Natural infestation

Material needed: cylindrical transparent polystyrol cells (internal dimensions: 5.1 mm diameter x 14 mm length for workers and 6.7 mm diameter x 16 mm long for drones)

1. Incorporate the cells at an inclination of 5-10 degrees in groups of 60-70 in wax combs.

2. Coat with honey to increase acceptance by the worker and stimulate cleaning behaviour.

3. In a heavily varroa infested colony, confine the queen on the artificial cells for 12 h.

4. Release the queen after this period.

5. Record the time of sealing at 1-2 h interval some 8.5 days after oviposition by the queen.

6. Remove the cell from the colony after they have been capped.

7. Place in an incubator at 34.5 °C and 60-70 % RH.


Pros: transparent cells allowing observation of behaviour, natural infestation, natural cell size.

Cons: tedious, low acceptance and infestation rates.