Sugar Shaker for Detecting External Parasites such as Varroa Mites

16 reviews

Sale price$18.95



With the recent detection of the Varroa Mite in NSW, we are sending our kits out as quickly as possible to all States including NSW.

Beekeepers are encouraged to test their own hives regularly for varroa however its regulation in many Australian states, that this inspection is undertaken at least twice per year. This is best taken in the mid-spring and again mid-autumn before the winter preparation. Using the simple sugar shake test which is a non-destructive test and targets to not kill the bees.

When varroa mites are dusted with pure icing sugar, the fine granules stick to their feet which then makes it difficult to grip onto surfaces. The dusting coating of icing sugar on adult bees causes mites to fall off the bee into the white sugar where they are more easily seen. This separation is essential because when shaken the mites now separated from the bees, can now fall though the metal mesh into a surface of water.

This simple sugar shake detection method is now used by many beekeepers throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Contents of product:

  • Sugar Shaker with special stainless-steel mesh x 1
  • Icing Sugar Sachet x 1
  • Instructions of the Sugar Shake Bee Test


The process in using the Sugar Shake Test for Bees are as follows:

  1. Remove the lid and all contents inside.
  2. Select a frame/s of bees that does not hold the queen bee but is also a central frame to the brood. The Queen Bee must not be used in this test.
  3. Put approximately 200 - 250 worker and drone bees (1/2 cup) in the sugar shaker container and then securely replace the lid, carefully add 1 tablespoon (tbsp) of icing sugar through the grill mesh.
  4. Slowly, without shaking the bees, roll the sugar shaker minimising the loss of icing sugar for about 2 minutes. Ensure that the bees are fully coated.
  5. Pause for 2 minutes and do not move the bees.
  6. Repeat step 4 with another 2 minutes of rolling the sugar shaker.
  7. With a bucket of clean water ready, turn the sugar shaker upside down and shake the container over the water. The icing sugar will fall into the water and dissolve while if there are any mites present, they float on the water surface.
  8. After all sugar is shaken out, open the lid and return the bees back to their hive.
  9. Carefully examine the water for potential mites or pests.

If you suspect there are any exotic mites such as “Varroa Mite” (small tick shape, red/brown in colour) present, please contact the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881 (24 hours a day, every day of the year)


For a detailed video of the sugar shake process, view the below video from the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (DPI’s) Tocal College showing the whole process.

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Customer Reviews

Based on 16 reviews
Anne L.
Sugar Shaker

Easy to understand instructions and was shipped very promptly. Love these guys !!!

douglas h.
What I needed.

What I needed, when I needed it. Great service. Prompt delivery.

Paul J.
Sugar Shaker

Excellent, both service & product.

Bev D.

My order arrived promptly
The sugar shaker was easy to use, came with step by step instructions ,
Good doing business with such professionals,
Thank you Buzz 🐝

Peter R.

Looks the goods but haven't used it yet. Prompt service and delivery.

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