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HomeHealthy Food"Sugar Shake" Take a look at for Varroa Mites

“Sugar Shake” Take a look at for Varroa Mites

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Learn how to use the nonlethal “sugar shake” methodology to examine a yard residential beehive for a varroa mite infestation.

beekeeper conducting sugar shake test for varroa mites

Varroa mites are one of many greatest threats to the well being and long-term viability of a beehive.

For these of us who preserve honeybees within the yard, you will need to do routine month-to-month checks for varroa to make sure that all is properly along with your winged mates!

“Sugar Shake” Take a look at for Varroa Mites

On this newest video added to my playlist on beekeeping, I take advantage of what is named the “sugar shake” methodology for a varroa mites examine.

This methodology is taught by the Institute of Meals and Agricultural Sciences on the College of Florida. (1)

The sugar shake is a nonlethal, nonharmful methodology to securely examine your hive for a varroa mite infestation.

It includes 4 steps:

  • Acquire a half cup of bees from a brood body (be certain that the queen shouldn’t be on this body first).
  • Coat the take a look at bees with 2 tablespoons of powdered cane sugar and allow them to sit for five minutes.
  • Gently shake the sugar onto a white floor and rely the variety of dislodged mites. Three or fewer mites is taken into account a “move”.
  • Safely return the take a look at bees to the hive.


The first advantage of the sugar shake is that it’s a fast and straightforward methodology for novice and novice beekeepers to maintain tabs on the well being of the hive.

One other huge plus is that the take a look at is innocent and nonlethal to the take a look at bees.


The one disadvantage of the sugar shake methodology is that it’s much less correct in humid climate.

It is because a excessive moisture content material within the air causes the powdered sugar to clump, leading to a much less correct consequence.

This draw back is definitely remedied by performing the take a look at inside an air conditioned constructing.

Merely seize the take a look at bees in a jar and transfer inside a climate-controlled room to conduct the rest of the take a look at.

Failed Take a look at?

If the take a look at for varroa mites fails, then remedial motion to manage the extreme varroa mites is a good suggestion.

This video on methods to safely deal with a yard beehive for varroa mites supplies extra particulars.

One other different is to transition to brood frames with smaller hexagonal cells, corresponding to what can be present in wild honeybee colonies. Some analysis means that this may help to short-circuit the varroa mite lifecycle with no hurt to the hive. This can be a favored method by beekeepers who espouse a hands-off methodology for controlling varroa. (2)

There are different choices to think about for secure, nonlethal varroa management corresponding to utilizing a screened backside board (which I take advantage of). (3)

One other thought is to make selfmade pollen patties for the bees to supply further diet. A robust hive is of course immune to any infestation together with varroa. That is one thing I’m going to make use of myself and shall be protecting in a later put up and video! (4)


(1) Institute of Meals and Agricultural Sciences on the College of Florida

(2) An Built-in Pest Administration Strategy to Management Varroa Mites

(3) A Meta-Evaluation Exhibits That Display Backside Boards Can Considerably Scale back Varroa destructor Inhabitants

(4) How To Stop And Management Varroa Mites In Your Hive



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