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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Collin County, TX
    Posts
    134

    Default frame spacing effect on powdered sugar treatment?

    Do all the frames in each hive body need to have the same frame spacing for the mites to fall through to the screen bottom? I have dusted my hives twice in the past 2 weeks. I am not seeing very many mites fall. I did not do any pretreatment mite counts so maybe there aren't many normally falling. My hives are all in mediums, and the lower one to two bodies have no bees just stored pollen and empty combs. Some of the bodies have ten frames and some have nine frames. Do I need to reorganize these hives to have all the frames line up vertically and take off the empty combs beneath the cluster so the bees are right over the screened floor?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Default

    Why do you have 9-frame brood boxes at all?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,481

    Default

    Actually you aren't trying to make all the powdered sugar fall straight to the bottom. It's better if it hits a lot of things including bees on the way down. I see no advantage one way or the other on the frames lining up. The bees will try to remove it either way and it will fall and they will groom it off...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Default

    Actually, if you are merely dumping sugar on the top bars and brushing
    it between the frames with a bee brush, as advocated by Mr Dowda of
    Florida, and echoed by others, you are using a methodology with unknown
    efficacy, one untestedy any sort of controlled study.

    The approach that was tested and found to control varroa was the
    more labor-intensive approach of removing each brood frame, and
    "poofing" the bees on each side with a fine cloud of powered sugar
    dust, so as to create a maximum number of the tiny (5 to 15 microns)
    particles that will clog varroa tarsal pads, and make them fall.

    Will dumping work? Mite. Mite not.

    The dumping of powdered sugar on top bars and brushing it around is
    completely untested by anyone as a long-term control for varroa
    with things like controls, so it is unknown if this approach is sufficient.
    It seems clear that the bulk of the powered sugar will do nothing but
    become hive trash or a contaminant for honey. Certainly some mites
    should fall as a result of this approach, but I can show you what
    might appear to be an impressive mite fall using nothing more than
    water in a sprayer bottle.

    So, if you are sugar dusting properly, per the developer of the
    technique, your frame configuration does not matter. If you are
    sugar dusting in this alternative way, you are not assured of
    results by anyone except the beekeepers who have embraced
    speed at the expense of predictable results, perhaps useful
    results.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Collin County, TX
    Posts
    134

    Default

    Why are some spaced nine and some spaced ten? Because some of them were honey supers that the bees moved up into and used as brood chambers. Others were drawn out with the intent to remove a frame and space them as nine, but I never got around to it. I never worried about if a hive body was spaced nine or ten until I started thinking about powdered sugar falling from one bee space straight to the next. If each comb has to be removed and dusted one side at a time I don't think I have time to treat these hives with powdered sugar. I might need to try thymol instead.

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