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Thread: Powdered Sugar

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Haddam, Connecticut
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    76

    Default Powdered Sugar

    Happy Winter All,
    I am very interested in trying powdered sugar drops for varroa control this upcoming bee season and have noticed many confectioners sugar comes with cornstarch listed as an ingredient, while others are pure sugar. I was wondering if the cornstarch would cause any problems or be harmful to the bees? Should I just pay the extra and get the pure sugar? Thanks in advance for any info!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    Once it becomes warm enough for the bees to make regular cleansing flights the corn starch in the powdered sugar will not be a problem.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Pepperell, MA.
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    3,771

    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    I haven't had a problem so far. Others may have different experiences.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Franklin, NC USA
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    118

    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    My personal choice would be to go without the corn starch if able to. I dusted one time last year without, the 2nd time I was ready to, couldn't find the pure without, so had no choice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Concord, CA
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    We buy the costco 50# bag of powdered sugar. They all have a little cornstarch in them.
    Wife, & I do the 15 minute mite count after dusting. Its similar to a 24 hour count in my opinion. We're having good luck applying it with a screen kitchen colander. I'm against brushing a screen top, as I think it damages the bees that are clinging to the screen.
    Dan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Hudson, WI USA
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    I was re-reading Randy Oliver's site on powdered sugar (ps) and wondering what interval of treatment ps users find best, and whether it is best spring and fall or when? He was talking about intervals of two weeks to get the mites that emerge from the brood. Thanks.

  7. #7
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    Jun 2010
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    TORONTO,ON. CANADA
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    I was re-reading Randy Oliver's site on powdered sugar (ps) and wondering what interval of treatment ps users find best, and whether it is best spring and fall or when? He was talking about intervals of two weeks to get the mites that emerge from the brood. Thanks.
    As Randy suggested, this year I'm going with drone wax removal and sugar dusting at the same time. Already built drone frames like his.
    To avoid starch I make my own powder sugar by grinding granulated sugar in the kitchen blender.
    ==Northumberland County Beekeeper, Trent Hills, Ontario==

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Bonn, Germany
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    123

    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by MARBIS View Post
    As Randy suggested, this year I'm going with drone wax removal and sugar dusting at the same time. Already built drone frames like his.
    ...
    The acids concepts always invoke magical ceremonies of drones killing.

  9. #9
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    Jun 2010
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    TORONTO,ON. CANADA
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by sjj View Post
    The acids concepts always invoke magical ceremonies of drones killing.
    Only with a sweetener
    ==Northumberland County Beekeeper, Trent Hills, Ontario==

  10. #10
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    May 2008
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    I installed a drone frame like Randy's a few weeks ago. The bees have already filled it in. Put it in the #4 position.

    Randy says powdered sugar once per week will not lower you're mite counts. It takes more then once per week to get #s down. I use the PS 15 minute test for testing. If my numbers are high in Aug. we hit the bees 3 times a week with PS for a few weeks.
    Dan

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    TORONTO,ON. CANADA
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by KQ6AR View Post
    I installed a drone frame like Randy's a few weeks ago. The bees have already filled it in. Put it in the #4 position.

    Randy says powdered sugar once per week will not lower you're mite counts. It takes more then once per week to get #s down. I use the PS 15 minute test for testing. If my numbers are high in Aug. we hit the bees 3 times a week with PS for a few weeks.
    The best I can do with dusting is once a week, my apiary is 100 miles from Toronto (150 km) Planned to do MAQS in August, to get ready for winter.
    ==Northumberland County Beekeeper, Trent Hills, Ontario==

  12. #12
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    May 2008
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    Concord, CA
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    My bees are in my back yard, so not a problem for me.
    Hope the strips work for you.
    Dan

  13. #13
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    Jun 2010
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    TORONTO,ON. CANADA
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    Thanks, hope my apiary becomes my back yard one day, working on it
    ==Northumberland County Beekeeper, Trent Hills, Ontario==

  14. #14
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    Jan 2010
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    Alachua County, FL, USA
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    The ideal is two week intervals. The latest American Bee Journal, Volume 151 No.3, March 2011, has an article "Managing Varroa" that says what I have been saying for years. "A 2009 study out of Florida . . . "did not significantly reduce the total number of mites.. there were no significant differences in mite populations between dusted and undusted colonies."" double quotes because the article is quoting the University of Florida study. If you are going to dust, skip every other month so the mites do not adapt and increase reproduction rate as the study found.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Hudson, WI USA
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    However Mr. America, I looked on Randy Oliver's Scientific Beekeeping Site and found that he referred to the same Florida study and then quoted this:
    "Does this mean PS should not be used in whole colony dustings? In the October 09 in Amer. Bee Jour., Jerry Hayes, one of the authors of the FL study, in his monthly Q&A column answered a letter from Janet Brisson of CA on whether PS works or not as follow :“Yes research results showed that varroa was not significantly controlled by dusting with PS. Within the parameters of their research, PS didn’t work great. But that does not mean that if the research trial were re-structured to treat more often or in a different way that results would not be different….research shows it doesn’t work long term. But, in real world situations it does. What to do? I’d treat with PS until research catches up with reality.”
    Funnily enough it was Mr. Hendrickson's article that made me resurrect this thread; I was pondering what those who feel they are succeeding with PS are doing?

  16. #16
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    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    One of the speakers at the Arkansas State Association meeting last October was an inspector from Florida. He said that to rid a colony of varroa you needed to dust it at 3 day intervals for 21 days. This was if the colony had sealed brood that would contain varroa.

    If all sealed brood was removed dusting 3 days in a row should get all the mites that are on the adult bees. If done along with drone brood removal sugar dusting should work ok. Using the new Hopguard will accomplish the same goal but I don't know if the beta-acids will build up in the comb.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    AR, thanks. That makes sense.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    If My numbers start getting High, I powder 3 times a week for a few weeks. It does help.
    Dan

  19. #19
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    Jul 2010
    Location
    Edwards, Ms, USA
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    I suggest another treatment other than sugar dusting. Thymol, or requeen with better genetics. The sugar is not what kills the mites. It is that the queen stops laying untill the bees clean up the mess. Cutting out a lifecycle. I suggest if you do sugar dust. Take your queen out of the hive put her in a 5 frame nuc. Dust so you don't get a drone layer. Leave queenless, destroy any cells. After a few weeks, add her back to the colony when hive is cleaned up. Do the same for the nuc. Or treat with thymol and the queen will keep on laying. I have seen many hives swarm during a sugar dust treatment which can take up to 3 weeks. You don't want the new queen that came from a powdered hive. Poor diet. Like always my way may not be your way, but I hope I helped someone.lol
    Last edited by PDG honey; 03-19-2011 at 02:23 AM. Reason: stupidity

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Daytona beach, fl
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    4

    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    I am returning to beekeeping after many years of being away. I have two hive now and three packages of bees coming. When I keep bees before (1990) . I never heard of powder sugar on the bees. I have a bunch of questions.

    First why does this work? Do the bees groom the sugar and then take the mites off or do the mite hate sugar?

    Is the powder sugar a delivery method for something that should be added to the bees?

    I live in central Florida and I have always had capped brood in my hive, do you just keep sugaring the hive for each brood cycle?

    What is the best delivery the Dadant puffer thing or a sifter over the brood chamber?

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