Varroa Mite Monitoring

Updated April, 2018

 
 
 Photo by Andrew Potter

Photo by Andrew Potter

Varroa Monitoring FAQs

  • Do I really need to monitor?
  • When should I start monitoring? 
  • What is the best way to monitor for varroa? 
  • How many hives in a yard should I monitor? 

Click here to read more about varroa monitoring  

Have a question you don't see answered?  Email me at sandhillbees@gmail.com, and I'll do my best to answer it and add it. 

 


The sugar roll 

  • Step by step sugar roll instructions
  • Purchase a kit
  • Watch a video
 Photo by Andrew Potter

Photo by Andrew Potter


 Photo by Randy Oliver

Photo by Randy Oliver

Alcohol wash

The alcohol wash is like the sugar roll, in that it provides information about your varroa infestation in terms of mites/ 100 bees or percent infestation.  This means that we can quickly get an understanding of the risk to our bees from varroa-associated viruses.  The advantages of the alcohol wash over the sugar roll is that it is a bit faster.  You do have to come to terms with sacrificing 300 bees each time.  I was able to this knowing that I was ultimately taking care of the colony - my long-living animal.   You can easily make the kits at home, buy various versions, and get plenty of instruction.  The method is exactly the same as the sugar roll, but you don't have to wait the two minutes.   Some resources are below. 

  • Randy Oliver's page www.scientificbeekeeping.com has tons of resources on this.  He has spent a lot of time perfecting this method so that it can be done at scale.