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Thread: SUMAC

  1. #101
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Syracuse, NY (upstate)
    Posts
    255

    Post

    I've been using the red seed heads from the staghorn sumac for the last couple of years since reading a post on this website. I have never used poisons in my hives for anything, even though mites are present. I have screened bottom boards and use the powdered sugar dusting technique in the fall.

    As far as the safety issue goes... I don't use any protective breathing apparatus. The little bit of smoke smells fine and there is plenty of information on the web about the consumption of products from these seed heads including making wine. Here's the link:

    http://winemaking.jackkeller.net/staghorn.asp

    Anything in moderation. In fact my father inlaw, a world recognized expert in public health, recently showed me several articles on how small amounts of radiation boost the human immune system.

    -Eric
    ekrouse [Your source for 100% Pure Local Honey from New York State]
    www.EricsHoneyFarm.com/resources

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  3. #102
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,613

    Post

    Is powdered sugar registered as a pesticide?

  4. #103
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, N.C.
    Posts
    5,034

    Post

    No, it is an attractant. Everytime grandma bakes with it, it attracts all kinds of little pests. [img]smile.gif[/img]

  5. #104
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,833

    Post

    >Is powdered sugar registered as a pesticide?

    No. Some substances do not require registration.

  6. #105
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Troupsburg, NY
    Posts
    4,071

    Post

    "Hey, I got to go now, there’s a real controversial thread going on over on bee forum about the definition of feral honeybee.
    See you all over there! "

    Excellent exit stradigy, Joe.
    "I reject your reality, and substitute my own." Adam Savage

  7. #106
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,866

    Post

    Sorry, I've been away from my computer for a couple of months. In my church, we presume that when someone doesn't show up for a while, they're probably mad about something. That's not the case here, I've just been busy.

    I appreciate all that's been said about sumac. I'll add just a little of my experience.

    Staghorn sumac berries, for me, burn quickly and hot, putting out a heavy, yellowish tinged smoke. I add a couple of branches of berries to a lit smoker and give the entrance a few puffs. The bees immediately increase their buzzing noise in response to this smoke, thus I conclude they do not like it. But then do they really appreciate any smoke?

    As I give a few puffs under the screen bottom board, bees leaving the hive increase. After doing this for three or four hives, I have to reload more sumac branches. It burns quick. It's been suggested my smoker was too hot, and maybe it was. Maybe this year I'll try some green grass with the berries.

    The smoke smells acrid so I only use it in the fall after the supers are taken off. I don't make it a practice of standing in the smoke as it billows out of my smoker, but I also do not wear any mask or respirator.

    As I've counted mites on a sticky board under my screens, smoking with sumac increases mite fall in greater numbers when compared to FGMO or plain smoke using cedar shavings. If you don't count mites, you don't really have a basis against which to judge its effectiveness and your observations are purely anecdotal assumptions.

    But it has also been pointed out to me that fogging any substance, even water, will increase mite drop. I haven't tried water, but steaming the hive sounds intriguing, and likely non-toxic!

    IMHO, I think sumac works, to a degree. It's part of a number of things I do in the name of IPM.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  8. #107
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Traverse City, MI, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Gramps kept bees on his cherry farm in Traverse City, Mi years ago and he would add Sumac to his smoker way back then. He said it helped calm "hot bees". The bright red cones from Staghorn Sumac is edible and can even be steeped in hot water and strained to make a lemon flavored tea (anybody remember Euell Gibbonss?) . The Sumac with clusters of white berries is where the name "poison sumac" comes from.

  9. #108

    Default Re: SUMAC

    Sumac is the best smoker fuel, produces a nice smoke, stays lit forever and is free. Some cultures use it as a spice.

    I read the article about sumac having a limited effect on varroa last year. But this is NOT a substitute for best bee keeping practices as a varroacide so don't use it as such. Use it as smoker fuel.

    If you see this growing in your area, run don't walk and harvest as much of it as you can...sore it in a bucket for use year round.

    IMG_0425.jpg

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