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65 colonies +/- mostly Langstroth mediums, a few deeps for nuc production
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It can yes,
check out the research Jamie Ellis (U of Fl) did for info on effectiveness.
 

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It can plug up and suffocate the brood, yes. Most powdered sugar today has corn starch in it making it even worse for them. I tried it once, lost a few frames of brood. I later lost the hive to ants, the only time that has ever happened to me.
 

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I want to add that I had open brood and saw nothing die on my PS treatment.
I am 1st year beek so.....
I only did one PS treatment to see where the mite count was, roughly. My phone busted so I'm not sure when that was, I think July/August beginning.
I did no other treatments as I want to see how they do over Winter. If my 1 hive had not split into 3 I might have done more PS treatments.
Next year I may do more but this year I want to see how they do on their own.
 

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I've used powdered sugar on each comb of bees each month in all my hives since 2013 and have not noticed any brood kill. You are sugaring the live bees, not the comb or open brood so if applied wrong, you certainly could gum up the works. I use a one hand Oxo sifter. I pull each bar (I'm 90% topbar hives) and upend it and park one corner of the bar on the top of the hive and tip it slightly. Dust that side, tip it back the other way and dust the other side and replace it. (I do make a point to look for the queen so I can be extra careful that she doesn't accidentally get dusted off the comb and onto the ground.)
 

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I've used powdered sugar on each comb of bees each month in all my hives since 2013 and have not noticed any brood kill. You are sugaring the live bees, not the comb or open brood so if applied wrong, you certainly could gum up the works. I use a one hand Oxo sifter. I pull each bar (I'm 90% topbar hives) and upend it and park one corner of the bar on the top of the hive and tip it slightly. Dust that side, tip it back the other way and dust the other side and replace it. (I do make a point to look for the queen so I can be extra careful that she doesn't accidentally get dusted off the comb and onto the ground.)
Do you do any more than once a month? I did PS treatments this August and Sept. and I did them three days running, not sure why but I think it was because of a discussion on Randy Oliver's site. It would be nice if once a month kept the mites at a manageable level, the third day the bees are a little grumpy.

I did not notice any brood death. That said, I am new at this and I could have missed something, yet, my hives seem to have plenty of bees going into winter.
 

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Do you do any more than once a month?
Once a month, every month I can work the bees, which is 10 months out of the year, is enough to keep the mites in check for me. If I do notice deformed wing on workers or even spot mites, I might do it weekly for 4 weeks to get things under control in that particular hive, but I've only had to do that twice since I started keeping bees in 2013.
 

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Thanks Ruth, we have about 6 months where we can work bees, but I assume that the number of months where we have no brood is a little longer. This was my first summer so next year I think I will do a regular monthly routine. I have screened bottom boards and keep an eye on the natural mite drop as well.
 
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