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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Conestoga, Lancaster County, PA, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default 24 hour mite count of 140 after applying powdered sugar

    I'm new to beekeeping, and am trying to treat my bees as gently as possible. My mentor suggested I sprinkle powdered sugar on them once a week for three weeks in a row. Yesterday I applied my second sprinkling, and put a white board on my SBB so I could do a mite count. I pulled the board out after 24 hours, and estimate there to be 140 mites on the board. To get this number I divided the board into fourths, and counted the mites on one fourth of the board (35) and then multiplied by 4. This seems like a lot of mites! I have 3 medium boxes on my hive, and it is boiling over with bees. Is this a high mite count for this many bees at this time of year? Also, does anyone have experience with drone foundation? I'm tempted to try that to help control my mite problem. Any help is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Franklin Co, PA, USA
    Posts
    170

    Default Re: 24 hour mite count of 140 after applying powdered sugar

    Did you count mites before you powdered with sugar? Hard to know if this count (which is high) is due to overall high mite count or success of your sugar application. I'd wait a couple days and recheck. If they still have high mite counts, would consider another treatment (like MAQS) - although others will suggest no treatment. You and your mentor will have to discuss your strategy and plans. Good luck and let us know what you decide and your success.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Conestoga, Lancaster County, PA, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: 24 hour mite count of 140 after applying powdered sugar

    Thanks, Jim. I'm hoping the mite count is high because the sugar is working (wouldn't that be nice?). I'll take your advice and check again at the end of the week--without applying more sugar.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    3,999

    Default Re: 24 hour mite count of 140 after applying powdered sugar

    We do our mite counts using powdered sugar to make the mites drop. Remove the dry white board 15-20 minutes after dusting, to count mites. The number is similar to a 24 hour count.
    According to Randy Oliver www.scientificbeekeeping.com Using powdered sugar once a week will not lower you're mite levels, they will stay about the same. If you have a hive with high mite levels it has to be sugar dusted 2-3 times a week for 3 weeks.
    Dan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Conestoga, Lancaster County, PA, USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: 24 hour mite count of 140 after applying powdered sugar

    Thanks, KQ. I was wondering if dusting more often would hurt them, and you've answered that question.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brown County, IN
    Posts
    2,034

    Default Re: 24 hour mite count of 140 after applying powdered sugar

    Quote Originally Posted by vstoltzfus View Post
    Thanks, KQ. I was wondering if dusting more often would hurt them, and you've answered that question.
    Won't hurt them, will annoy them.

    If powdered sugar fails to significantly reduce your mite counts, you should seriously consider a treatment such as MAQS or Apiguard.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,070

    Default Re: 24 hour mite count of 140 after applying powdered sugar

    I think of it like this. If I do a sugar shake with 300 bees in a jar and shake them for about 2 minutes I get most but not all of the mites off the bees even with all the agitation. If you are just dropping sugar on them from above I imagine you are getting very few of the mites to fall off.

    Throw an Apiguard or a MAQS on them and watch your numbers go through the roof.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

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