Jim, I was aware that some people were dusting the combs. I was not aware that there was actual research to support it other than that done at the University of Nebraska, which, as I stated, and as your quote from Marion Ellis states, showed that powdered sugar dust did kill some young larvae.
"There was some loss of very young larvae, but no loss of older larvae. They concluded that the young larvae are less investment for the bees and the amount of them that died from the powdered sugar was minimal"
Marion Ellis said:
"resulted in some removal of eggs and newly hatched larvae. It did not result in the removal of older larvae."
How are these two statements different?
I said to you: "Not that I'm disagreeing with you, but FYI that "protocol" used in that research is to remove all of the bees from the hive with fume pads to drive them into a screened box that is fitted on the front entrance and dust them outside the hive."
You said to me: "since it seems clear that you consistently question either my
visual acuity or mental stablity. Perhaps both."
I simply think if you intend to quote Marion Ellis on the subject, that everyone deserves to know what the "protocol" refers too. I did not say, nor can I see how you can imply that I said or that I implied anything about your mental or visual acuity or stability (here or anywhere else) nor am I saying that you are not using powdered sugar directly on the combs with good success. I don't understand what it is you think I am disagreeing with you about.
[This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited March 17, 2004).]
You can count on my $25.00 contribution towards rental of a boxing ring and gloves so MB and JFischer can settle this thing once and for all.
i grind my sugar in a coffee grinder then put in an old flour sifter,i open the hive,remove the inner cover and then powder all the bees as they come to the top of the frames,some sugar wafts down between the frames,but i don't think alot of sugar goes into the cells and have never noticed any brood die off.i have seen significant mite drops though.i think the bees grooming increases after dusting.
How frequently do you guys dust?
I have several packages coming.Any ideas on how I could dust them without driving them away?
I would just dust through the sides of the package. You can shake them up a bit a few times to get them thoroughly covered. Then wait a while for them to groom the mites off, or hive them in a hive with a SBB.
The sugar won't kill the mites, of course. It just dislodges them so there needs to be somewhere for the mites to fall out of the package. If you turn the package on it's side they could fall through the screen, but the finer screen might stop some of them. If I had a SBB I'd just dust them well and hive them. with an excluder on the bottom to keep them from absconding.
Louise asked: "How frequently do you guys dust?"
I am only dusting with powdered sugar/terramycin dust once when I hive the package. This is on a recommendation from Dr. Keith Delaplane. After that I will not be using terramycin again, and therefore won't have a need to dust.
For long term mite control, because this will be my first year, I am going to go the chemical route and use Apistan w/ screen bottom boards. I will probably switch to some other control after the first year or so, such as thymol, formic acid or oxalic acid. I believe the Formic acid gel-packs will be ready for sale again in 2005. I would prefer to stay away from oxalic acid for two reasons. First, its not registered in MD, whereas Formic acid in the gel-pack and thymol both have section 18 approval. Second, vaporizing oxalic acid scares the hell out of me. Accidently breathing that stuff in would be baaaad news.
Anytime a hive/package stress level is increased, the bees have also an increased level of non-acceptance of a queen. I wonder if spraying/dusting or any other way treating a new package, that you may also be increasing the chances of a dead queen, increase swarming/absconding, or even the raising of queen cells at an earlier than normal period. Just a random thought.
<<You can count on my $25.00 contribution towards rental of a boxing ring and gloves so MB and JFischer can settle this thing once and for all.>>
Why? We can watch for free right here
>Second, vaporizing oxalic acid scares the hell out of me. Accidently breathing that stuff in would be baaaad news.
I just stand downwind, but sometimes the wind shifts. It will surely make you cough.
> How frequently do you guys dust?
When varroa drop counts indicate an upswing in the varroa
population that is accelerating. In other words, when
needed, and only when needed. It matters not to me if my
"treatment" is powdered sugar or napalm, the same rules of
prudent IPM still appply in either case.
> You can count on my $25.00 contribution towards rental of a
> boxing ring and gloves so MB and JFischer can settle this
> thing once and for all.
I dunno where this came from, but MB has not given me any
clue that he might be "angry" about anything, and I certainly
am not angry in the least.
Mike was only repeating what he had heard, and was not making
a statement based upon actual first-hand experience, so Mike
and I don't have anything to "settle", now do we?
As Dr. Fakhimzadeh (who came up with the idea of clogging the
tarsal pads of varroa) and I have each "sugar dusted" both more
colonies than anyone else on the planet and for a longer period
than anyone else on the planet, I remain unconcerned about possible
"collateral damage", and will require proof to contradict the
evidence of my own first-hand experience.
I may still have a backup somewhere of the several gigs of images from
my initial tests of sugar dusting on an observation hive facing a camera
that took snapshots every 5 seconds for weeks. I would have seen any eggs
or brood being removed after "treatments". The camera never blinks.
If anyone has experienced any "significant collateral damage", all I can
say is that it has been negligible in both Fakhimzadeh's and my combined
experience. We have discussed this exact issue in detail, as such things
as "significant collateral damage" must be noted in published papers, lest
they be brought up in pre-publication peer review or by subsequent research
to embarrass the author of the paper.
Of course, with experience, one learns to "poof" the sugar with the goal
of producing the 5-20 micron sized particles that are what you want.
(Think of a "haze" of sugar rather than a "cloud".) This may be a knack
that is hard to master, let alone teach. First, you have to know just
how fine a mist is produced by such small particles. Then you have to
be willing to practice to "get it right". All I can say is "practice
outside". Makes a mess in the house.
Marion Ellis's job is in the area of "agricultural extension", and he is
well within his charter to view ANY risk to even a small subset of the
total brood population as "bad". He may feel that the risk is serious
enough to warrant the extra work of clearing the brood chamber of bees
i don't dust on a regular schedule.if i see a hive has a lot of mites,i dust to try to knock them back in numbers,repeating several times over a few weeks.i also agree that unless people are dusting directly into brood that there isn't noticable brood loss,that's my experience anyway.i'm still unconvinced the pure powdered sugar without cornstarch will cause much problem. i wonder if nurse bees would clean out small amounts of the sugar.
I just read Michael's response to a new beekeeper explaining varroa and he posted this link on powdered sugar dusting:
I thought it was important to post here, since this is a topic on powdered sugar and because I realized that I was dusting completely wrong.
Thanks for the info guys. I am going to dust all of the packages I have coming next month. Seems sensible as my supplier is still using apistan strips. I didn't have any mites from them last year but who knows they might have started to get some resistance. Seems like an inexpensive and easy practice to incorporate. No brood involved.
>Seems sensible as my supplier is still using apistan strips. I didn't have any mites from them last year but who knows they might have started to get some resistance.
Shake the debris out of the package through the screen first. Then look at the sugar when you are done, if you want put it in something and add hot water until it's clear.
All the mites you see there, are Apistan resistant and would have had at least some offspring if not all offspring, that were Apistan resistant.
Then you'll know if it was worth the work.
> All the mites you see there, are Apistan resistant and
> would have had at least some offspring if not all offspring,
> that were Apistan resistant.
Hold on there... I'm not sure that the above is correct.
a) Package and queen producers are often required
by various state-level regulations to ship with
"tabs" of Apistan or CheckMite installed. This
may or may not have any actual effect, given that
bees in a package may or may not brush against
b) Apistan does not have a 100% kill rate. Some mites
are "lucky" and do not encounter a bee that has
brushed against the strips (or tab), and can
survive the treatment period.
c) Mere survival does not imply "resistance".
I have survived several life-threatening
situations, but I assure you that I am not
in anyway "resistant" to bullets, 55-foot
tractor-trailer trucks, falls from heights,
etc. I'm just either lucky or blessed.
The whole problem with "resistance" has yet to have
been traced to any apiary where prudent and proper
use of Apistan (once a year) was employed. There
is speculation that mites resistant to CheckMite
are often also inherently resistant to Apistan,
but the analysis is made problematic by the whole
"drift and robbing" situation, where a person
who has never used CheckMite might find his hives
infested with CheckMite-resistant mites.
We now have an impressive arsenal of anti-varroa
weapons (Apistan, CheckMite, Sucrocide, Api-Life,
powdered sugar, Oxalic/Formic/Acetic Acids) and a
few others that may become generally acknowledged
as viable weapons systems in the future (FGMO,
small-cell, and the others).
There is simply no reason why everyone can't
at least pick two different treatments, and
alternate between them. Resistant mites are not
an issue when we have so many very different
ways to kill the beasties.
At Beetopia here, many bee scientists all seemed to think that the mites that survive, even if they get knocked down and get back up, are the ones that become resitant. One of the reasons given for the powdered sugar system being suggested for package producers was just that reason. That the mites that survive the trip are the apistan resitant ones.
I happen to agree with the concept, but I did not originate it.
Just so everyone is clear, when I started this whole thread I was talking about giving a powdered sugar dusting to new packages as a delivery system for a one-time only dosing of Terramycin, not as a treatment for Varroa mites in new packages.
The thread has evolved, as threads often do, into something entirely different.
And that being said, this thread is closed.
Opps, I better go check my underware.