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Author Topic: Home Made Sticky Board (or not)  (Read 426 times)
GSF
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Location: Central AL (nw corner of Elmore County)


« on: October 24, 2013, 08:50:37 PM »

I am doing a mite count which will end Friday evening. (natural mite drop no chemicals) I took the old sticky board, turned it over, drew out my squares, then placed a thin layer of Crisco grease over it. I know I read that method somewhere. Do you see any flaws with it?

I was having a hard time finding any mites when I briefly looked at it this evening(being day two). The sun was down but plenty of daylight. I used an led light and a magnifying glass as well. I didn't see any red mites but I did see a couple of black ones. Prior to putting the board under I had done a full frame by frame inspection. I wanted to know what they looked like going into winter. I'm guessing the black ones were dead already and due to the chaos got knocked from where they were lodged. I must say again, hard time finding any mites.

Does Crisco create any kind of reaction when a mite falls into it? Like dissolve it or turn it black? Lots of debris on the board.
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merince
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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2013, 10:36:29 AM »

The only drawback that I know of it that it can get gummy or moldy. Randy Oliver (his website is called Scientific Beekeeping) recommends using petroleum jelly (Vaseline) on sticky boards. He also finds different colored mites on his boards.

Sticky boards are reliable for long term trends as day to day the drop counts will vary wildly. If you want to get a quick read on the actual mite counts, you can do a sugar shake (least invasive) or an alcohol or detergent wash (those kill the sampled bees) of nurse bees (broodnest bees). The mites are usually on the nurse bees.

Randy Oliver has a good description on his website plus instructions on how to make a shaker.
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T Beek
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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2013, 04:23:00 PM »

Yep you can't just leave it there for extended periods for reasons already mentioned.  

I just spray some Pam on mine, do the check, after a week or so, remove and clean them up a bit and reverse them keeping the greasy side facing down until I want to check again.  

Works for me.  Debris is normal.  There can be a lot sometimes, like when wax building or an exceptional flow is on.

Note;  Randy Oliver is amazing!  I love his stuff  Smiley
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 04:36:03 PM by T Beek » Logged

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danno
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2013, 04:51:46 PM »

I have used the Pam method also.  I have also used contact paper staple sticky side up
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GSF
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2013, 08:17:11 PM »

So is a "natural" mite drop a reliable method? Or do I need to do the powder sugar trick to get a more accurate count?

I counted my 3 day drop and came up with a grand total of around 10. Last time it was 16 which means it averaged 5 drops a day.

What has me concerned is that count is almost too go to be true. If Vaseline is good then Crisco should be fine as well. From my understanding when they fall it keeps them from getting a foot hold and walking off.

So a sugar shake then count again? Is three days good enough?

If my count is good then I could only guess that #1) 3 lb package Jun 7th, #2) I'm of the persuasion that the feral honey bee population is pretty much non existent around here, therefore not many hosts for the mites.
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tefer2
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2013, 08:16:14 AM »

We used vaseline on our pull out trays, now use alcohol wash for more accurate counts.
Natural drops can be all over the place.
The vaseline will last a long time without going bad and can be applied with a wide foam brush. A 6 inch putty knife cleans the board with a few strokes.
When it looks like someone sprinkled pepper all over them, you've got trouble.
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riverrat
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2013, 09:55:15 AM »

I find it best to do several checks for 3 days at a time to get a better average of mite counts. They will vary from one end to the other
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