Hi guys, just curious what people are using to test for varroa (sugar shake/alcohol wash etc) and how effective it is. We're using CO2 at the moment and just wondering what everyone reckons is the best method.
I use the bought shaker, with methylated spirits. Just because I'm locked into that as my approved method for testing bees for export to Canada. The Co2 method came along after that, if I was starting again that's the way I would go.
However apart from export bees where testing is mandatory I don't test the hives, it's too time consuming to test them all, I just assess by the look of the brood and the bees, and the general vibe the hive gives off.
I assume that there is varroa and treat anyway. It's done in late summer after the honey comes off and then Oxalic Acid in winter. If I see deformed wings/signs of varroa, I'll have to decide what to do but if it's just before the honey comes off, for example, I might have to wait and treat once the honey has been removed.