ziBees may be used at any convenient moment, especially given that it is provided for free.
In order to be able to diagnose varroa mites, we recommend that you use the app at least once a month to compare varroa expansion month by month. What is important is that from the moment of brooding, varroa mites double in number every month. Combined with a prolonged season, we come to a critical moment at the end of the season where lack of treatment in time makes it impossible for the bee colony to survive winter. This is why proper diagnosis during the season is so important.
You should also remember that even the best quality photo will not show you the entire extent of varroa infection. Varroa mites are often found on the bee’s abdomen and in cells where you cannot see it. In this season, we are working on research that will indicate the correlation between the number of mites visible on photos and the actual number of mites established using other methods.
However, you can currently assume that if the app finds a total of around 5000 bees on several photos and at the same time suggests 30 bees infected with varroosis, the number should be multiplied by a multiplier. The said work is aimed at establishing the multiplier but out transitional findings indicate around 7 to 10 times. Therefore:
30 bees with varroosis x multiplier 10 = 300 bees with varroosis / 5000 total number of bees = 0.06, i.e. 6% of infestation.
30 bees with varroosis x multiplier 7 = 210 bees with varroosis / 5000 total number of bees = 0.042, i.e. 4.2% of infestation.
We believe, however, that the most important thing is the development of varroosis throughout the season. Hence, regardless the multiplier, it is most important to observe the pace at which varroosis develops during the season and to respond properly not only at the end of the seas but also when the bees actually need treatment.