Mite Collection Request

Courtesy of Catch The Buzz

Hi all treatment-free beekeepers. How about helping me collect data on the actual mite levels in your hives over the course of the year?

Here’s the simple protocol:

Alcohol wash is most accurate. Can do with only a level 1/3 cup of bees, which is slightly over 200 bees. Follow procedure at

The sample should be taken from the same place in the hive each time—we prefer the first non-brood frame adjacent to brood, since less chance of getting a queen.

Samples should be taken each month, at about the same time of month. All samples from the same hive(s), and kept track of for hive number. Two or more hives would be most desirable.

Such results would allow me to plot the mite population curve for the year in your hives, which would be of great interest for non-treated colonies that survive.

Record hive number(s), date, and mite count for each sample.

Send me the data and location after you have collected for a year. We’ll make the data available to anybody interested on the web page, and let you know when it gets posted.

Randy Oliver
Grass Valley, CA

Editor’s Note: Please only open hives weather permitting.


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