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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have 6 hives in my side yard. I started using green drone comb and powdered sugar this year for mite control, but WOW - it is a pain. I go in every 24 days to remove and replace the drone comb and powder both brood boxes at the same time. The result? A lot of very angry bees. I have an awful time removing the nurse bees from the drone brood, and the bees don't care a bit for being covered with sugar.

However, the mite counts I've done every month have remained very low.

It's getting difficult now to keep this up with all the supers on top (they all have 3-5 shallows on already) and pulling them off to get to the brood boxes, plus the inevitable squishing of bees when putting everything back together - I really dread going to the bee yard.

Does everyone have this kind of trouble?
 

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wait till the summer dearth to do it,(if you harvest first) and start again in the spring before the supers are on. works pretty well here.
good luck,mike
 

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"It's getting difficult now to keep this up with all the supers on top (they all have 3-5 shallows on already) and pulling them off to get to the brood boxes, plus the inevitable squishing of bees when putting everything back together - I really dread going to the bee yard."

I can just imagine! At any time when a beekeeper really "dreads" going to the bee yard can't be a good experience; for you or the bees. This may happen at most once a year when removing honey supers from a lot of hives, or some other necessary deep inspection/manipulation kind of work.

Doing a powdered sugar dusting every 24 days doesn't seem like too often. I wonder how benificial that is though. I have read that most sugar dust every 8-10 days in spring to early summer. Did you mean every 24 days for removing drone brood frames only?

Why not hold off on sugar dusting until you remove the honey supers? At this time of year, [your area and mine]] brood production and colony population will normally stay ahead of the mites. Later in the summer/fall is when the mite population overtakes brood production as the queen slows down laying. This is when mites are most detrimental to the hive because they will effect the emerging bees that are going to overwinter.

[Mike H., I need to type faster--sorry.]
 

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I have an awful time removing the nurse bees from the drone brood
I hate smashing bees but I haven't discovered the secret to avoiding it.
A little smoke
More smoke
No smoke
A lot of smoke... at times it doesn't seem to matter.

I'm going to try a combination of a water spray bottle and smoke.

As for getting rid of the nurse bees I would simply give the drone frame a couple of good smacks with the palm and brush off any remaining bees. I would then carry the frame some distance away and cover it in box.

I'm sure you'll be happy when some of your honey is capped, and can be removed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just did a mite count yesterday and only found 1 mite on three boards, and 2-3 on the rest - that seems REALLY low to me for this time of year. I think I will follow your advice and let the hives do their thing for the summer. Even when I uncapped the drone brood this week, there were hardly any mites on them, and I looked and looked. (By the way, I uncap the brood and shake as many as possible out onto the end of my driveway before freezing the comb and leave the drones out for the bluebirds - they love 'em!)
 
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