Varroa Check


Plastic cup with sieve and lid for performing mite counts via alcohol wash method.

SKU: BVCK Category: Tags: ,


Durable transparent plastic cup with tight fitting screw on plastic cap and internal plastic sieve.  Sieve has fill lines marked for 200 (1/3 cup) and 300 bees (1/2 cup).  The transparent cup allows for accurate counting and reliable sampling.

The Varroa Check is an important tool to have on hand for reliable Varroa monitoring. It provides beekeepers a way to diagnose Varroa infestation levels quickly and efficiently. We highly recommend for all beekeepers to have one of these.

Measures 5 1/2″ tall by 3 3/4″ wide.

Required Equipment:

  • Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) diluted with water at a 1:4 (alcohol:water) ratio.

Recommended Equipment:

  • Fine mesh strainer and reservoir to strain out mites after counting and allow storage/reuse of washing fluid.
  • Small plastic tub (washing tub)

Recommended Instructions:

1. Prepare the cup

  • Remove cap from transparent cup.
  • Fill transparent cup just above the bottom of the sieve with diluted alcohol solution.
  • Remove the sieve and shake the fluid off.

2. Collect the bees

  • Choose a frame of bees from inside or just outside the brood nest, preferably with bee bread or capped brood on the frame.  Make sure that the queen is not on the frame.
  • Shake the bees off the frame into the plastic washing tub.
  • Wait a few seconds for any foragers to fly out.  This leaves nurse bees in the washing tub.
  • Look through the nurse bees to be SURE the queen is not in the washing tub.
  • Shake the bees down into one corner of the washing tub and scoop 1/2 cup of bees (300 bees) into the sieve.  The sieve should have bees up to the upper line on the inside.  (Alternatively, you can take a sample with 1/3 cup of bees (200 bees), using the lower line on the inside of the sieve.  This is a less accurate count.)
  • Place the sieve in the transparent cup.
  • Place the cap on the transparent cup and twist the lid into place.  Shake once to immerse the bees in the liquid.
  • Wait a few seconds.

3. Wash to separate the Varroa from the bees

  • Remove the cap from the transparent cup.
  • Fill the cup just above 1/2 full with the diluted alcohol solution.  You will have about 14 oz of the fluid in the cup.
  • Replace the cap and tighten.
  • Gently shake or swirl the Varroa Check for 1 minutes to wash the mites off the bees.  Avoid causing the fluid to foam.

4. Count the mites

  • Remove the cap and sieve from the transparent cup.  Discard the dead bees.
  • Count the mites visually by looking through the transparent cup.
  • Divide the number of mites counted by 3 if you used 1/2 cup (300 bees) or divide by 2 if you used 1/3 cup (200 bees).  The result tells you how many mites you have per 100 bees.  Use this number when making treatment decisions.

5. Clean the washing liquid for reuse.

  • Pour the used washing liquid through a fine mesh strainer or filter back into the original reservoir for reuse in your next count.

Additional information

Weight 3.375 lbs
Dimensions 5.5 × 4 × 4 in

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