Mite rolls show how many varroa mites are in a colony. If you don’t know what varroa mites are know this, we have blogged about them here.
Some people do not do mite rolls because they are already going to treat so why waste time mite rolling if no matter what it says you will treat? Others only treat if their hives have over a certain amount of mites because if there is only a few why waste money treating every hive. We however were treating no matter what and we were going to mite roll. Why? One reason is we wanted to learn how to do it. Another reason is information. Now we know how many mites we have and know if that hive dies we have a guess if the treatment failed or if the hive was already dead before we treated it.
We decided to mite roll only three hives because then we would get a general idea of the mite count and two of the hives had a brood break which reduces the number of mites in the hive. Mites get shared throughout the whole apiary.
We are all looking for the queen so we do not kill her in the mite roll.
We found a brood frame without the queen and Mr. Sander showed us how to roll down the bees backs and they would fall right into the jar. We used a brood frame because mites reproduce in brood cells and we would get a more accurate number.
Mr. Sander sprayed the hive with ether. Some people use powder sugar instead because it doesn’t kill the bees, but we used ether because that is what the Sanders suggested.
Here we are looking at the bees to see if we can spot any mites. We used a white bucket lid so that we could see the mite easier. Our mite count was four per three hundred. We treated with Apiguard.
Here is a frame that had a queen cup on it. See the destroyed wax that is hanging down in the middle of the frame.
Here are lots of bees on the inner cover.
Here is a drone frame that we feed to our chicken this will help with the mite load since mites love drone bees.
See if you can spot eggs on this frame. They look like grains of rice.
Or maybe you can spot eggs on this frame.