The second annual Mite-A-Thon will take place Saturday, September 8 to Saturday, September 15, 2018 and we invite you to participate!
Dear Honey Bee Friends:
The parasitic mite, Varroa destructor (a.k.a. Varroa), and the viruses it vectors is a significant driver of honey bee colony mortality and therefore needs to be managed effectively in order to maintain the health of honey bees and the ecosystems they live in.The Mite-A-Thon is a Tri-national (i.e. Canada, United States, and Mexico) effort to raise awareness about honey bee colony Varroa infestation levels in North America.
Mite-A-Thon participants are being asked to monitor the level of Varroa (number of mites per 100 bees) in their honey bee colonies using a standardized protocol, either powdered sugar roll or alcohol wash. Mite level data including apiary location, total number of honey bee colonies, number of colonies tested, local habitat, and the number of Varroa mites counted from each tested colony is to be uploaded to the following website: www.mitecheck.com.
The goal is to take a snap-shot of Varroa mite levels across North America within a one-week window (i.e. September 8 – 15, 2018) and to visualize Varroa infestations levels across this large geographic area at the same time of year. The other underlying goal of this initiative is to encourage beekeepers to simply monitor for Varroa in their honey bee colonies.
The following beekeeper associations in Manitoba support the Mite-A-Thon initiative and would like to see strong participation from Manitoba beekeepers.
LET’S PUT MANITOBA ON THE MAP WHEN IT COMES TO MONITORING VARROA MITES!
For the new beekeepers or any beekeepers that want a refresher on how to do an alcohol wash for Varroa, please click here to view the Varroa Mite Monitoring video produced for the Manitoba Beekeepers Association and funded under the Growing Forward Initiative. https://archive.org/details/VarroaMiteMonitoring . Randy Oliver also has a great, short video on monitoring your colonies for Varroa mites, click here to view Randy’s video: https://youtu.be/oiu_dIZu7Uk
Note: you do not need to monitor every hive in your operation to get good data on Varroa mite levels. For example, monitoring 5 hives per yard site is a good representative sample for that yard.
After monitoring the Varroa levels in your honey bee colonies during the week of September 8th – 15th, fill out the mitecheck.com survey online to upload your data.
The mite level information you upload to mitecheck.com will not identify individual participants
For more information about the Mite-A-Thon initiative, please visit the Mite-A-Thon website or contact the Pollinator Partnership at email@example.com (415 362-1137) or feel free to direct your questions to your local beekeeper associations, contact person Ian Steppler, firstname.lastname@example.org or Provincial Apiarist, Rheal.Lafreniere@nullgov.mb.ca (204-945-4825).