Sugar Shake Month

Sugar Shake Month

Australia is one of the few regions in the world still free of the Varroa Mite, the world’s most devastating honey bee pest.

Australia is one of the few regions in the world still free of the Varroa Mite, the world’s most devastating honey bee pest.

Sugar Shake Month is a joint initiative between NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), NSW Beekeeper Associations, the ACT Government and Beekeepers Association of the ACT (BAACT). The aim is to highlight awareness of pest mites that affect bees, promote the use of the Sugar Shake Technique and encourage reporting of suspect mites to BAACT.

So, inspect your hives this April

As the colder weather is coming, it is recommended that you wear gloves and a full bee suit.

Step 1: Sugar shake your bees

Hives can be inspected for pest mites using the Sugar Shake Test. This method relies on the sugar particles separating the mites from the bee. This technique does not harm or kill the bees. See Primefact 153 - Sugar shaking bees to detect external parasites PDF, 250.55 KB or watch a video for further information.

Step 2: Report your results to BAACT

Report the result of your Sugar Shake Test to BAACT (president@actbeekeepers.asn.au). Please include the following information:

  • Date the sugar shake was performed.
  • Location (suburb).
  • Number of hives inspected using sugar shake at this location.
  • Presence or absence of varroa—reporting the absence of pest mites is just as important as reporting their presence.

If you think you have found an exotic pest like Varroa Mite, notify Access Canberra on 13 22 81 immediately. You can report any suspected exotic pests by calling the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881

More information

Further information on Sugar Shake Month can be found on the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) website.

Two dead bees