NZBF: What is considered an acceptable and a high varroa load?

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Two hives:

1 of them tested 3 varroa out of 288 bees so 1.04%. Hive looks very healthy with good solid brood, nice temperament.
Other tested 7 varroa out of 150 bees tested. 4.6% Unhealthy hive. Agressive bees.

What is considered acceptable, and when is a hive considered to have a high varroa load? 0% would be nice of course :)
it depends a bit on what the hive is doing. going into winter it should be 0-1.
unfortunately i have lost my results from when we did a lot of testing. but it doesn't take a lot before damage is done to a hive. about 7 mites per sample was when they started going down hill. about 14 it was about unrecoverable.

under spring conditions when the hive is ramping up they tolerate more as they out breed the mites. however soon as they slow it bites them.


Founder Member
Semi Commercial
In my view both those are high for this time, if you have completed treatment. If not planning further pre winter treatment the 4.6% hive is likely to be dead or close to it come spring, and the 1.04% hive might get through OK, or might not.

Since you have (i think) few enough hives to be able to monitor them closely through winter, my recommendation would be treat the higher mite hive with something reliable now, the other hive preferably treat it but if not monitor it through winter and treat if needed.

If you learn to recognise mite signs in the brood plus the "vibe" an infested hive gives off, you may not need to mess with actual tests all the time.