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I have read that it is not advisable to use the store bought powdered sugar for varroa treatment because it contains starch. I have a pretty heavyduty blender, but when using it to make powdered sugar from granulated sugar the blender really struggles and overheats. So what are you guys doing for powdered sugar treatments?

Blueline
 

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I don't do this, so I don't really know the answer to your question. Only that there is a difference between Powdered Sugar and Confectioners or Confectionery Sugar. Maybe that is what you should be using.
 

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Interesting, the bag I have says Confectioners Powdered Sugar. It lists sugar and cornstarch as ingredients. For all I know it may be the cornstarch that makes it work. I haven't heard of any reason not to use it. I don't believe, as a treatment for varroa, that it is very effective.
 

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Cornstarch is hard for the bees to digest, but in warm weather and the bees are able to take a dump it causes no problems. When used alone I have found that it does not keep varroa from reaching the economic threshold. Used on a just hived swarm before they have brood helps rid the bees of the mites they brought with them.
 

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Hi, we have been using powdered sugar for 6 years now, without any problems. I use store bought cane powdered sugar. It has small amounts of cornstarch in it and it hasn't caused any problems.
The most important thing about using PS to reduce your mite load is to do at at least once a week for a 3 week period. You need to capture the mites hatching with the bees. When we had really bad infestations, we would dust twice a week for 3 weeks. It's time consuming and intensive, but really worth it. It reduce our mite load to tolerable levels. We have not lost a hive to varroa.
For the last 3 years we have been working on changing our of our foundation to natural cell and small cell and this year, our mite load has been very low to none. We have dusted our bees on our schedule (before and inbetween our honey flows) and seen such low counts that we have not dusted the following two weeks. We are using the dusting to obseve our mite counts, like using a jar, but we do the whole hive.
Have a great day,
Janet
 

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How much powder sugar do you use per deep box?
I am thinking about using 1/4 cup powder in a flour sifter with a screen on top of the deep box. Is this enough powder sugar? I intend to have a sliding board to check for mite drop. I think I need to avoid getting powder in the surplus super, how about the super you intend to leave them for the winter?
 

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We use 2 heaping cups per hive. And we remove the honey supers, the mites are in the brood. We always separate the hive bodies, doing one super at a time with one heaping cup of powdered sugar, but you can keep them together. We have a member who dusts every week through both hive bodies. You need to use enough PS to coat the bees and you want to see the powdered sugar fall through the bottom.
When we first started, we were worried about brood, so we marked frames that had eggs and uncapped larva and watched the developement. All eggs hatched and all larva was capped. All bees hatched. We have wall to wall brood. When we dust, we do not take out each frame, we just brush the powdered sugar between the frames after it is sifted. We sift through a frame we made that has window screen and that works great.
We have a movie on our website http://countryrubes.com/instructions/usingpowderedsugar.html that we just put up. And a timeline on when we were using it.
The bees remove powdered sugar from the hive when there is a flow going on. I have a great picture here http://countryrubes.com/information/picturesmisc.html Scroll down a bit.
 

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2 Rubes, that's helpful I've tried the #8 mesh and it doesn't brush as well as I'd like. Having seen your vid. I'm going to get some window screen. Thanks.
 

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I dust just as 2 rubes does (do?) They get a dusting whenever I'm going to mess with the brood boxes, so they are not on a regular schedule. If I have a hive with a high mite count I would try to get there once a week.

I've been using about a half pound per hive. I dust most heavily over the brood frames, generally the center of the box. A brood box at the top containing only honey may get only a superrficial dusting. The mites want to hang out on the nurse bees to be in a position to jump off into an open cell when ready.

I use the powdered sugar off the shelf. Powdered sugar has not been recommended for feeding in syrup because of the cornstarch and its effects om the bees digestive system. Even though the fastidious bees remove this sugar from the hives as fast as possible, I believe that someone made a stretch of the imagination that cornstarch applied externally must also be harmful to the bees. And by extension, to the brood also.

I may be wrong, but I'll wait until someone shows me the data.

Wayne
 
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