April is Sugar Shake Test Month.  Each year in April beekeepers are encouraged to test their own hives for varroa and other pests using the simple sugar shake test.

From 1 July 2020, the NSW Biosecurity Act requires all registered beekeepers in NSW to conduct at least 2 hive inspections per year for the presence of exotic bee pests including mites. The Sugar Shake testing time is a perfect opportunity to fulfil part of your obligation by combining the Sugar Shake Test with a hive inspection.

Ten easy steps to guide you on how to do this Test as well as a DPI video demonstrating the technique can be found on the NSW Amateur Beekeeping Association’s web-site at


The DPI has produced a Prime Facts Sheet on ‘Sugar shaking bees to detect external parasites’ (March 2018) which is attached to this email.

Our Apiary Co-ordinator, Geoff, will be holding an inspection day in the Club’s apiary towards the end of April.   Those who come along will see the sugar shake test demonstrated on live bees.  Please watch out for Geoff’s email about this inspection day.