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How to Sugar Roll for Varroa Count

If you really do not want to kill 300 bees this spring, here is a quick and effective way to test for Varroa Mites


• Very dry powdered (convectionary) sugar • Screened mason jar • 1⁄2 cup measure • White pan • Water spritzer – spray bottle • Timer/cellphone


1. Use only a new box of sugar, best sifted (I bake my sifted sugar in 150 deg oven for 15 minutes)

2. Find a frame of bees with OPEN brood – these nurse bees most apt to have varroa ready to jump into open larva cells. WATCH FOR QUEEN!!

3. Shake frame into white pan and scoop 1⁄2 cup (300 bees) and add to screend jar. Dump rest of bees into hive * Cover jar with screened lid and add 2 to 3 tbsp sugar through screen.

4. Roll jar briskly at an angle for TWO minutes (timed!)

5. Let jar sit for TWO minutes (timed!) in shade.

6. Shake jar into clean white pan vigorously for TWO minutes (timed!)

7. Open jar and dump bees back into the hive and put the hive back together

Submitted by Claire Desilets


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