Opening each cell

Brood mites can be picked up by hand from their host with a fine bristle brush or a small mouth aspirator after opening the cells they infest and removing the pupa. To obtain mites at a given time during the reproductive cycle, the collection can be made from brood of known age (see the section ‘Obtaining brood and adults of known age’ in the BEEBOOK paper on miscellaneous methods (Human et al., 2013)). For this the queen is caged on an empty frame at the necessary date (see also section 4.6. ‘Breeding mites in colonies’).

1. Uncap the cell with fine forceps or scalpel.

2. Push away the cell walls to free the developing larva or pupa.

3. With soft forceps pull the larva or pupa out.

4. Carefully look on the larva or pupa and on the cell walls for mites.

5. Place the mites collected in a mite-tight container and source of humidity to prevent the mites desiccating.


Pros: This is the less damaging collection method for the mite.

Cons: It is the most time consuming collection method.