View Full Version : Powdered sugar and garlic powder?
03-01-2006, 01:40 PM
Did you all see this in this month's ABJ?
I know about the sugar - but the point of the garlic powder? Do mites not like garlic?
When you see bees in grain dust etc - are they rolling in it taking a bath like birds do in dirt? Maybe just a little offering of sugar/garlic would make them want to roll around in it? Just thinking out loud here.
Martha in KC
03-01-2006, 02:33 PM
>Did you all see this in this month's ABJ?
I don't get ABJ- yet. What was the gist of the article?
03-01-2006, 05:55 PM
>I know about the sugar - but the point of the garlic powder? Do mites not like garlic?
Well, we know the sugar works. Seems like maybe IF the garlic makes a difference, it's probably because it stinks which causes the bees to groom more to get rid of the smell.
03-01-2006, 06:51 PM
Well, garlic is well-known as a protection
from OTHER forms of blood-suckers, so who
are we to say that it won't help?
It sure as heck can't hurt, now can it?
03-01-2006, 07:31 PM
Mmmm! Garlic flavored honey. Yummm.
03-01-2006, 10:46 PM
<Well, garlic is well-known as a protection
from OTHER forms of blood-suckers, so who
are we to say that it won't help?<
03-02-2006, 06:46 AM
Yes, Please elaborate on the gist of the article. I don't subscribe to the ABJ yet.
03-02-2006, 08:12 AM
i don't know about the garlic either, but i've seen it for sale in the "glory bee" catalog for a few years now.
there must be SOMETHING to it.
03-02-2006, 08:40 AM
>>there must be SOMETHING to it.
If it's in print then it must be true RIGHT? ;)
03-02-2006, 08:50 AM
I'm just interested in what they did and what they're claiming and if they provide any numbers to back up their claims. I mean, if this is yet another "we sprinkled our bees with [some inocuous herb] and mites fell off" story, I'm not terribly interested. If they're really on to something and have quantitative data showing that they're on to something, I might get excited.
I suppose I should just subscribe to ABJ but the money ain't in the budget this month smile.gif
>It sure as heck can't hurt, now can it?
Lots of things can't hurt, doesn't mean I want to waste my time and money trying them. Testimonials to the use of all kinds of substances for varroa control abound, often followed up a year later with "my hive died" stories. I don't want to sound cynical, but I guess I'm a bit cynical smile.gif
The price of honey is eternal vigilance! Who said that?
03-02-2006, 08:58 AM
>It sure as heck can't hurt, now can it?
As long as you like garlic flavored honey, not at all. smile.gif
03-02-2006, 08:59 AM
I tend to be a bit cynical as well. My point was just because someone is offering garlic in a catalog or someone writes an article that didn't have any scientific study associated with it (that I could determine anyway! Maybe I'm not reading the same article) doesn't mean there MUST be "Something to it"
Should it be look at? Hey why not! We just have to be careful about reading too much into something. If it works for you great. Maybe the garlic DOES do something. Maybe its primarily the powdered sugar.
Somebody do a study QUICK!
It's in the letters section from someone who apparrently thinks what he is saying is pretty important as he mentions people all over the world are calling him for advice. It was kind of a letter to the world type thing. :rolleyes:
Much said about nothing as far as the letter goes. Anecdotal story about his hives are inspected and thanks to the combo he has no mite problem.
03-02-2006, 09:27 AM
>Anecdotal story about his hives are inspected and thanks to the combo he has no mite problem.
Ah, thank you Joel. I can feel myself getting excited as I type. I shall commence breath holding immediately!
03-02-2006, 10:10 AM
A lot of "dusts" have been "looked at", "tried, and "tested". Some works better than others. Guess "powdered sugar" is maybe the best choice.
Anyone know about "powdered dynamite" smile.gif
03-02-2006, 10:27 AM
>Anyone know about "powdered dynamite"
It might work for reducing mites, if you take into account some of its drawbacks. Dynamite has been mentioned as a method of swarm control.
C.C. Miller wrote in 50 years among the bees:
If a colony disposed to swarm should be blown up with dynamite, it would probably not swarm again, but its usefulness as a honey-gathering institution would be somewhat impaired.
03-02-2006, 10:59 AM
>If a colony disposed to swarm should be blown up ...
I like that. smile.gif
03-02-2006, 12:02 PM
<As long as you like garlic flavored honey, not at all.>
I breakfast anytimes toasted with rubbed garlic and olive oil, sometimes toasted with olive oil and honey. I will jump to the next flavor...toasted with garlic, olive virgen oil and honey. I will tell you.
Look in letters in
ABJ Volume 142 No. 6 June 2002
ABJ Volune 142 On 8 August 2002
Letters about Garlic and Powder Sugar by Jesse Adams
03-04-2006, 07:41 PM
<didn't have any scientific study associated>
I have Italian bees. I just know it would help.
Well, no one else said it.
So I buy suppliments for the house animals and those in the barn---Garlic helps keep off tick and fly pests. I take it too.
Been mixing it with powder sugar on the bees for some time. I don't dust the honey stores --just the brood areas and nurse bees. Oh but I hold my breath as the sugar is a fine mist for the lungs.
ps - my colonies haven't died out.
NW IN Beekeeper
03-08-2006, 10:16 PM
[<didn't have any scientific study associated>
I have Italian bees. I just know it would help.]
I'm thinking a glass of red wine in sugar syrups might also help mite reductions.
You said it, I just had to add...
03-09-2006, 04:13 AM
Garlic gives you gass...aaahhhh thats how it kills the mites, bee gass.
03-09-2006, 05:35 AM
"Testimonials to the use of all kinds of substances for varroa control abound, often followed up a year later with "my hive died" stories."
Guilty!! I thought I had it with the powdered sugar but lost 3 of my 4 hives to mites this year anyway. It sure knocked a lot of the mites off but apparently not enough. I did the treatment weekly for about two months last summer so it wasn't from lack of trying.
Eric (at a loss)
03-09-2006, 06:01 AM
Eric, it's not uncommon for an otherwise highly effective treatment to fail to yield the anticipated results, usually as a result of poor timing, improper methods, or as often as not, because there's brood in the hives.
I didn't have much luck with powdered sugar, partly I think because of the method I used (blaster) and partly because at the time, I think I really needed a bigger hammer. I then tried fogging but that wasn't a bigger hammer at all. Then PMS started to appear and before I knew it, I'd frittered away a very crucial month or more. I moved to OA vapor, but by then it was pretty much too late. I've lost 80% of those hives.
I haven't written powdered sugar off as a means of mite control, it's definitely an "easier, softer way" but it's not going to be my first line of defense.
>I have Italian bees. I just know it would help.
Italians? Wouldn't olive oil be equally appropriate?
03-09-2006, 06:48 AM
So far, no one else has brought up a couple issues with the "garlic powder" that I thought might have been mentioned, so I'll jump in and mention them.
Garlic is, indeed, a "natural repellant." It works fairly generally for insects; some people report great results repeling "bees" by using garlic. Makes me wonder if too much garlic powder might make the bees more likely to abscond? I read something along these lines in a study done on sprinkling cinnamon around hives to repel ants -- the cinnamon barriers weren't overly effective against the ants, but the hives with cinnamon around them were much more likely to abscond. (Can't remember where I read it; I'll try to find it again.)
Secondly, concentrated garlic oil is commercially available for pest control. Now, hold on a minute, don't rush out to buy garlic oil to control Varroa. Like I already tried to point out, the garlic oil is likely to be pretty repugnant to the bees, if not downright toxic. That's really what makes insects (and mites) avoid garlic. The chemicals that make garlic smell the way it does are actually compounds to reduce damage to the plants by insects. Maybe more importantly, garlic oil is pretty toxic. I ended up spraying it for an individual a few years ago before a "garden party" to rid the area of mosquitoes. I (and a couple others) recommended Countdown or a similar product, but the person was set on using "natural" products (felt "natural" meant "safer"). After reading the labels on both the garlic oil and the Countdown, I know which one I felt safer using, and it wasn't the garlic oil. The re-entry interval was longer for the garlic oil, the accute toxicity was greater, and the stuff stinks to high heavens!
03-09-2006, 10:57 AM
George Fergusson . . .
>it's not uncommon for an highly effective treatment to fail to yield the anticipated results, usually as a result of poor timing . . .
"Anticipated results" . . . can be "monitored" by "monitoring" smile.gif
"Poor timing" is very often the ONLY problem.
If your hive has "crossed the point-of-no-return" no treatment with or without brood will not keep hive from dying.
>powdered sugar . . . it's not going to be my first line of defense . . .
Powdered sugar may be the best "first defense", just dont rely on it to bring back a "goner".
03-09-2006, 11:06 AM
All true Kieck. I for one am still waiting for someone to tell me unequivocably that garlic powder is an effective treatment for mites. The best I've heard so far is Jim's "can't hurt" followed closely by Michael's "IF the garlic makes a difference, it's probably because it stinks".
Color me skeptical,
03-09-2006, 11:14 AM
>Powdered sugar may be the best "first defense", just dont rely on it to bring back a "goner".
According to your previous statement, which which I happen to agree completely, NO treatment will bring back a "goner".
The problem of course is determining where that "point of no return" is and when you've reached it. I've sure gotten a sense for what it looks like now, but I'd still be hard pressed to write off a hive without trying to do something to save it.
03-09-2006, 11:22 AM
"I for one am still waiting for someone to tell me unequivocably that garlic powder is an effective treatment for mites." -George Fergusson
Good strategy, George! I tried my best to dance my way around that part of the question because, honestly, I don't know. If, like the cinnamon, the chances of the bees absconding increase when beekeepers put garlic powder into hives, the treatment COULD hurt, at least from my point of view. Otherwise, I don't see much harm in a little garlic powder.
On the other hand, I'm sure I could kill bunches of mites with the concentrated garlic oil. The bees would end up dying or leaving, too, but the mites would be gone! tongue.gif
03-09-2006, 11:38 AM
I'm sorry, I'm not going to do anything to my bees simply on the basis that "it can't hurt". A lot of things fall into the category of trying to teach a pig to sing: it's a waste of your time and annoys the pig.
That said, I'm certainly open to experimentation smile.gif
[ March 09, 2006, 01:39 PM: Message edited by: George Fergusson ]
03-11-2006, 08:13 PM
I don't use any treatments and though my colonies have Varroa, they have remained strong and have not died. This is my 10th year with these bees in my present location.
03-11-2006, 08:55 PM
I think I've seen you post about getting some cordovan queens
have the hives you put these queens in been as succesful at resisting the mites as your others?
obviously your success with fighting varroa would raise the question of whether you have AHB, although I've read where you say they are very placid, but if you have some known non-AHB stock and they are surviving the mites that's pretty interesting
03-11-2006, 11:18 PM
Yes, the hives requeened and headed by the imported Cordovan-Italians and those initially requeened with their open-mated daughters are still going strong.
I originally obtained 4 Cordovan-Italian queens - then initially introduced them to nucs. Three made it to head full colonies, and this spring two are still heading their colonies, one somewhere along the line had apparently been superseded.
Curious other related happenings:
Work with Cordovan-Italians was done only at my home apiary. This apiary consists of five full-size colonies and 4, 5-frame deep nucs. One nuc is being kept with my original bees. Three of the five hives went into winter with pure Cordovan-Italian queens and populations. The other two and three nucs had open-mated, pure Cordovan-Italian queens (daughters of the recent imports). All of those daughters appear to have been superseded sometime during the winter. All colonies are queenright and have brood with excellent patterns. I am planning to again attempt to requeen with more Cordovan-Italian daughters (those exhibiting the Cordovan trait).
03-12-2006, 04:14 PM
Are mites best with Red Wine or White?
03-12-2006, 04:45 PM
You want my opinion Mark? smile.gif
03-12-2006, 04:58 PM
Hmm. Maybe not. smile.gif Perhaps you would prefer Fair Trade Certified Coffee?
03-13-2006, 10:34 AM
Would you attribute your success with mites to not using chemicals that contaminate the wax?
I have tried the sugar treatment along with replacing all wax that had become contaminated with chemicals and going to SC.
During these transitions I lost colonies but that I believe was due to my trying to do everything at once.
I am not sure whether it was the SC or the clean wax but my bees are doing much better now that I do not use chemicals anymore. I do think anyone that has wax that is still contaminated with past chemical use will not see the same results as those who have replaced the old wax.
I still have mites but they are not reaching the same levels as previously.
I do not think garlic mixed with powdered sugar will help anymore than just plain powdered sugar, but I am afraid it would be tracked all through the supers thus contaminating the honey.
These are just my thoughts.
03-13-2006, 07:03 PM
The actual reason(s) for my current success are mostly a mystery to me. It is quite possible that what you suggest, "freedom from contaminated wax" is at least partially responsible. It would be nice to know the entire mystery, but for now it is enough that my bees remain strong.
03-16-2006, 04:55 PM
>I have Italian bees. I just know it would help.
Perhaps a little vodka in the mix for the Russian bees. But then, I'd never make it all the way down to my bee yard.