Varroa Mite Australia: How to Detect and Monitor Varroa Mite Using Uncapping Fork


Research Associate Sarah Cross shares a valuable method for monitoring Varroa mite levels in your hives. This simple yet effective technique involves the use of a capping scratcher.

Monitoring Varroa Levels:

Cross begins by highlighting the capping scratcher's role in assessing Varroa infestations. By carefully lifting the tops of capped brood cells, beekeepers can inspect the brood and determine if Varroa mites are present. This technique is a practical "yes or no" approach to confirm Varroa infestations in your hive.

Varroa's Strategic Choice - Drone Brood:

 Varroa mites exhibit a fascinating yet problematic preference for drone brood. The capping scratcher becomes an invaluable tool for inspecting these protruding drone cells, making Varroa detection more accessible.

The Capping Scratcher Technique: 

As Cross demonstrates the capping scratcher method, she emphasizes its simplicity. This method provides an initial indication of Varroa presence. The bright white color of drone pupae makes spotting the dark brown Varroa mites relatively easy.

What to do if you find Varroa:

If you find the varroa mite in your colony, don’t panic. There are a variety of treatment options available to help you control its impact on your hive. The main thing to remember is there are options out there to help you coexist with these pesky intruders in your hives.

Ecrotek's Varroa Management Products:


For effective Varroa control, Ecrotek offers a range of products designed to address Varroa challenges. Explore our Varroa treatment kits and innovative solutions to ensure your hives remain healthy and resilient against Varroa infestations.

In Summary:


  • The capping scratcher technique serves as a practical means of confirming Varroa mite presence in your hive.
  • Ecrotek provides Varroa management products, including treatment kits, to assist beekeepers in maintaining healthy colonies.
  • Understanding Varroa behavior in New Zealand offers crucial insights for Australian beekeepers preparing for potential Varroa challenges.
  • As we embark on this journey of Varroa surveillance, armed with practical techniques and effective solutions, let us work together to safeguard our precious bee colonies.