Varroa Shaker_20160117_003

If you want to know the Varroa level in the bee colony this tool is handy. Twice a season can bee good if you use it for example in selecting your breeders. And which colonies need a new queen (high Varroa level). It’s quick and you get an answer directly in the apiary.

Now a bee supplier in Sweden has the Bee shaker for sale. He calls it Erik’s Varroa shaker. Maybe it’s too expensive to send it to US. But some beekeepers in European countries no too far from Sweden may be interested. If you don’t want to make one yourself.

You can communicate with the producer Bjorn Gagner through e-mail: Price is probably somewhere between SEK 100-200 + shipping (about EUR 15 + shipping).

You can read more about it here:

The shaker is meant for making a an alcohol wash test.

  1. Fill one of the 500 ml jars to 2/3 with for example methylated spirit or rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol.
  2. Take a frame closest to a brood frame, don’t include the queen! She’s most probably walking on a brood frame.
  3. Shake the bees from the frame into a bowl or pan.
  4. Scope with a measuring cup little more than a deciliter (3.5 oz) of bees and pour them into the jar with alcohol (the bees die☹)
  5. Screw the glued lids with the netting and the the two jars together and shake for a minute.
  6. Turn the jars upside down and continue shaking until all alcohol has come down into the former empty jar.
  7. Lift the cans above your head to the sky and count the number of mites on the bottom of the lower jar (which now has the booze).
  8. If it is less than 3 mites in May and 6 in August you will probably do nothing about the mites.
  9. If one decides to treat, you can use several methods. One method is to use thymol. Another to remove all capped brood frames (worker- and drone brood) twice with a week apart. The latter method is perhaps the one to prefer if you breed varroa resistant bees. Because then you interfere the least with the epigenetic adaptation of the bees to fight the mites.



Bee shaker for sale
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6 thoughts on “Bee shaker for sale

  • January 17, 2016 at 19:18

    In the US/Canada we have jars that are used for canning vegetables and fruits and such. One of these with a screen cut out to fit in the caps serves very well.

    • January 18, 2016 at 16:10

      Good alternatives when you make your own shaker. Randy Oliver used jars with peanut butter. There once was a Canadian who made them for sale. Randy tried to get his son to make them, but up till now in vain, as far as I know.

  • January 17, 2016 at 20:00

    I guess that this could be used also for powdered sugar tests?

  • January 17, 2016 at 20:08

    If this is for the Minnesota Sugar Roll test. I shake the varroa through a piece of screen mesh glued over a hole cut in a plastic honey jar lid onto the surface of water in a bowl, the sugar dissolves and the varroa are left floating on the water. The second jar in the photo is therefore superfluous. It would be used if testing for resistance to a varroacide, when the beesin one jar are exposed to the varroacide, and after a sutable time are shaken into the lower jar for counting, then the bees and the mites in the top jar are killed with alcohol, the mites fal through to give number kiled and number resistant.
    Details here :

    • January 17, 2016 at 21:19

      Sorry for not mentioning that this tool is meant for making an alcohol wash test. How it’s made please look a the other posts here:
      I have added this fact to the text in the post now.

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