Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would it bee wise to dust a new package of bee"s? Any issue with doing this? I thought it would be a good idea before any eggs are laid in a new hive. Any thought on this?

Thanks
Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,991 Posts
The best time to dust with powdered sugar is when there is no brood old enough to contain mites. New packages are in this condition, as are nucs made with frames of unsealed brood that is less than eight days old from the egg. The new colony will eventually become infested with mites, but they will have fewer their first year than if you had not dusted when they were broodless.

I like to dust a freshly made nuc at least 3 times before they have eight day old brood. If you have other colonies that you intend to treat later in the season, try taking a frame of very young larvae and adding it to the new package, also. When the brood in this frame is sealed, return it to the donor colony. It will contain the mites the sugar failed to cause to fall from the adults in the package. When you treat the donor colony later, you kill those mites. If you don't mind wasting a frame of worker brood, you can freeze the frame to kill the mites in the sealed brood. That way you do not increase the mites in the donor colony.

Some people worry that dusting will cause a new package to abscond, I have never had that to happen, but adding brood would help hold the bees in the hive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The best time to dust with powdered sugar is when there is no brood old enough to contain mites. New packages are in this condition, as are nucs made with frames of unsealed brood that is less than eight days old from the egg. The new colony will eventually become infested with mites, but they will have fewer their first year than if you had not dusted when they were broodless.

I like to dust a freshly made nuc at least 3 times before they have eight day old brood. If you have other colonies that you intend to treat later in the season, try taking a frame of very young larvae and adding it to the new package, also. When the brood in this frame is sealed, return it to the donor colony. It will contain the mites the sugar failed to cause to fall from the adults in the package. When you treat the donor colony later, you kill those mites. If you don't mind wasting a frame of worker brood, you can freeze the frame to kill the mites in the sealed brood. That way you do not increase the mites in the donor colony.

Some people worry that dusting will cause a new package to abscond, I have never had that to happen, but adding brood would help hold the bees in the hive.
Thanks for the advise, I'm just in my first year and I only have 2 hives and both have new package bee's that were installed a week ago today. I planned on opening the hives this week so I could dust them at that time. All the information I've seen on dusting says use a cup for each deep brood box. So the sugar that gets in the open cells of larva won't hurt the larva?

Thanks
Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,991 Posts
You will be dusting from the top of the hive and most of the sugar will fall down the face onto the bees, missing the cells. Some sugar will enter the cells and some brood will be lost, but not a large amount. The removal of the varroa will benefit the colony more the little brood that will be killed. Check out Randy Oliver's Scientific Beekeeping, there is some good info on sugar dusting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You will be dusting from the top of the hive and most of the sugar will fall down the face onto the bees, missing the cells. Some sugar will enter the cells and some brood will be lost, but not a large amount. The removal of the varroa will benefit the colony more the little brood that will be killed. Check out Randy Oliver's Scientific Beekeeping, there is some good info on sugar dusting.

Thanks for the information, I have passed this along to my son-in-law who is a first year BK as well.


Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,085 Posts
"So the sugar that gets in the open cells of larva won't hurt the larva?"

I found a university study earlier this year. If you nearly fill the brood cells with powdered sugar, it may reduce survival of larvae that will cap in a day or two. Nobody "dusts" like that, and the researchers said it was a deliberate overdose to see what the effect was. Younger larvae were apparently unharmed. A light dusting should be harmless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
204 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Is the best time of day early morning or before dusk so you can catch most of the bee's inside. Should I block the entrance while dusting?

Thanks
Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,799 Posts
You are asking good questions. You are primarily interested in mites that are on bees in the hive so don't worry too much about mites on foraging field bees. Some of them are in and out of the hive during the day so you'll get some of them - even is you were to dust at noon (which I don't recommend) A larger question about dusting is why bother? You are not going to get the bees to remove by grooming all that many mites. If you subscribe to the any mites removed via sugar dusting are exponentially less mites to have to deal with in the future - then go for it. But if you are planning to use a miticide with high efficacy (something like Amitraz) powdered sugar use may not be all that useful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,835 Posts
One word of caution. New package bees don't have any loyalty to their new surroundings. Brood is often the glue that keeps them from absconding. I hear and read daily about new packages absconding shortly after installation. Taking a new package of bees and giving them a good powdered sugar dusting might be enough to tip the scales.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top