IPM/mite management

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Hi all,
As I check my hives, I open some drone cells, and look at all the adults closely, and so far, I haven't seen any mites.

I'm using screened bottom boards, and feeding syrup with essential oils. Given that mites are becoming resistant to the current meds, I'd just as soon not use them, if something else will suffice.

So I wanted to do a mite drop check, and considered how best to do it, without going out to buy "sticky boards."

Here's what I did: I took a sold bottom board and lined it with a cut down piece of drop cloth, clear plastic, cheap, never used. I stapled it down to the board, and then coated the board with Crisco. I put all of this under the screened cottom board, with the open side facing the back of the hive. After 24 hours, I can just yank out the plastic sheet and check for mites against the white of the Crisco.  Next weekend, I can take out the solid bottom board, or leave it in.  I'll repeat the process on my other hive.

Anyone see anything wrong with this?

Its very similar to my check.  I use a piece of galv. steel sheet, and coat with crisco, but notice if its on too heavy, it kills bees!!  Same general concept....should work fine I think (opinion)---------Jeremy

The screened bottom board is between the bees and the Crisco. Of course, they may discover the gap in back between the SBB and the Crisco... But since it's only for 24 hours, with luck, there shouldn't be a problem.

Other than labor and manipulation intensive, I don't see a problem with it.  You might want to consider modifying your SBB to accept a tray.

click image for larger view

There are also plans on beesource.  It makes the job that much easier and you can do it more often if you like.  It also means you can leave the SBB on all year and just close them up for the winter.
I find mineral oil in a spray bottle is much easier (and less messy) than trying to spread crisco.

But the Crisco made my hands so soft!  :P


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