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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is it possible to have a zero count for mites doing a sugar shake or should I consider it a failed test. The test was carried out as instructed on many sites, threads and books.the hive is a thriving double deep 8 frame set up.
 

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Well, I haven't seen a single mite on my tests either. I test every 3 weeks, started back in May. Zero so far. I have read that sometimes first year hives...like mine...are negative, but they pick up mites the second year. And testing is the only way to know so you can decide what, if anything, you want or need to do about it.
 

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Yes. But don't let that lull you into complacency. Plan to test again soon as this is the time of year when mite populations can skyrocket and your bees are growing their all-important "winter bees" at the same time. I had a hive last summer (all first year swarms in 2013) which often had no or only 1 mite. I monitored all three of colonies more or less coninuously (mostly sticky-boards, but with occasional rolls).

I found a mid-to-late September surge which required treating (dicey that far along in the season because of temps) in two out of three. The third one continued to stay nearly zero all winter. But all three started a slow rise this spring. I bought product in early summer and continued to test. They ALL hit the threshold about two weeks ago and I treated with MAQS as soon as a good temp window came along. (All except a smaller hive which because of my inept splitting had a very long brood break this year - that one is still low, but I am sugar rolling weekly right now and it's likely it will need treating, too. It's very small, almost too small to treat. I waited because I wanted to be able to add some brood resources from my now-treated hives this week to boost it up to treatable size.)

If you're wise, I would test again next weekend making sure to collect bees from the brood area, which are usually the most parasitized. Watch for the queen, cage her up if you see her and test while she's sequestered if you can.

Good for you for doing the rolls!

Enj.
 

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I sugar rolled two hives and counted 1 mite. I treated anyway and found some on the board. I didn't know I needed to leave it in more than 24 hours. The second treatment was yesterday morning and I already see mites on every board. Waiting three days to count this time. I don't think it will hurt to treat them from what I have read, but I still don't know very much from first hand experience. Maybe next time I will try a different brand of sugar instead of the generic store label. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Why would you if you aren't finding mites
Right ! Iam however skeptical that I do anything right as far as beekeeping would be concerned. With that being said, if oxalic acid is somewhat safe and I just built the gizmo for 15 bucks ,would I be covering my arse if say- I didn't get the right sample of bees or I turned the jar counterclockwise insteed of clockwise if my mites were the super sneaky hatch after I tested kind , I don't know! I guess i would rather error on that side than the other. I will continue to test, I'll even do an alcohol wash next time and if there's a problem I will treat !?thanks for your reply
 

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Do an a sugar roll and then do an alcohol wash with the same jar of bees and that will tell you 2 things, one if you are doing the roll correctly a.d two a true count of your mites
 
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