Improved Mite Measures

After my disastrous attempt at trying to track the mite population in my hive I took a closer look at what I was trying to do.  The bottom board is slotted, but does not have any method of sliding in a sheet or board that will keep the bees out.  I have to build some kind of lid on the trap so that the bees can’t get in.

Online I see a reference to number 8 hardware cloth pretty regularly.  It is a wire mesh that has 8 wires per inch, or ~1/8″ gaps.  The bees can get through 1/4″ mesh.  My hardware stores only sold the 1/4″ in hardware cloth, so I had to fall back to aluminum screening.  It feels sturdy and will not get chewed up by insects.

I went with a similar cheap bottom board as before with a single sticky paper sheet tacked down.  The lid is a simple 1×2 perimeter with the aluminum screening stapled on top.  Nothing pretty, but it fits under the hive and keeps the bees out and the mites in.

I tested it out for a 5 day period under the hive, checking occasionally to make sure no bees were being harmed.  It worked well.  In 5 days of usage I counted 5 mites on the sheet.  My current rate of 1 mite per day will help me keep tabs on what the mite population is doing.  Up down or steady, I should have a decent finger in the wind.

wpid-20150531_100035.jpgI wouldn’t suggest placing this trap out much longer than a week.  A lot of little bugs got in there, and the hive is always dropping debris.  As it was, it took a magnifying glass with light to really make sure I could tell the difference between a dark spec of debris and a mite.

Lastly as a bonus of sorts, when I pulled the thing out it was covered in about a dozen small hive beetles.  Horrible as it is to see them, I was able to carry them away from the hive and smash every one.  I wonder if they are attracted to the pollen and other junk left behind by the bees.  Could this make a good out-of-hive trap for SHB?  Who knows, but I will be sure to observe the hive beetles every time I use this trap.

3 thoughts on “Improved Mite Measures

  1. This is working out well! Getting the hive beetles is a bonus! Good for you – perseverance works. Hugs, Rosemary

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  2. Pingback: Hive Update | Kilted Craft Works

  3. Pingback: Full Sized Mite Board | Kilted Craft Works

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