Varroa destructor, a parasitic mite, is the most serious pest of a honey bee colony. Left unchecked, varroa mites can severely damage the colony and lead to collapse. Visual inspection of honey bee adults is not a reliable way to monitor for varroa. This video demonstrates two methods for sampling a colony for varroa mites: the alcohol wash and the powdered sugar shake. Varroa mites feed on the hemolymph of honey bees, transmitting viruses and affecting the growth and development of larvae. (Hemolymph is a fluid equivalent to blood in honey bees.) Regular monitoring of varroa mite levels in their colonies can guide beekeepers in their treatment decisions. Keeping pests and pathogens in check is necessary for strong, healthy honey bee colonies. For help with a diagnosis, please contact the Oregon State University Honey Bee Lab for more information: (541) 737-1447 | http://honeybeelab.oregonstate.edu
Sampling for Varroa Mites from a Honey Bee Brood Nest
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