Saturday, September 9 to Saturday, September 16, 2017
The Mite-A-Thon is a week to test Honey Bee hives for levels of Varroa mites across all of North America.
This is the first annual coordinated event to gather data on Varroa mite infestations and to discuss management strategies. Commercial, sideliner, and hobbyist beekeepers will be enrolled to participate through their respective clubs and associations to create a broad distribution of sampling sites across Canada, the United States, and Mexico. A common measurement protocol will be used, and data will be uploaded to the Mite Check database.
OBJECTIVE: To raise awareness and gather data about the level of Varroa mites across the hives of North America and to teach consistent and effective methods to measure mite load. As a secondary goal, treatment strategies will be made available for discussion utilizing partner developed information and outreach materials.
DATE: The week of September 9, 2017, with a practice test during Pollinator Week (June) 2017
PARTICIPANTS: All beekeepers are encouraged to participate
COST: Varroa Mite Testing Kits are available from the UMN Bee Squad, MannLake and Brushy Mountain. Participants can provide their own equivalent materials, and some grants may be available. In addition, participants can make their own testing kit based on directions from The University of Minnesota.
OUTREACH: Promotion of Mite-A-Thon will be through local bee clubs, state beekeeping organizations, and national associations (see appendix for examples)
DATA COLLECTION: Participants will test levels of mites present in their hives using a standardized protocol utilizing two common methods of assessment (alcohol wash or powdered sugar roll); and then upload their data, including location, total number of hives, number of hives tested, local habitat, the number of Varroa mites counted from each hive and any subsequent action taken after monitoring. These data will be collected by Bee Informed Partnership and analyzed for publication and dissemination to the participating beekeepers and organizations. The published information will not identify individual participants.
SPONSORS: Sponsorships are being solicited to underwrite costs and grants, as necessary.
CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org. 415-362-1137
TO DO: Determine your preferred method of testing for mites and commit to a day for testing, either individually or through beekeeping organizations, and report your data (see above).