I have always used a sticky board under my screened bottom for mite testing but recently learned that this may not always be a good indication of hive mite population. If your bees are not good groomers or non hygienic you may have a high number of mites that don't show up on your testing board. I've used the test board on the basis that a 24hr count of 10 or below is insignificant and above 50 is a major problem. When or how you treat depends on your beekeeping style. The approximate number of adult mites would be the 24hr count times 60. Of course it is not the mites themselves that are the problem but the diseases that they bring like the Deformed Wing or Kashmir Virus which friends have observed recently. I will confirm my board counts with the "Sugar Roll" method of mite testing.
While there are numerous methods of dealing with Varroa including treatment free (used by a few natural beekeeping friends of mine) I presently employ the annual split (brood break), screened bottom, alternating organic treatments (Formic and Oxalyic Acid) to prevent pest adaptation (only when a high mite count) and regular monitoring. Of course everyones' goal is to have hygienic bees capable of effectively managing mites.
On June 18th at 9 AM (EDT=PFE pretty frigging early for us west coasters) Ohio State University will be presenting the free webinar "Hive Monitoring: Measuring Primary and Secondary Pests of your hive" featuring master beekeeping instructor Alex Zomchek with 40 years of beekeeping experience.
"Are you monitoring your hives for varroa and other key pests? Knowing what's there is the first step to successful pest management. Alex will explain the "whys, hows and whens" of hive monitoring for primary and secondary pests, just in time for summer monitoring of varroa."
To join in this free webinar login as a guest at https://carmenconnect.osu.edu/theosubuzz . This webinar will be recorded and available at the OSU Bee Lab website and the webinar section of our Beekeepers' Library.
|Angry stormy weather Bee|