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Is the powdered sugar for treating actually confectioners sugar? I have seen some grinding granulated sugar in a blender and calling it "powdered sugar". Their reasoning was that confectioners contains corn starch. Does it matter? I just want a little clarity on which one it is before I do anything.
 

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Yes, it is confectioners sugar. Corn starch can cause diarrhea in bees, if they are given enough. It can be a problem for them when it is too cold for them to leave the hive. The amount in powdered sugar in warm weather isn't going to hurt them, when used for dusting. I would not recommend using 50 lb. of it for winter feeding.
 

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Confectioner's sugar is simply sugar that's extra-fine ground so it dissolves instantly- it's used for baking and frostings etc.
It has a little bit of corn starch added to help prevent clumping from humidity. This is harmless to people eating it. Apparently bees should not be fed large amounts of it as a food. Some people grind their own sugar in a blender (dry) in order to get a similar type fine powdery sugar that doesnt have any corn starch added.
But lots of people do use regular old store-bought conf. sugar to dust over the brood frames to help reduce mites. It's a technique that can't really be accurately detailed in one or two sentences. Best to do a bit of Googling for more details, also there are some good youtube videos showing BK's doing 'sugar shakes' for mites. Some folks think it works well for them, others don't think it does much.
 

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There is a difference in sugar shakes and sugar dusting.

A sugar shake is to get a mite count.

A sugar dusting is a mite treatment
 

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Thank you, both. I've read about it in several places and watched a video detailing it by Linda of Linda's Bees (I think I've seen on this forum others linking some of her videos. Great stuff.) I just couldn't figure out the "don't use the stuff with added starched" and her using what looked like a normal grocery store bag of it.
 
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