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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Perry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    226

    Default Why powdered sugar?

    Why is powdered sugar considered treating? Just curious. I am new to treatment free but have been practicing it for more than a year with mixed results.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    North Tazewell, Virginia
    Posts
    345

    Default Re: Why powdered sugar?

    The sugar builds up on their legs and the mites fall off. Also is a great way to do mite counts. It is not a poison of any kind and it gives the bees a boost of energy. Hope this helped later

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Why powdered sugar?

    Powdered sugar is considered treating because it's a substance you put in the hive in order to affect the removal of a pest. That's the official stance according to the forum rules.

    Personally, to me it's a treatment because it's something you put in the hive to help the bees and the bees should not need any help in dealing with disease at all. That's my philosophy of treatment free.

    The science behind it is the science of natural selection. Bees are not domesticated animals. If they want to leave, they leave. No fence is going to keep them in. But if treated bees get out into the wild, they usually die. I want a more interactive relationship with the feral bees. The idea that many newbees come in with is that they're helping the bees because the bees are dying. But propping up bees that cannot survive in the wild is not helping the bees. At the very best, it's doing absolutely nothing ultimately, and at the worst, it's watering down feral survivor genetics.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Richmond, VA UNITED STATES
    Posts
    163

    Default Re: Why powdered sugar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Powdered sugar is considered treating because it's a substance you put in the hive in order to affect the removal of a pest. That's the official stance according to the forum rules.

    Personally, to me it's a treatment because it's something you put in the hive to help the bees and the bees should not need any help in dealing with disease at all. That's my philosophy of treatment free.
    Solomon, what is the stance on feeding sugar water then? Is that treatment? What about providing a water source with minerals? Are we creating a bee too short flighted or unable to find new nectar/water sources by doing it?

    A mechanical verroa screen seems to be artificially creating an environment as well. Powdered Sugar seems more of a physical treatment like the screened bottom board than a treatment. What if someone created a special brush to put at the entrance that brushed off the veroa, but not the pollen sacks.... What if there was a form of diotomaceous earth that worked?

    The powdered sugar creates a self grooming behavior. I only tried it once, and it was a pain, but it still feels like it's more of a physical manipulation than treatment - I would tend to include it in the same as culling drone comb off of a green foundation.
    Last edited by Solomon Parker; 06-06-2012 at 08:35 AM. Reason: Fix Quote

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Why powdered sugar?

    Sugar water is food. You wouldn't consider feeding a horse molasses occasionally to be a treatment would you? Its effect is not to deal with a pest but to provide food. It's a different category of item. However, if you put something in it (like many products available for bee feeds today) to help with disease (nosema or others) then it would be a treatment. These questions are easily answered by reading the Unique Forum Rules which always appear at the top of the list of threads.

    As a side note, according to the survey linked in an earlier thread, those who use powdered sugar report a 1% higher mortality than those who don't. And treating with even the best of treatments only results in less than ten percent decrease in mortality anyway. I maintain that doing nothing is still the most effective option for the price and more so as time goes on and you breed from the survivors.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Perry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Why powdered sugar?

    Solomon you answered my question, thanks. So there are three camps in beekeeping. Maybe four. Treatment free, chemical free, and those who bombard thier bees with all chemicals available. Is IPM a fourth or does it fall in one of the first two categories?

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