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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When should I do it?

In class they told us to do it at least once between April and September. Should I wait til fall?

And, how do others do it. They taught us how to do the sugar test but to be honest, that seems very difficult for me. Gathering 300 live bees, pouring powdered sugar on them and then sifting them to see if mites fall out. Or else (which I'd hate) putting the 300 live bees in alcohol and then sifting them. :s I don't want to kill my bees. Is there a way that others found just as productive but simpler?
 

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300 bees ??? i think the mites kill more then that !!!!!

i check about every 2 months -

also the queen is laying 1500 eggs a day - and about 1000 bees die everyday to old age -

so 300 every few months is hardly lossing sleep over - to be a keeper you need to know whats going on in your hives - sometimes a few have to give up there lives to save a colony
 

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Aren't your colonies new this year?

I wouldn't start killing bees when they haven't started to have a mite issue.


Check out this: http://maarec.psu.edu/index.html

There are lot of PowerPoints and videos... such as these:

http://maarec.psu.edu/slideshows.html

You might find an ether-roll more agreeable if the time comes.

I would first monitor the natural 24-hour mite drops.
 

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I have never done the sugar or alcohol tests. I have screened bottom boards so I get some cheap white shelf liner paper at Walmart and cut it to kind of fit the tray in the SBB.

I put the sticky side up and leave for three days. After that I count mites and divide by 3 to get the number of mites per day.

The problem is...how many mites it too many? I have started using 40/day in August in a 2 deep setup that has a lot of bees for my criteria for treatment. For other times of the year and other strength colonies the number needs to be adjusted. Also the 40/day is just my criteria (no study other than my personal survival rate and what I am willing to accept). I used to use 25/day, but at 40/day my survival rate is about the same. I may try higher in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
with the screened bottom boards I would just replace the bottom board that I have now? Just remove the hive body and set it on the new board?
 

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Yes, replace your solid board with a screened one, and the powder sugar dusting/drop will cause a lot of mites to lose their grip on the bees and reduce the number in the hive.
 

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with the screened bottom boards I would just replace the bottom board that I have now? Just remove the hive body and set it on the new board?
Yes, that's right.

Some allow you to turn the old bottom board to the back for the sticky board. Depending on on on box size 8 or 10 frame, different suppliers have different styles.

Ask in a posting which one people like, or shop around.

But frankly, you are not in any rush... although your bees might like the additional ventilation in a couple of months.

Brushy Mountain's SBB's may be nice... ???
 

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I used screened bottom boards on my hives in colorado all year, just closed the top entrance almost completly and did not wrap my hives. the bees if healthy can stay warm as long as they are dry. I lived at 4500 ft. elev.
 
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