Varroa Mite Management





WHAT ARE VARROA MITES?

Varroa Mites are small, reddish-brown tick like pests that feed off the hemolymph (blood) of the bees. The exposed wound their bites leave make the bees easily susceptible to infections and viruses. Treatments will reduce the mite population but the real threat of winter loss is the viruses that persist after mite treatment. It takes two to three generations of brood rearing to reduce virus levels. Late fall treatments do not allow sufficient time for the development of healthy bees to take the colony through winter. The best time to deal with mites is late August/early September depending on your location to help get your hive ready for winter.









Mite Monitoring

There are two widely used methods to assess the mite levels in your hive.



Corex Sheet. This is a sheet which slides under a screened bottom board. Spray the corex sheet with a cooking oil so when the mites fall from the hive they stick to the sheet and can then be counted. Insert the sheet for 3 days and then remove it to count the mites. Once you have a total, divide it by 3 to get the average mite drop in a 24 hour period.



Sugar Shake. Place a few table spoons of powdered sugar in a mason jar and gently "slosh" some bees (about ½ cup) around ensuring they are fully coated. Replace the lid with #8 hardware cloth and the sugar will dislodge the mites allowing them to fall through the screen. Below is a very general guide to determine if the colony should be treated. However, the prevailing thought is if you have a window of opportunity to treat your colony you should treat.
Sampling MethodSpringFall
Corex Sheet5-10 mites50-60 mites
Sugar Shake3-4 mites10-12 mites




















Varroa Mite Test Kit
Varroa Mite Test Kit

On Sale $16.00
IPM Screened Bottom Board
IPM Screened Bottom Board

w/ Corex Sheet

On Sale $18.95

10-Frame | 8-Frame
Varroa Tester
Varroa Tester

$72.00

Standard CO2 Cartridge Not Included

Be a Part of the BIP Mite Check


The Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) host a Mite Check survey that any beekeeper is welcome to participate. "This survey is a national effort to collect mite infestation data and to visualize varroa infestations in honey bee colonies across North America."