VARROA MITE ALCOHOL WASH DETECTION KIT FOR DETECTING EXTERNAL PARASITES SUCH AS VARROA MITES
The Buzzbee Varroa Mite Alcohol Wash Detection Kit is a comprehensive solution for detecting mite infestations. The kit includes Varroa Check, a reliable method for detecting mites, proven to be 95% accurate in test results. Keep your colonies safe and healthy with the Varroa Mite Alcohol Wash Detection Kit.
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. You are encouraged to undertake the test using either this Alcohol Wash Detection Kit or the simple sugar shake test which is a non-destructive test.
Equipment you need:
Alcohol Wash Detection container
Clear alcohol such as methylated spirits
- Separate the Alcohol Wash Detection Kit into its individual parts.
- Pour methylated spirits into the clear screw top container to approx. two-thirds full.
- Locate the queen and set the frame she is on aside (The alcohol will kill the queen)
- Choose 2 to 3 brood frames, shake bees off into the large tub or open container. Wait about 2 minutes for forager bees to disperse and fly off, The nurse bees will remain in the tub. (Brood/Nurse bees will have highest mite count)
- Bump the bees to a corner of the tub, then using the alcohol wash meshed cup to scoop up bees until about half full. This will be approximately 300 bees.
- Insert the metal mesh cup (including the bees) into the clear main container and screw the lid on firmly. Hold it upright and vigorously swirl the container for 60 seconds. Any mites present will fall off the bees and settle on the bottom of the container.
- Afterwards wait about 60 seconds keeping the testing unit still and then repeat the vigorously swirl the container for another 60 seconds.
- If mites are present, you will be able to see the mites on the bottom of the clear container. For closer inspection, remove and discard the bees and pore the alcohol/
methylated through a filter paper into another container, where it can be recycles and reused for future tests.
- Record the mite count and in the event mites are detected, refer to best practice for the appropriate treatment and monitoring activity.
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)
This test results in the loss of approximately 300 bees; however, they will be quickly replenished as a healthy queen will lay around 2000 eggs per day. Discard the deceased test bees and return any remaining house bees to the hive. Airborne foragers will safely make their own way back to the hive.
At current most states within Australia are requiring to conduct mite checks on your bees at least twice during the bee season. If you have a small number of hives (fewer than 10), we recommend that you check every hive. For commercial operators with apiaries of 50 or more hives, checking at least 1 in every 4 hives will quickly identify the level of mite risk.
For a detailed video of the Varroa Mite Alcohol Wash , 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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