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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I installed a new package in a new box today, to create my third colony. While working my bees I figured I should do a proper mite test. I treated both my hived late Summer/early Fall with Formic Pro followed by Apivar strips per my local bee man. I did not test, but I see mites in one of my hives.

I made my own wash jar with two mason jars and a couple rings and lids and an 1/8" drill bit. I gathered 1/2 cup of bees from the brood chamber being careful not to include the queen. I was really happy to see only 2 mites in the bottom of my jar. It kinda sucked to kill all those bees. I guess I can get over it for the good of the colony an my apiary. After the test I double checked, and my sample size was a little shy of 1/2 a cup, but I still figure the mite count is reasonable.

It was a good day in the apiary!

Alan
 

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I installed a new package in a new box today, to create my third colony. While working my bees I figured I should do a proper mite test. I treated both my hived late Summer/early Fall with Formic Pro followed by Apivar strips per my local bee man. I did not test, but I see mites in one of my hives.

Alan
so did you test the package or the hive you saw the mites in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ah, sorry, confusing . I only installed the package. I did the alcohol wash on my largest hive/colony which I started with a package in Spring 2018. In that original hive I saw mites late last Summer, physically saw them in on a frame. So I treated that hive for mites in August and September which apparently worked effectively. That original hive was split two weeks ago, and yesterday I added a third hive to my yard.
 

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I wonder about the ability of drilled holes to let all the dislodged mites pass through verses a screen. The screen will have an overall much larger open area.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Varroa EasyCheck. Mann Lake part number DC-671. $20.
 

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If killing a couple of hundred bees to do an alcohol wash leaves you with any reluctance to do tests regularly, switch to sugar rolls which if done correctly give you the same results without dead bees.

When I was teaching my technique last summer (which is a slightly modified version of Megan Milbrath's Michigan Method of Mite Monitoring), my co-teacher performed alcohol washes on the same bees after I had done my counts. Results: no additional mites were discovered. I'd got 'em all using just sugar rolls. And when I say the same bees, I mean literally the same bees I had used. We did it in every class. (He was using a Varroa Easycheck device.)

You can make your own sugar rolling jar, but you need to use #8 screen for the top. Collection routine is the same. Obviously sugar rolling has its own method and set of timing intervals. Alcohol washes are faster since you don't have to repatriate the tested bees afterward, but otherwise your numbers will be the same.

Last year, I wrote down detailed instructions on how I do them - if you search on my user name, perhaps you can find them.

Super kudos to you for starting your testing so early. Keep it up once a month and you'll never be surprised by mites problems, again. You'll have more than enough advance warning to have the widest range of products and method options for smacking them back down again.

Nancy
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks as always for the great info folks. I ordered an easycheck, and I will find your sugar roll instructions Nancy to try that technique as well. :thumbsup:
 
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