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Thread: Powdered Sugar

  1. #21
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    Jul 2010
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    Edwards, Ms, USA
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    Dave I might make a few people mad. Powder sugar does make the bees clean themselves. The main reason it helps is because it stops the queen from laying and the bees clean out all the brood. This is why I will not sugar the hive. I will treat with other methods such as thymol, or requeen with better genetics. I recieved a few packages last year, after a few months they had mites. I breed for genetics. I pinched the head and added a VSH Carniolan. The mites level droped in half in 4 weeks and to zero in 6 weeks. There are many ways to deal with mites. I just think powder sugar is not the best option. I have seen people treat just to treat and kill off the hive. The queen will swarm and you will need to requeen. Hope this helps.

  2. #22
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    Mar 2010
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    Grafton, Ohio, USA
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    185

    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    I thought thymol was for tracheal mites...arent we talking about Varroa? If were suggesting that thymol will work for Varroa as well, then wouldnt that suggest grease patties, the old standby for tracheal mites will work for varroa too? Let me completely understand what your also suggesting PDG, that the bees will remove brood from the hive if contaminated with powdered sugar? I assume you mean open, not capped, correct?

  3. #23
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    Oct 2010
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    Baker Oregon
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    How much do you apply per dose per hive?

    Thanks
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 12 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  4. #24
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    May 2008
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    Hi,
    I've been messing around with PS a few years. My queens don't stop laying, & they don't clean out the brood. After the sugar treatment, the bees clean up the hive of the extra sugar. But that's about it.

    I heard Marla Spivak speak last weekend, she doesn't like PS because of the corn starch in it. Another interesting thing she said about it was, They belive besides the mites loosing their grip on the bee because of the powdered sugar, they believe the bees generate heat when they are covered in the dust, & the higher temp causes mites to let go.


    Quote Originally Posted by PDG honey View Post
    Dave I might make a few people mad. Powder sugar does make the bees clean themselves. The main reason it helps is because it stops the queen from laying and the bees clean out all the brood. This is why I will not sugar the hive. I will treat with other methods such as thymol, or requeen with better genetics. I recieved a few packages last year, after a few months they had mites. I breed for genetics. I pinched the head and added a VSH Carniolan. The mites level droped in half in 4 weeks and to zero in 6 weeks. There are many ways to deal with mites. I just think powder sugar is not the best option. I have seen people treat just to treat and kill off the hive. The queen will swarm and you will need to requeen. Hope this helps.
    Dan

  5. #25
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    Jul 2010
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    Edwards, Ms, USA
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    59

    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    I buy the 25$ thymol oil from the local health and organic store. 2 ounces to 1 gal water. I put in a spray bottle and lightly mist frames. Apply once per week for two weeks. I tried it out one of my study hives last year and it worked. I heard about the treatment on one of the forums here on beesource. I've heard thyme blooms can help as well. I usually just pinch the queens head and requeen. I also used 2% powder coral. Works very well, but you must requeen. Since the coumaphos dries out the queen. Take all honey supers off when treating with anything.

  6. #26
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    Jan 2009
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    Clifford Township, PA
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by PDG honey View Post
    ...I might make a few people mad. ....The main reason it helps is because it stops the queen from laying and the bees clean out all the brood. .... I have seen people treat just to treat and kill off the hive. The queen will swarm and you will need to requeen. ...
    Your post doesn't make me mad, just puzzled as to how your experience (if your comments are based on experience) is so vastly different than mine. I used powdered sugar treatments regularly last year on all my hives as the sole mite treatment, had very few mites counted in alcohol washes, and had none of the effects that you speak of. No interruption of egg laying, no removing of brood by the workers, no killing of the hive and the only swarm that I had all year was a hive that I bought after Labor Day and it swarmed in about a week (and with no PS treatment.)

    So, I am puzzled as to why you feel things will go so very wrong.

    Wayne

  7. #27
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    Jan 2009
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by RiodeLobo View Post
    How much do you apply per dose per hive?
    I started out using about a cup of powdered sugar per hive applied from the top of the hive with a flour sifter but it seemed that so much was wasted. Half-way through the season, I bought a bellows blower and now use only a small fraction of what I was using. The blower is kind of hard to use since you have to stop and shake it after every couple of blasts, but each blast does send an impressive puff of fine sugar up through the hive, coating the bees, only with a finer coat of dust than by dumping sugar on top of them.

    You stick the out-put of the blower though the bottom entrance rather than open the top of the hive, so it's fast to go down a line of hives and treat, especially if you need to do it frequently.

    Wayne

  8. #28
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    Oct 2010
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    Baker Oregon
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    Any suggestions on make or model for the bellows duster?

    Thanks
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 12 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  9. #29
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    Jan 2009
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    Clifford Township, PA
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    I bought mine from Brushy Mountain. I don't know of any other models available since all the ones I've seen from various dealers looked to be the same.

    Wayne

  10. #30
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    Mar 2011
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    Daytona beach, fl
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    4

    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    This is some great information. My next thing is. How does this work? I get that people have had mixed results. It seem for the most part that it works.

    Now do y'all add thymol to the powder sugar?

    Also if you are concerned about corn starch in the sugar couldn't you just make your own?

    Right now I'm just asking about Verroa mites.

  11. #31
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    May 2008
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    Concord, CA
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    It works in 3 ways.
    The mites loose their grip because of the sugar & fall off.
    The bees groom more because of the sugar dust.
    Something I just heard last weekend, was the bees generate more heat because of the dust all over them, & the heat causes mites to fall off.

    Occasional use of PS as you're only mite control will not be enough to control mites, unless you have some very good bees.

    I think most people use the PS as a less invasive way to reduce mite levels. Then switch to Thymol, Formic, or Oxolic, or let the hive die, if the PS doesn't do the job.

    You can grind you're own cane sugar.

    PDF Honey, you didn't upset me either, just wondering where you got you're info. I've been reading everything I get my hands on for the last 4 years, & have never seen it before.
    Last edited by KQ6AR; 03-23-2011 at 07:47 PM. Reason: More to Say
    Dan

  12. #32
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    Jul 2010
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    Edwards, Ms, USA
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    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    Hey guys. Yes this is from my own experiance. I buy new mated queens every year since I am a queenbreeder. I split down my own hives and take the queenless hives to new yards and place the new queen. I do test on the new hives for the year. I do counts on Varroa and tracheal mites, diseases, build ups, SHB damage, treatments, winter loses and other various test. I also help out all my local customers. I have full range customers from commercial to organic hobbiest. Two years ago I had 30 test hives with high Varroa mite counts. So I split it up with treatments. 10 I just pinched the head off the queen and replaced her with VSH. This was my best results. Mite count dropped to 0 in 6 weeks. 10 test hives I sugar dusted with 2 cups above each brood chamber. Brushing the sugar down on them. The bees become hygenic and start cleaning each other. They started pulling brood out. The queen stopped laying completely. A week later I treated again, and the next week as well. Mite counts dropped quickly. Everyone I sugar dusted swarmed. Big loses. The other 10 I treated with a treatment containing coumaphos. This dries the queen and the bees draw a cell. Less loses but didn't like the outcome. I destroyed cells and replace with mated queens. Ok like I said before I help out customers as well. Recently I treated a customers hive with thymol. I heard great things about it killing Varro mites. So I gave it a try on Josh's hive with his approval. He swaped over to russians for there supposedly great characteristics.lol 4 weeks ago I mixed 2ounces thymol to 1 gal. water. Misted all the frames once every week for 3 weeks. His mite count dropped to 0 after the second app. Just checked him out yesterday and has strong boxes of bees with no mites and has the same marked queen. Still laying strong. Now after all that said. I live in Mississippi. My situation may be different from yours. Hope this helps.

  13. #33
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    May 2009
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    Brandon, MS USA
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    Re: Powdered Sugar

    We also noted a break I'm brood cycles in study colonies that were dusted on a weekly basis back in 97. The shutdown was between 12 and 36 hrs and the hygienic colonies removed all uncapped brood. These tests were early stage, so different amounts were used in each study... absconding was noted mainly during the hotter months and was more related to the amount if ps vs the numbers in the colonies... temps did indeed increase in each study colony immediately following each dusting and continued for an average of 36 hrs.

    Most likely the differences in the effects that pdg has had as opposed to the others mentioned here were due to timing and application method and amount... the heavy dusting of two cups poured or sifted directly onto brood frames and nurse bees causes quite a mess in the brood chambers, thus the queens were not finding any suitable locations to lay and the young bees were cleaning out ps and brood alike and the queen was not being fed as consistently as she should due to the covering of the qmp by all of the dust...

    I think Dan hit the nail on the head when he said that ps alone would not be enough to combat varroa, and certainly not for a commercial operation that is dependant on heavy colonies of productive, focussed bees...

    Thymol has been winning a ton of praises for varroa control, and would certainly get my vote if I needed to treat... there are several threads here that detail safe feeding methods for using thyme oil and oregano oil in spring and again in fall... the intent is for the nurses to feed traces of thyme oil and oregano oil to the open brood, thus killing the mites before the cells are ever capped... as it is used for human consumption, and has no known effect on the bees, it is certainly worth looking into for anyone that is trying to fight the mites with the least invasive methods possible...

    Hope this helps!

  14. #34
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    Jul 2010
    Location
    Edwards, Ms, USA
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    59

    Default Re: Powdered Sugar

    I checked my bottle of organic thyme, its pretty weak compared to the thyme oil I puchased today. Its only going to take about 2 drops per 5 gal. of water.lol I'm going to do some more research. I'd like to see what oregano oil affects on varroa.

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