As Dr Dewey Caron mentioned at the meeting last night, June is a good time to get a baseline of your mite load. You may or may not be of the opinion to treat at this time. Or maybe you don’t want to treat at all, but knowing your mite counts and watching for the increase or decrease in the population may be important to you in other decisions you’ll be making. It’s also good information for diagnosing any problems you see or understanding the cause of death, should they not survive the winter.
In the following video, Dr Caron demonstrates 2 ways to get a good count: the sugar roll and the alcohol wash. Sticky boards might be easier and less intrusive, but they don’t give a mite count that can be used for comparative analysis throughout the year. Bee population changes during the season and this can affect the sticky board counts. The sugar roll and alcohol wash give you a more reliable percentage, or number of mites per 100 bees.