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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    allen,indiana,usa
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    125

    Default powder sugar dusting

    i have heard about people using powder sugar on bees for mite treatment. question is how does it work or what does it do. does it kill mites or just make them fall off, and why does it? for anyone that used ps on bees how do you apply it and can it be in the fall when brood rearing is low and does it work?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: powder sugar dusting

    The chemical-free crowd swears by it. Various studies have shown it's not very effective. Actually, does nothing to the mites that are in brood cells. Won't hurt anything to try it for your own edification, but if you have the same results I have had you'll have left over sugar for Christmas cookies or desserts.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    1,867

    Default Re: powder sugar dusting

    I've used the method all this year and went into fall with an alcohol wash mite count of zero to single digits so my impression of the method is the exact opposite of fish-stix's. Based on the results, I've done no recommended treatments such as formic acid, etc.

    The theory is that the fine powder makes it difficult for the mites to maintain their grip on the bees. Off they fall and, hopefully, through a screened bottom board onto the ground. True, it doesn't do anything for mites in the cells so frequency of dusting is important.

    Whenever I found myself in the hives manipulating frames I would give them a dusting with a flour sifter that was always with me. Later in the season, I bought the bellows-type duster that Brushy Mountain and other companies sell. I now give them a few blasts every week. Using this blower uses a whole lot less sugar than the sifter method. Someone has determined that the effective dose is one cup per hive per dusting. I think that is way, way overkill, but when using the flour sifter, it is easy to dump in a full cup before you know it. To put a cup of powdered sugar in using the blower would take all day, but in watching the powder come out cracks or the top entrance as a fine dust after a few blasts, I'm assured that the bees inside are getting the coating of fine dust particles that makes the method effective.

    If you try it, remember that timing (frequency) is an important part of the program. And do mite counts for your reference and peace of mind.

    Wayne

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,803

    Default Re: powder sugar dusting

    The University of Florida used it in their research hives since they must be treatment free. Dusting was effective short term, but the mite load is greater in long term use. Sugar dusting promotes hygeinic behavior. mites are already bored through the exoskeleton so they have a firm grip.
    The efficacy of dusting honey bee colonies with powdered sugar to reduce varroa mite populations
    Journal of Apicultural Research Vol. 48 (1) pp. 72 - 76
    DOI 10.3896/IBRA.1.48.1.14

    Date January 2009

    Article Title
    The efficacy of dusting honey bee colonies with powdered sugar to reduce varroa mite populations.
    Author(s) Amanda M. Ellis, Gerry W. Hayes, and James D. Ellis
    Abstract Controlling varroa mite (Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman) populations in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) colonies with acaricides has been a challenge for beekeepers due to the rapid development of resistant mite populations. For this reason, many beekeepers are adopting Integrated Pest Management strategies as alternatives to chemocentric varroa control schemes. One non-chemical tool that has been used for varroa control is dusting bee colonies with powdered sugar. The objective of our study was to determine the efficacy of powdered sugar as a varroa control by comparing mite populations, adult bee populations, and brood area in untreated colonies with those in colonies dusted every two weeks for 11 months with 120 g powdered sugar per application. We found that dusting colonies with powdered sugar did not significantly affect the adult bee population (treated: 10061.72 629.42; control: 10691.00 554.44) or amount of brood (treated: 4521.91 342.84 cm2; control: 4472.55 365.85 cm2). We also found no significant differences between the total number of mites per colony (treated: 2112.15 224.62; control: 2197.80 207.75), number of mites per adult bee (treated: 0.080 0.010; control: 0.097 0.010), or number of mites per capped brood cell (treated: 0.112 0.013; control: 0.106 0.018). All data are mean s.e. Within the limits of our study and at the application rates used, we did not find that dusting colonies with powdered sugar afforded significant varroa control.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: powder sugar dusting

    I think Bee space is the most important way to keep mite population down. Lots and lots of bees make for mites getting plucked out of the honeycomb and being dropped down through the screen. BUT lots and lots of bees packed in a space encourages swarming--it's a delicate balance.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Walla, WA, USA
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: powder sugar dusting

    Quote Originally Posted by beefarmer View Post
    i have heard about people using powder sugar on bees for mite treatment. question is how does it work or what does it do. does it kill mites or just make them fall off, and why does it? for anyone that used ps on bees how do you apply it and can it be in the fall when brood rearing is low and does it work?
    The secret in STARCH ( factory added in sugar powder)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
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    1,867

    Default Re: powder sugar dusting

    Quote Originally Posted by University of Florida View Post
    Within the limits of our study and at the application rates used, we did not find that dusting colonies with powdered sugar afforded significant varroa control.
    This is why I do not let my bees, nor their mites, read university studies.

    I guess I have no reasonable basis to attribute my extremely low mite counts to powdered sugar. Maybe the hive elves come at night and pick them off one by one while I sleep. I wonder if the University of Florida has conducted a study looking into the use of powdered sugar as an elf attractant?

    Wayne

  8. #8

    Default Re: powder sugar dusting

    For this reason, many beekeepers are adopting Integrated Pest Management strategies as alternatives to chemocentric varroa control schemes.
    Here's part of the issue. IPM is not a replacement for chemical pesticide usage.

    Chemical pesticide usage simply becomes of of many possible control methods used together to manage the "pest" population. Ideally, the involvement of the other control methods can minimize or eliminate the need for chemical pesticides being used.

    Waynes post demonstrates this quite effectively I think.


    Apparently some university researchers aren't quite up to snuff on what Integrated Pest Management entails.
    No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Phelps Co. Missouri USA
    Posts
    856

    Default Re: powder sugar dusting

    I seem to remember that the researchers said they used a minium amount of sugar in there testing, and that beekeepers generally used higher doses.

    Just seems they said later it was not comparable to beekeepers methods ??

    Our TAX money at work.

    PCM

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,367

    Default Re: powder sugar dusting

    120 grams of powdered sugar is about a cup. Isn't that about what you use per hive per treatment?
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 9 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,083

    Default Re: powder sugar dusting

    Per deep hive body, if there are 2 deeps use double or 2 cups.

    Quote Originally Posted by RiodeLobo View Post
    120 grams of powdered sugar is about a cup. Isn't that about what you use per hive per treatment?
    Dan

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,427

    Default Re: powder sugar dusting

    The problem with any treatment is the mites in the cells:
    http://bushfarms.com/beesvarroatreatments.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Portage, WI, USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: powder sugar dusting

    Randy Oliver has a good discussion on powder sugar dusting for Varroa management, did a practical study of methods. At http://scientificbeekeeping.com/

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