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Varroa Detection
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The Uncapping Fork

Uncapping Fork, picture from Thorne's As it's name suggests it is a tool that was originally used to remove cappings prior to extracting. It can be used to scratch cappings on a frame in a hive where the beekeeper wishes to have the bees remove the honey and store it further up the nest.

But another common use, for the type of uncapping fork with bent prongs, has developed since the advent of varroa... Use one prong to uncap odd cells to establish the age of the larvae. When you find a group of drone cells that are at the pink eye stage... Insert the whole fork from the side so that the prongs will go through the thoraxes (thoraces?) of the grubs... Lever out an area roughly 65 mm square.

Swedish Uncapping Fork This uncapping fork from Sweden is a combined uncapping fork and a scraper for removing burr comb from the sides of frames. The tool is laser cut from stainless spring steel, strongly made and well designed. The thicker square section prongs are not as well suited to drone brood sampling as the round pronged cranked type illustrated at the top of the page.

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Written... Early summer 2000, Revised... 15 May 2002
Transferred to New Domain... 14 May 2004,