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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if there was someplace to purchase the alcohol washer or will I need to make one?
Thanks for the help.
 

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Basically it is two jars w/ thier lids attached to each other face to face which are cut out so a screen between them makes them open to each other. This device is used to do alcohol wash mite testing.

Take two canning jars and two canning jar rings (not the solid canning jar lids), cut a piece of hardware cloth the size of the rings. Attach the two rings face to face w/ the hardware cloth between them by epoxy or crazy glue. Put some alcohol in one of the jars and dump a measured amount of adult bees (300 bees), collected from capped brood combs, into the jar w/ the alcohol. Screw on the caps and screw on the other jar.

Swirl the alcohol/bees around for some time. Then, while continuing to swirl the contents, turn the jar over allowing the alcohol to drain into the empty jar. Bees in one jar, alcohol and mites in the other jar now. Count the mites and see how many per hundred you have collected. That's your mite count ratio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would think a wide mouth jar would be best. And any size hardware cloth that would keep the bees from falling into the "counting" side.
 

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Seems like you would want a jar that you could hold in one hand, so you can swirl the contents. The screen size has to be large enough for the mites to go through and not get caught on the screen, but small enough to keep the bees from passing through.
 

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For 26 bucks plus shipping from Canada, I think I'll stick with the method I used today. It is the simplified version of the one that Mark described.

One empty peanut butter jar with two lids. One lid I cut the top out, leaving about a 1/4" lip and snapped in a disk of 1/8" wire mesh that I cut to fit snuggly. The other cap I left unmodified.

Collect nurse bees by shaking off a couple brood frames into a large metal pot, scoop up a half cup (with a plastic 1/2 cup measure) and put into the jar. Add your wash (or in my case today, powdered sugar) cover with the solid top and shake, shake, shake. Swap the solid with the screened cover and pour into a shallow white bowl. Count mites.

This is about as simple and inexpensive as it gets, requires absolutely no special skills other than the ability to use a utility knife safely and a pair of snips to cut the wire mesh. Took me about 15 minutes to assemble, about a third of the time spent washing the last of the peanut butter from the jar.

$26 will buy a lot of peanut butter.

Wayne
 

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Here is Randy Oliver's mite shaker. Uses a peanut butter jar like yours Wayne.
I did see that Ken, and that's exactly what I went into the shop to make. As I was about to cut center of the second jar cap, I paused and wondered why I need two jars. Being in a rush, I decided I could replace the attached jar with a bowl and just use a solid and screened cap. Since it worked well, this is now my method of choice.

Wayne
 
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