO) more accurate result.
 

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When I have 0 mites on the tray I don't see much reason to kill some bees so I can see 0 mites in an alcohol wash... it's just a waste of bees. It's all a ballpark figure no matter what method you use.
Very true, but I was referring to was the counting the mites on a tray as a viable method of determining mites in a hive. It's all ballpark as you say, but considering most of the mites are in the brood nest, sampling the brood nest IMO provides a better analysis of what's in the hive than looking at a tray. But 0 mites in a tray....I wouldn't bother sampling the brood nest at all.
 
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