Looking for varroa mites

Mite_Drop_Board.jpg (40516 bytes)
(Aaron's hand.  Picture by Betsy)

Inserting a sheet of Permadent foundation
sprayed with cooking oil and protected from the bees
by a sheet of 6 mesh hardware cloth

After a definite period of time, usually a day, the sheet is removed and examined for varroa.  Depending on the test being undertaken, an acaracide may be used to encourage large drops, or natural varroa mortality without any acaracide may be observed.  The count will indicate whether further measures are necessary to control the varroa.

Integrated Pest Management techniques depend on quantifying levels of predation by mites.  When measurements are compared to standards to determine if economic levels of damage are likely to ocur, the beekeeper can decide whether, and when, to use appropriate control measures.