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Mite Monitoring Methods

How to perform an alcohol wash

If you prep correctly, it only takes a few minutes to determine the varroa infestation rate of a hive.  Here I show how to do it in under 4 minutes. View a video that my assistant Brooke Molina shot the other day with her cell phone:

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A Test of Using CO2 for Bee-Friendly Mite Monitoring

First published in: American Bee Journal, April 2017

Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com Beekeepers who monitor the varroa level in their hives tend to be more successful at keeping their colonies alive and healthy. But no one likes having to sacrifice bees to take mite counts. So when I heard of using CO2 to temporarily anesthetize the bees in a mite shaker I was intrigued. […]

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An Improved, But Not Yet Perfect, Varroa Mite Washer

First published in: American Bee Association Oct 2013

Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com Updated 11 August 2018 I keep looking for a quick, easy, and accurate way to monitor mite infestation rates.  I’ve happily used the mite shaker bottle for some years, but it has its shortcomings.  I’d like to ask my readers to help me improve the design. As I detailed in the July […]

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Sick Bees – Part 11: Mite Monitoring Methods

First published in: ABJ June 2011

Randy Oliver Last month I was presumptuous enough to try to boil successful beekeeping down to four basic rules. Giving the bees a dry home with plenty of honey is pretty obvious, so I’m going to make the other three easy to remember. Think of them as the “Three P’s”—Protein, Parasites, and Pesticides (including miticide […]

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IPM 4 Fighting Varroa4: Reconnaissance Mite sampling methods and thresholds

© Randy Oliver 2006 Three strategies I’ve found that always fail when battling varroa are: 1. Denial—“I haven’t seen any mites, so my mite levels must be low.” 2. Wishful thinking—“I haven’t seen very many mites, so I’m hoping and praying that my bees will be OK.” 3. Blind faith—“I used the latest snake oil […]

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