Cheapo Mite Count

I didn’t see any mites during my last inspection, not even on the grubs that were accidentally exposed.  Still, the Apiguard treatment will arrive in a few days and before I apply it I’d like to do a mite count. Mite counts with sticky boards are not easy to interpret. Thresholds vary according to the amount of bees in the hive  (and I’m not good yet at estimating), the time of year, and the hygienic (grooming) behavior of the bees. But I’m thinking I could count, then treat, and then count again. That should give me some idea.

This time I made a “sticky board” myself, on the cheap. I found an old poster  made of strong, shiny paper. I fitted it to the board, then marked and numbered areas on it, which makes the  counting easier.

Then I swallowed twice  and entered a CVS (I can no longer enter places like CVS without shivering – and not just because in Summer their themostat is set at 55F) to buy some petroleum jelly (I know, that’s not quite post-carbon beekeeping). Slathering that stuff on is kind of fun.

I slid the board under the hive , which has a permanently open (screened) bottom, on Saturday at 2:15pm. I’ll have to pull it around the same time on Tuesday.

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