Monitoring for varroa: determining the level of infestation, and using the results to aid in control
The effective recognized monitoring methods, alcohol washes and powdered sugar rolls, utilize a sample of approximately one-half cup of honey bees by volume. The purpose of both of these methods is to separate the mites from the bees in the sample, enabling the tester to count them and estimate the infestation rate in the colony.
Varroa EasyCheck was developed by Véto-pharma in 2016 to provide an accurate estimation of the mite infestation levels in a hive with the alcohol wash method. Recent investigations in our apiary showed that the Varroa EasyCheck can be used equally with the sugar roll and CO2 injection methods as well.
Varroa monitoring before the end of summer treatment is probably the most overlooked task performed by a beekeeper. Knowing pre-treatment mite loads will provide you with information as to what to expect from your mite treatment.
Varroa infestations may be very different from one beehive to another and from one year to the next. A varroa control strategy must be devised on a case-by-case basis and deployed right from the beginning of the season. Click on the article to learn more about it.
1- Efficiency of Varroa monitoring methods, the benefits of standardized monitori ng devices. Ludovic de Feraudy, Dr. Ulrike Marsky& Ph.D. Jiri Danihlik. – Apimondia 2019 proceeding.
2- Honey Bee Health Coalition – Tools for Varroa Management 7th edition, Page 7