Frugalbee  About Varroa Mites

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The most important part of beekeeping is:

Sugar shake test for Varroa mites should be done  MONTHLY at  minimum.  Varroa mite infestation is the most common Killer of Hives.  They weaken the hive at a rampid rate, to the point where all the other diseases show up, such as AFB, wax moth, robbing, and eventually total absconding or death of the colony.

This was my first and foremost lesson in beekeeping.  I performed this research during my first year of beekeeping. 

Photo’s if mite on drone

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Click to Enlarge

Sugar Shake

 Tools

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1 Qt wide mouth mason jar, any kind of funnel (make your own) to shake the bees in the jar.

Powdered sugar, and a screened jar lid with #8 mesh, Screen, or screened lids available from the FrugalBee.

Setting up

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Click to Enlarge

Make sure the funnel fits the jar, and the frame fits the funnel, and that they both can be set near the hive and kept upright simply.

Selecting Frame of Bees

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Select a frame with a good number of bees, and gently shake them off into the funnel/jar.  Then shake the funnel to fill jar.  It is good to have the jar about 1/3 full jar.

Adding the powdered Sugar

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Add aprox 2 tablespoons or more of sugar to the top.  Jar will become cakey white with sugar after the first roll. 

Roll them BuZZers

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Roll the bees,  continuously, gently, for 2 or so minutes, they will be buzzing away.

Shake them out

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Gently shake the jar for about a minute on the top of a clean surface.  I use a nice Clean Telescopic cover.

Count them

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A healthy hive should have no more than 5 mites  in the count.  10 mites is still acceptable but watch closely.  If the count elevates, take appropriate measures.  It is sometimes necessary to pull the supers during honey flow, and treat. (don’t bee Greedy) Call your local bee inspector for an opinion. They are here to help us.

Make Records of Inspections