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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I meant to grab one of those Varroa Easycheck shakers at the apiary supply but forgot. I saw some cheapo DIY versions that didn't look great. Then I saw one company selling a "Varroa Mite Test Bottle" for $18. This was essentially a re-stickered Sistema 700ml round container (which already has the strainer). Those retail normally for $5. What a ripoff. Then perusing Dollar Tree today for other beekeeping things like a magnifying glass, big trough, measuring cups, etc. And I came across this tumbler with a built in strainer. The link is a blog posting but you see the picture. tall narrow fruit strainer screws into the lid. I have no way of knowing if this holds half a cup of bees just yet, but it has the size to. It's maybe 5 inches long, 2.5 across at the top. And it's a buck! Dollar tree for the win.

Also had these . The strainer slits looked kind of wide but I don't know since I'm a noob. I bought both just to see.
 

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I balked at the price of the easy check at first. I was sure i'd find something that would work just as well for a quarter of the $20 asking price for that simple piece of plastic.
Well after a few hours of searching online for a similar product i caved.

I'm not saying you can't do it cheaper, but the easy check is convenient, properly sized, and easy. Worth the investment. I have at least 20 of them now at different locations. I just wish they had a reusable plastic filtration cap as well to reuse the alcohol a couple times before dumping it out.

Aaron
 

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I balked at the price of the easy check at first. I was sure i'd find something that would work just as well for a quarter of the $20 asking price for that simple piece of plastic.
Well after a few hours of searching online for a similar product i caved.

I'm not saying you can't do it cheaper, but the easy check is convenient, properly sized, and easy. Worth the investment. I have at least 20 of them now at different locations. I just wish they had a reusable plastic filtration cap as well to reuse the alcohol a couple times before dumping it out.

Aaron
I have been using paint strainer.. but you have an interesting idea. I think I am going to have to try a 3dprinting solution. Maybe make a cap and find some kind of strainer material...
 

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I am just curious, how is that plastic shaker thing any better than a 1 pint mason jar and a sharpie and a piece of #8? As I understand it, all it does is includes a measuring cup. It is very easy to turn a mason jar into a measuring cup with a sharpie and a piece of clear packing tape. Fill a measuring 1/2 c with rice or whatever and dump it into the mason jar. Take your sharpie and mark the line. Wrap a piece of clear packing tape around it so that it overlaps. Take your piece of #8 hardware cloth. Lay the inner lid on it and cut it out to match. Jam it into the ring. Voila! Viola! Violin! Banjo! Whatever... 1/2 cup is 300 bees. Whether you use a plastic cup or a glass jar. Bees will not fall through #8 cloth unless you shake them hard enough to macerate them. There is no magic involved. So what else does the thing do? OIC, is it because it has the clear base that the mites fall out into?
 

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Randy Oliver uses disposable clear plastic cups, like what you'd get iced coffee in at Mickey-Dees, and they seem to work perfectly well. I got the Veto-pharma varroa washer when I needed to get over the $100 dollar limit for free shipping at Mann-Lake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I measured that I could get a little over 1/2 cup of BEANS in there today, so 1/2 cup of bees should be easy. I'll use the 1/4 cup measure to make it easier. I think I'll let the bees do their thing for a few more weeks before my first mite count test
 

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Absinthe,
The single ball jar with mesh was used with confectioners sugar and it was found that when the jar was inverted,some mites were trapped in the mass of bees so you did not get an accurate result.
Someone came up with a design that was basically 2 caps glued together so you could have a screen between 2 ball jars.The theory was you swirl the bees in alcohol in 1 jar and then invert and the alcohol and mites would flow into the 2nd jar.Again,the bees acted as a filter,mites were stuck in the bees and you did not get accurate results.
Randy O did multiple experiments with different designs and came up with the idea of a cup within a cup with a screen for a bottom on the inner cup.The mites are dislodged while swirled and suspended in alcohol and sink down through the bees and screen and can be seen through the bottom of the cup.The cup with the bees and screen is the removed and allowed to drain to conserve the alcohol.The alcohol is run through a fine mesh tea strainer to remove the mites and bee legs and can be reused multiple times.
After multiple washes of the same samples,Randy found he got more accurate results from this style of shaker.It was fast and simple.The only issue was it leaked slightly from the cup within a cup seal at the top
Easy check borrowed(stole) his idea,made it out of plastic,solved the leak problem and is sold for $20.
 
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