My daughter and I are first year beekeepers, with a Flow Hive 2 that we started from a package in May. The bees seem to be doing well, but we understand that we should be testing for Varroa mites as we enter the Fall season (in the New England area of the US).
I know that the most accurate way to test for mites is to do an alcohol test. But before we go that route (which causes me stress worrying that we’ll accidentally kill our queen), we are thinking of doing a Varroa trap test, using sticky paper under the bottom screen to catch the mites that fall down.
My questions are:
- Do the mites actually fall through the metal screen at the bottom of the Flow Hive 2? The openings seem pretty small.
- What do people recommend for capturing the mites? I’m thinking of getting one of these Mann Lake sticky boards and putting it on top of the white plastic tray that came with Flow Hive 2, if it will still slide in with the sticky board in place.
- Will this be reasonably accurate to show whether or not we have a mite problem? I gather that ideally this would be done several times for 24 hours to get an accurate count, assuming the mites reach the sticky paper.
If the above is not workable / effective, I guess we’ll have to proceed to the powdered sugar or alcohol test.