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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I conducted my first alcohol test yesterday. And much to my surprise, I came up nearly mite free, I think...

In the three hives, I had 1, 2, and 1 mites visible. That is per half cup of bees.

I am confused though, because I had heard to sample the bees on open brood, which I did. Reading the instructions after the fact, they clearly says to sample the bees on capped brood.

Opened brood or capped brood, which frame would you sample?

Assuming I am <1%, is there any purpose in doing OA while there capped brood?

What is the general threshold for a mite wash to indicate treatment should be applied?
 

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My understanding has always been open brood, as that is where the mites will be waiting to hop into a cell right before it is capped. I can see the logic in capped brood, as emerging bees will be releasing mites, but thats usually a slow process and might not produce a good count. The young nurse bees (who will be on open brood) are the ones that have just emerged and will be the ones most mite infested.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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When my state inspector samples my hives, he scoops up bees from open brood frames and places them in a white dishpan. From there a sample is collected. This allows the foragers to fly and provides a second look to make sure the queen is not among the nurse bees being tested. Scooping directly into the alcohol bath is not recommended.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for the quick responses.

I do like the idea of the white dish pan. In my case, I used an orange 5 gallon bucket. Turning the frame sideways into the bucket and giving it good shake emptied the frame but it left them with a much higher edge for the foragers to fly out of.

Also when I collected the sample with a 1/2 cup scope, I did it almost immediately after shaking the frame. I see how that is problematic in not giving the foragers time to fly off.

Thank you again!
 
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