What is an acceptable mite count?

The guidelines for acceptable counts of varroa mites have decreased yet again this year to 1-2 mites/100 bees. Everyone should be familiar with performing mite counts using either a powdered sugar shake or an alcohol wash of 1/2 cup of bees (approx. 300 bees).

How are mites treated in humans?

People can treat scabies with medicated creams called scabicides. Effective scabicides are only available by prescription. They kill the mites and their eggs. Three days before using the treatment, a person should wash and dry or bag all of their clothes, towels, and bedclothes.

How often should I check my bees for mites?

Plan to monitor for mites at least once each month during the bee season. You may want to check more frequently in late summer, when risk is higher. If you have fewer than 8 hives, or want hive specific data, test them all.

When should I treat my bees for mites?

In the late Summer treat before mites cause damage to brood that will become Winter bee stock. Leave pads in until Spring for reuse. In the Spring treat before extensive brood build up, when you are reversing hives or preparing for pollination.

How do I know if my bees have mites?

Varroa Mite Monitoring

  1. Find a frame of brood. Take the lid off of your jar.
  2. Add powdered sugar. Add a heaping hive tool of powdered sugar through the screen (about 2 tbsp).
  3. Rest. Set the jar in the shade for 2 minutes.
  4. Shake.
  5. Count mites.
  6. Compare your mite count to your threshold.

How do you know if your bees have mites?


  • Spotty brood and Varroa present on adult.
  • Mites may be present on brood.
  • Mites seen on open brood cells.
  • Small population size.
  • No odor present, just sunken brood.

How do you treat bees for mites?

Powdered Sugar Dusting to Control Varroa Mites.

  1. Sift a pound of powdered sugar using a baking flour sifter.
  2. Put the sifted sugar into an empty (and cleaned), baby powder container (alternatively you can improvise your own container).
  3. Smoke and open the hive.
  4. Avoid dusting any open cells.

Should you treat package bees for mites?

Varroa mites can weaken your colony and make your hive susceptible to secondary pests. Treating package bees with oxalic acid can be useful to ensure that you’re setting up your bees for a strong pest-free start.