Testing your bees for varroa mites is important to do both spring and fall. One way to do this is using the powdered sugar roll test. We like this method because it is fairly accurate, and does not kill the bees. To see how to do the test, see this post.
Part of the sugar roll test kit is a mason jar with a #8 hardware cloth screen replacing the lid.
We recently started selling the cut hardware cloth on our online store because it can be difficult to find small quantities of #8 hardware cloth. Most hardware stores sell it by the roll, and this jar only requires a 4 inch piece. In our store, you’ll find a relatively inexpensive, ready-to-go version.
Here is how to make your own at home.
You will need:
- Wide-mouthed pint mason jar with ring. You won’t need the lid.
- Sharpie or chalk for marking
- 4×4 inch piece of #8 hardware cloth
- Tin snips or other metal cutting tool
Trace the mouth of the mason jar onto the hardware cloth with a sharpie.
Then cut out the traced circle. Cut on the outside edge of the tracing. You can always cut more off if needed.
Fit the hardware cloth circle into the ring of the mason jar. It should be a fairly tight fit. You don’t want it to come loose when bees are in the jar.
And it’s ready to go for mite testing!