Detergent for mite wash

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9
9
Ruakaka
Experience
Semi Commercial
Hi all, has anyone figured what detergent in NZ is best for mite washes? I'm keen to move on from alcohol to detergent. I note Randy Oliver uses Dawn detergent, which isn't available in NZ. I just did some washes today and used Sunlight (which seemed to work well, got the same mite number as I did from an alcohol wash on the same hive), but I'm wondering if there may be a more effective detergent? TIA
 

Trevor Gillbanks

Staff member
Founder Member
Gold
10,586
7,169
Palmerston North
Experience
Hobbyist
What sort of mix Trevor? I'm thinking that dishwasher detergent is generally quite concentrated - do you have a ratio that works best?
Who cares really. The bees and the mites are going to die.
However, I made my brew about 1 tablespoon in 2 lt of warm water. (warm to help it dissolve).
Test, experiment and report back here.
 
9
9
Ruakaka
Experience
Semi Commercial
Who cares really. The bees and the mites are going to die.
However, I made my brew about 1 tablespoon in 2 lt of warm water. (warm to help it dissolve).
Test, experiment and report back here.
Ummmm, I cared. I just thought rather than randomly adding lots of dishwashing powder to water, there might be a solution that works well. Sorry for asking. But I appreciate you telling me what ratio you used.
 

Trevor Gillbanks

Staff member
Founder Member
Gold
10,586
7,169
Palmerston North
Experience
Hobbyist
Ummmm, I cared. I just thought rather than randomly adding lots of dishwashing powder to water, there might be a solution that works well. Sorry for asking. But I appreciate you telling me what ratio you used.
Sorry, I was not trying to be smart or anything.
I always thought that Alcohol wash was too expensive. And I did not like using Meths, as the colour made it difficult to see the mites.
I have used spraying lacquer thinners as that is clear, but also expensive.
Straight water works also, but not as quick as soapy water.
The soap breaks the surface tension of the water and causes the bees and mites to drown very quickly.
The standard dishwash worked well but as I said the foam made it difficult to see thru the jar.
The machine dish wash has a low (nil) suds level and as it comes out of the household budget, then it was also cost effective.
I could not see any point in making the mix and stronger than what I used but I am sure it will work with a lot less and also a lot more. So we get back to my answer of, Who cares how much you use, just test to make sure it works for you.
 
9
9
Ruakaka
Experience
Semi Commercial
Sorry, I was not trying to be smart or anything.
I always thought that Alcohol wash was too expensive. And I did not like using Meths, as the colour made it difficult to see the mites.
I have used spraying lacquer thinners as that is clear, but also expensive.
Straight water works also, but not as quick as soapy water.
The soap breaks the surface tension of the water and causes the bees and mites to drown very quickly.
The standard dishwash worked well but as I said the foam made it difficult to see thru the jar.
The machine dish wash has a low (nil) suds level and as it comes out of the household budget, then it was also cost effective.
I could not see any point in making the mix and stronger than what I used but I am sure it will work with a lot less and also a lot more. So we get back to my answer of, Who cares how much you use, just test to make sure it works for you.
All good Trevor :). Thanks for the feedback, I always assumed there was a relationship between the medium used, and the requirement for the mites to die and get down through all the dead bees to the bottom of the jar. I've always used meths, but detergent will be simpler/cheaper still. I had no problems with foam today, but most likely every BK will use a different method of agitating the mixture. I will experiment with different detergents and see if I can determine any variation between them. Thanks.
 

Josh

Gold
787
525
Christchurch
Experience
Hobbyist
As I sit here in my coat, clutching a coffee,
I’m envious of people getting in hives at this time of year. Good to know other wash options, alcohol is a pain to get and I can raid the house supplies instead
 
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1,129
1,046
great barrier island
Experience
Semi Commercial
Hi all, has anyone figured what detergent in NZ is best for mite washes? I'm keen to move on from alcohol to detergent. I note Randy Oliver uses Dawn detergent, which isn't available in NZ. I just did some washes today and used Sunlight (which seemed to work well, got the same mite number as I did from an alcohol wash on the same hive), but I'm wondering if there may be a more effective detergent? TIA
in Randy’s conference presentation he said with detergent you need to agitate (not shake) very gently then let it settle for 1 minute.
he uses a magnifying mirror under the jar to count mites.
 
9
9
Ruakaka
Experience
Semi Commercial
Hi Nikki, yes, I'm aware of his methods of swirling. And of course, viewed from underneath, suds aren't an issue. But when you dig deeper into his research on mediums for mite washing, he has experimented with quite a few different kinds (alcohols, windscreen fluid, etc). He states clearly that he finds not all detergents are equal when it comes to optimising mite drop. His preference for effectiveness is the Dawn brand (and discusses the surfactants used in it). But we don't get that brand here in NZ, hence why I originally asked if anyone had found a particular brand to be 'optimum' when it comes to mite washing. I have started with good ol' Sunlight (which gave me an identical drop vs meths), and I'll experiment from here.
 
1,129
1,046
great barrier island
Experience
Semi Commercial
Hi Nikki, yes, I'm aware of his methods of swirling. And of course, viewed from underneath, suds aren't an issue. But when you dig deeper into his research on mediums for mite washing, he has experimented with quite a few different kinds (alcohols, windscreen fluid, etc). He states clearly that he finds not all detergents are equal when it comes to optimising mite drop. His preference for effectiveness is the Dawn brand (and discusses the surfactants used in it). But we don't get that brand here in NZ, hence why I originally asked if anyone had found a particular brand to be 'optimum' when it comes to mite washing. I have started with good ol' Sunlight (which gave me an identical drop vs meths), and I'll experiment from here.
if you’re not worried about $$ try fishpond
 

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