I have been using the alcohol wash method to do mite checks but just sliding a sticky board in is sounding a whole lot easier! Which way is more accurate in everyone's opinion? Is there even a difference?
To start out, I'm only going into my third year as a bee keeper and I've only used sticky boards because they are so easy. That being said, it is my understanding that either way (or using sugar dusting in a jar) are all good ways of doing mite counts. You don't really need an accurate count, but you want to see if the mite load is large or is it being managed by bees. I have a hive of what many call "survivor" bees that I collected as a swarm, and they normally have a mite count (sticky board) of 8 - 15 total for the hive in a 48 hour count the past two summers. I also have a hive started from a package that will have a 48 hour mite count in the hundreds. I have used sugar dusting on that hive with pretty good success in dropping the mite count, but I have had to "treat" both summers and expect to do it again this summer, although I requeened that hive with a purchased queen last fall. Time will tell.
Anyway, use whatever method you wish and follow the trends not the actual numbers. I check early summer, mid summer and about the time the fall flow is in full swing (late August).
Just remember I have a very small sample and I'm not a scientist nor do I play one on Beesource.
A forum community dedicated to beekeeping, bee owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about breeding, honey production, health, behavior, hives, housing, adopting, care, classifieds, and more!