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HiveScience: Honey Sample Collection

This page describes the honey sampling kit and how to collect honey samples for submission to EPA's HiveScience team. Contact the HiveScience Team with any questions.

Equipment and Supplies Provided with Honey Sampling Kit from EPA

  • Copy of the honey sample collection instructions
  • Black tube with barcode for honey sample collection
  • Whirl-Pak plastic bag
  • Protective padded sleeve for the collection tube
  • Padded shipping envelope and return shipping label

Honey Sample Collection Instructions

  1. Please collect the honey sample at the time of your pre-winter Varroa mite sampling.
  2. For the purposes of this project, honey must be collected from the same hive that was used for hive health assessments and mite counting. Collecting honey from a different hive will prevent us from identifying meaningful associations between the number of mites and biomarkers in the honey. 
  3. Using the HiveScience app, scan the barcode on the honey sample collection tube.
  4. Using your hive tool, create a small V-shaped groove in comb containing sealed honey cells.  The groove should be about 2-3 inches in length, and its point should face the bottom of the frame.  The honey will run to the bottom of the V-shaped groove for collection into the tube. 
    1. Collection of small amounts of honey in this way will not adversely affect your bees.  The bees will quickly repair the comb. 
  5. Collect dripping honey directly into the pre-labeled, black collection tube until it is nearly full.
  6. Please DO NOT mix the honey sample with any other liquids or add anything else to the honey.
  7. Cap the sample securely.
  8. Place the collection tube inside the Whirl-Pak plastic bag so the tube is lying flat across the bottom.  Squeeze the air out of the bag and roll the top down until it touches the collection tube.  Then, fold the wire tabs over to seal the bag closed and mail it to the EPA. 

Contact the HiveScience Team with any questions.