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Its Sugar Shake awareness month

Written by: Clark Farm Equipment
Posted on: 8 Apr 2019
Topic: Clark Farm Equipment News

Sugar shaking bees is a method used to detect external parasites such as varroa mites, tropilaelaps mites and braula fly on honey bees. It is a quick and easy field method that does not kill bees.

The varroa mite legs has sticky pads that help them hold onto the bees, the sugar particles used in the sugar shake technique breaks down the bond. The sugar covering the bees stimulates grooming behaviour, further helping the mites to dislodge.

Regular monitoring should be conducted as this technique will not detect mites within sealed brood cells or low infestations of varroa mites in hives.

When selecting how to test for parasites you should choose a weaker hive as it is more likely to have been affected by a potential parasite infestation.

Early reporting of an exotic bee pest like varroa as it is one of the more important factors in eradication and incursion. Negative test results are also important in ensuring that Australia remains free from pests like the varroa mite. Please report your results using the following link -

Sugar shake test results will also be used to support Australia’s export trade of queen and packaged bees. If you think you have found an exotic pest like varroa mite you must notify NSW DPI immediately. You can also report suspected exotic pests by calling the exotic plant pest hotline on 1800 084 881.

If you think you have found an external parasite you  should also take immediate precautions to reduce the risk of spreading.

This could be done by:

  • Do not send any live parasites through the mail ( unless advised by the DPI )
  • Do not remove suspected infected bees or hives from the apiary
  • Check there are no passenger bees in your vehicle or on your clothes
  • Wash your hands, smoker and hives tools before leaving the apiary
  • Place your overalls, veil, gloves and hat in a plastic bag and leave it at the apiary


For more information on what equipment you need, the process  and more visit


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