Poster presented at Apimondia 2019 in Montreal (Canada)

In the global debate about varroa (Varroa destructor) management, honey bee health experts and beekeepers often focus on varroa treatments, but a well-organised monitoring routine lays the foundation for a successful treatment strategy and can be one of the keys to overwintering survival.

In a field study (2017) conducted in the Czech Republic, we compared the efficiency of four established Varroa monitoring methods: the two standardised, industrial methods “Varroa EasyCheck®” (Véto-pharma) and “Varroa Tester®” (Swienty) and the two home-made methods “Powdered Sugar Dusting” and “Alcohol Wash”.

• Efficiency of all tested monitoring methods was variable with higher variability at lower infestation rates.
• The Varroa EasyCheck® and Varroa Tester® were the most efficient of the four tested monitoring methods (82.3% and 83.9%, respectively), whereas the Sugar Dusting (64.9%) and the home-made Alcohol Wash (65.2%) methods demonstrated a significantly lower efficiency.
• In the present field study, standardised monitoring methods were more efficient compared to home-made solutions.
• The factor “beekeeper” significantly affected the efficacy of the powdered sugar dusting method, but not that of Varroa EasyCheck® or the Varroa Tester®.

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