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  Monday, 05 August 2013
  9 Replies
  138 Visits
It's funny last spring I got some nucs from the Boston area and lost all of them this past winter... due to mites (realized too late in the season to treat)
But so far knock on wood I don't see any mites in my packages... 2 from Willbanks and 2 from Gardners.
Anybody else notice this?
that is a great link, they explain the process much better, too.

I'll be anxious to see how mine are doing, using this method-
8 years ago
Here's a link that describes in detail how to sample colonies for Varroa destructor. I watched Katie Lee do this at the recent EAS conference in PA, and it is much simpler than it even looks in this one page sheet. She used that flat rectangle (juice holder) cup in "Method 2" and then after holding the bees in a mason jar for 1 minute, shook them on to a white plate with a light skip of water on the plate. It was amazing to see 15 or 20 mites fall out of the jar off of these seemingly healthy appearing bees.

I'm doing the test on my colonies in the next week or two. Swarms broke the cycle on a couple, but I'm anxious to see what my three spring nucs look like vs my one overwintered hive that swarmed.

Here's the link:
http://beelab.umn.edu/Resources/Free-bees/index.htm (Click on poster 168 Sampling for Varroa Mite

Good luck,

did a couple hours last night reading and learning more about this! I'm going to do a complete check of all 3 hives to determine levels- still not sure of treatment plan yet.
thanks Ken!

powder sugar shake... sounds like fun-(?)
I have a screened botton board on all 3 hives-
how do the mites show up with the powdered sugar?
do more of them fall off?

8 years ago
To keep those girls happy you still might do well to collect 300 of them in a jar and do the power sugar shake to see how many varroa mites are in your hives. If there are too many, you might need to help them out -- in as gentle a way as you see fit -- so that they are still there in the spring, no matter how nice the spa.
PS: I'm told the sugar shake is a much more reliable indicater of the number of mites in a hive/nuc than counting drops.

I am located WAY up north, so purchased one nuc from Joshua White, at Northwoods Apiaries this May. I wanted bees who were used to the cold up here, and I wanted Vermont bees.
So far, they are healthy happy girls! To my surprise, they swarmed twice, and now I have 3 healthy
hives. ( kinda like having triplets, tho'!)I am using the guidelines of beekeeper Ross Conrad, and Michael Bush- organic, non intrusive methods. I do not want to introduce any chemicals of any kind to my bees. to date, no pests, or problems, ( other than the EARWIGS! under the top cover) but they are not bothering the bees.
I only had a brief issue with the ants, earlier, being attracted to the feeders, but they have moved on.
This first year, I'm letting the bees settle in, keep the honey for themselves, and I'm hopeful that a "spa like atmosphere" for my pampered hives, will keep the bees healthy!

ps. I love seeing all those cute little faces looking up at me when I open the hives!
8 years ago
Have both nuc and package. Been running screen bb in package most of the summer and no sbb in nuc. Nuc had <160 mites on trays package only 38. Will treat this weekend.
8 years ago
my eyes

I pull the bottom board out (below my screen bottom) and check thoroughly
8 years ago
What method are you using to check for mites?
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