3.1.3. Washing with water

1. Collect bees from a colony in a bee tight container.

2. Fill the container with 1X phosphate-buffered saline (or other similar saline solution) to prevent the bees flying away and shake.

3. Pour the content of the container over a first sieve (aperture: 2000 µm) to collect all the bees.

4. Place a second sieve (aperture < 0.5 mm) underneath to collect the mites.

5. Place mites on absorbent paper immediately after washing them off to help them dry up (Fig. 6f).

6. Place the mites collected in a mite-tight container with a humidity source to prevent the mites desiccating.


Pros: fast and allows for several hundreds of mites to be collected in a short time.

Cons: effect on lifespan of mites unknown; this can be a problem if they need to be used for long lasting experiments. The treatment it is not bee-friendly since many can die during the process.