Powder sugar for varroa mites

Discussion in 'Organic Beekeeping' started by Newbeemom, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. Newbeemom

    Newbeemom New Member

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    I’m new at this and just want to see if it will hurt to dust the hive with powder sugar with a solid bottom board to help with varroa mites?? Don’t have a screened board yet
     
  2. Newbeemom

    Newbeemom New Member

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    Also, would it cause robbing problems?
     

  3. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Member

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    powdered sugar wont do a thing to kill mites, you must treat with a chemical, one of the better ways is oxilic acid vapor, it has very little effect on damaging any bees and will kill off the mites, do some research here on the various methods it can be used..
     
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  4. ccjersey

    ccjersey Member

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    I would wait on the screened bottom. In the meantime or at the same time you put it in and sugar the hive I would take the time to do a proper varroa count by powdered sugar shake so you know what you are up against. If you have counts above treatment threshold (2-3% infestation or 6-9 mites per 1/2 cup nurse bees) you have a decision to make.........either treat with something else and save the colony or powder sugar them and be prepared to loose them over the winter. Unfortunately powdered sugar has been shown to have minimal effect on mite counts. Like almost all treatments it would work best if there were no brood at the time of treatment.
     
  5. Paul Cottier

    Paul Cottier New Member

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    I would recommend using the alcohol wash method to determine mite levels. The powder sugar method is much less reliable and as it has already been said, has minimal to no effect as a mite control method. Even though you would sacrifice 300 worker bees with the alcohol wash its all for the continued health of the hive.
     
  6. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Member

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    I personally do and would treat with OA vapor for mites and not bother testing, and see what your might drop is after your first treatment, I lost my hive the first year to mites because I did not treat..
    Oxalic Acid: Methods

    Legal methods

    Solution method

    35g in 1 liter 1:1 syrup (2.8% w/v)

    Trickle 5ml on each seam of bees (50ml maximum per colony)

    Tips: dissolve first in hot water, use distilled water if water is
    “hard”, use as tepid solution dribble, do not spray

    Vaporizer method
    (follow manufacturer’s directions)

    Seal all entrances & cracks

    Smoke bees from the bottom board

    Vaporize from the bottom with 1g per brood chamber

    Spraying package bees

    Spray package with 1:1 syrup at least 2 hours before treatment

    Spray with 3ml per every 1000 bees of 2.8% solution

    Keep package in cool dark room for 72 hours before hiving
    9
    MPM
    Oxalic Acid: Comparison

    Solution method
    must open colony,
    vaporizer
    method
    uses entrance

    Compared with
    solution method
    , the
    vaporizer
    method
    has

    Higher effectiveness & at lower doses killing
    varroa (>95% mortality)

    3-fold less adult bee mortality as OA is not
    ingested (about = to control)

    4 months later

    Lower colony mortality (98% colony survival)

    Larger brood area
    10
    J Apicultural Res 54:2; pp.108-120 (2015)
    P
    Oxalic Acid: Use in All Your
    Colonies in the Late Fall!

    Effectiveness

    All methods are >90% effective varroa control when given as
    indicated on label

    Vaporizer method
    is somewhat more effective

    Honey bee & colony toxicity

    Modest toxicity with
    solution method
    if only applied
    once

    Virtually no toxicity with
    vaporizer method

    Operator safety

    Minimal hazard with
    solution method

    Inhalation of oxalic acid from vaporizer is hazardous!

    Cost

    Solution method
    : $13 for 20 colonies (OA, syringe, PPE)

    Vaporizer method
    : $85-485 just for the vaporizer!

    Useful resource: see
    scientificbeekeeping.com
    11
    M

    Class of control: organic acid

    Mode of action:
    contact
    (35g dissolved in 1l 1:1 syrup, 1-3g for vaporization)

    Dosing: 5ml sugar
    syrup dribble on bees between frames
    (50ml max) or 1g by
    vaporization
    per brood chamber
    during broodless period
    in late fall or early spring
    temperature range 30 to 55
    º
    (loosely clustered), dribble for queen cell splits
    (d19-21), packages (d8-9), walk-away splits (d21-30), shook swarms (d8-9), or after
    queen caging (d18-21), also mist for packages, unnecessary to do monitoring
    immediately before & after

    Duration of treatment: at application

    Season:

    Population Decrease or Dormant:
    when brood rearing is reduced or not present

    Effectiveness:
    82 to 99% when brood not present

    BIP results: 37 to 41%
    fewer winter losses

    Advantages: cleanses adults during broodless periods,
    low likelihood of resistance

    Disadvantages: sugar syrup dribble may chill adult cluster & vaporization may not
    penetrate tight winter clusters well (recommend tepid dribble & temperatures >
    37
    º)
    , wear eyewear, gloves, respirator,
    vaporization requires respirator & caution

    Restrictions: no more than twice a year
     
  7. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I did use powdered sugar the first year, in the summer, with my 2nd hive (first one was already gone). and I did reduce mite counts successfully, but it was summer, I used a wide paint brush and painted both sides of each frame of bees with powdered sugar, because I didn't know any better, and as the bees cleaned off the sugar they also took off the mites. I did it every 5 days for about 3 weeks, inducing a 3 week brood break as the cells ended up with sugar in them that needed cleaned out, and it did help, when the queen resumed laying the colony really took off.

    Unfortunately the aggressive large swarm that left from my first hive returned to rob the 2nd out repeatedly. How do I know? a mass kill off of pollinators had zero bees in my area prior to me buying a hive, and the darn things moved in the next spring and wouldn't let me in my garden. They did kill my 2nd hive, which I had taken from 2 frames of bees to 7.

    In other words powdered sugar is a LOT of work if it does work, and yes I did use a screened bottom board. I now use oxalic acid vapor. I bought VSH queens for years but their ability to keep up the mite fight wasn't quite good enough. I still buy VSH queens but I do treat for mites in fall as soon as they quit making honey which is any time now. .They are still packing in goldenrod

    You didn't give us your location, and all beekeeping is local, are you northern or southern hemisphere, entering fall or entering spring?