Beekeepers Alcohol Wash - Varroa Test
Waggle & Forages Alcohol Wash is perfect for checking for Varroa mite and other Arthropod pests. Made right here in Kyneton, our alcohol wash kits are made from clear plastic jars and stainless steel mesh.
How to Perform an Alcohol Wash
- Make sure your Queen is not present!
- Shake bees from a brood frame onto newspaper or into a large container
- Scoop up about half a cup of bees and pour the bees into the jar with the Waggle and Forage label, as it has a "Bee Line" marker to help you assess how many bees you have.
- Screw on the 'double ended' lid.
- Pour 100ml of methylated spirits (or rubbing alcohol) through the stainless steel mesh, over the bees. Ensure you cover the bees.
- Screw on the second empty jar, to the other side of the 'double ended' lid.
- Shake vigorously for 20 seconds, then flip the jar upside down so that the alcohol pours into the second jar. Continue to shake the liquid into both containers for another few minutes.
- Observe the second jar with the clear fluids for any mites or anything suspicious.
- Repeat the process with the same sample by inverting the jar and allowing the bees to be submerged in fluid again. Shake for another 20 seconds and turn the jar upside down to observe the clear fluid once again.
If you discover something suspicious, please contact the Exotic Plant & Pest Hotline on: 1800 084 449
Just a friendly reminder to all Victorian Beekeepers:
Livestock Disease Control Regulation - Reg74B - In Victoria, a beekeeper must test one hive per apiary for the presence of arthropod bee disease, two or more times a year. The test must include a drone uncapping and a sugar shake or alcohol wash.
Varroa Mite - Further Information
For the best information relating to Varroa Mite, check out the Agriculture Victoria's BeeAware page here.