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Posted: June 19th, 2017, 5:58 pm
Tonight I did my first check for mites using the sugar shaker method. I thought I followed all of the instructions correctly, but there were no mites anywhere on the collection plate or in the jar when I rinsed and filtered the sugar in there. Then after taking off my veil and sweatshirt, later on, I found what I'm sure was a mite crawling on my arm. I treated for mites in the spring, btw.
Posted: June 20th, 2017, 1:44 am
I found what I'm sure was a mite crawling on my arm
That seems...unlikely. Are you sure that you know what you are looking for?
Let me see if I have this right- you treated already this Spring, and *now* you are doing your first mite check?
What did you treat with? Where are you located?
Posted: June 20th, 2017, 5:58 am
My bee friend had me treat proactively together with his. I hadn't done a check other than visually basically because this is all still very new to me and my bee buddy never mentioned this kind of check. I know the mite seems unlikely, but if I could show you a picture, I'm sure you would say it looked like a mite. I've looked at about a hundred pictures to compare. It seems even more unlikely because I was covered. But it makes me extremely nervous to have not found a single mite on the bees.
I live in PA. We treated with an oxclic acid dribble when we got our bees April 1.
Posted: June 21st, 2017, 1:50 am
Well, having never done the 'sugar shake', I cannot speak as to the efficacy of the method nor your implementation of it. A 'visual' mite check is of little use, they are very, very small and extremely difficult to see when you are looking at a mass of bees moving around.
If your OAD was applied properly and was effective, there may not be many mites to see at this point, and I don't think you mentioned what your sample size was. A large sample and an alcohol wash might turn up a mite or two, but you probably shouldn't get too nervous yet.
When you got your bees, was it a package or a nuc? Was it from a commercial source?
Posted: June 21st, 2017, 4:05 am
It was a package from a source who got his bees very early for our area. They are very docile, but have been doing wonderfully. I still haven't been stung and I've been in without veil, gloves, etc.
Posted: June 21st, 2017, 5:28 pm
OK, a package would have had a brood-break, plus your OAD treatment, so mites shouldn't be a big issue at this point. What you need to remember is that mites breed in a geometric, not linear progression. You can have low numbers for a while, then slightly higher, then slightly higher, and then BOOM!, you're loaded.
You'll want to check again, probably around August, and see what you come up with then.
Posted: June 21st, 2017, 7:58 pm
Thank you! I'll keep an eye on them. Still a little disturbed by the thing on my arm.
Posted: June 22nd, 2017, 1:49 am
Sss1717 wrote: ↑June 21st, 2017, 7:58 pm
Still a little disturbed by the thing on my arm.
LOL, who knows? Up here,we have to check for ticks after a trip to the bees.
They are very docile, but have been doing wonderfully. I still haven't been stung and I've been in without veil, gloves, etc.
That's great...until it's not- stuff happens and bees get pissy and then you have an issue. If you want to go in them bare-handed, that's one thing, but it is not wise to not protect your face.