This September 9-16, beekeepers in Canada, Mexico and the United States are encouraged to participate in the 2017 North American Mite-A-Thon. This multi-national event is a unified effort to collect varroa mite infestation data over the entire North American continent within a specific one week window of time.
The number one enemy of Honey Bees
Varroa mites resemble a small tick and are the size of a pinhead. Fortunately, they are visible to the naked eye, so you can visually see them if you know what to look for. These mites have been in North America for more than 100 years, but it wasn’t until the last 3 decades that they began to cause a serious problem with honey bee populations. A hive with a mite infestation gets weaker as the mite population expands until finally the bees are overpowered by the mites and the colony dies off. Understanding mite populations across the continent will give scientist a better understanding of varroa mites and how to better treat for them.
Mite-A-Thon Method of Counting Mites
All beekeepers who participate are asked to us one of two methods to count the number of mites per 100 bees: 1) powdered sugar roll 2) alcohol wash.
Mite-A-thon Data to monitor
- total number of hives
- number of hives tested
- local conditions
- varroa mite count per hive.
How to participate in 2017 North American Mite-A-thon:
- Conduct one mite count the week of September 9-16, 2017
- Log your data
- Upload data to mitecheck.com
For more information, visit the Pollinator Partnership Website: 2017 North American Mite-A-Thon