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Author Topic: What does powdered sugar do for mites  (Read 1212 times)
House Bee
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Posts: 377

Location: buffalo junction virginia

« on: September 03, 2007, 11:27:24 PM »


  I just recently lost one of my hives that came thru the winter and now i have my other big hive that must have lost thier queen they are down to a small amount. I want to put them in a nuc until they build up some they have a new queen italian and russian cross now i have not treated any of my other hives but i am getting ready to start soon what will the sugar shaking do to the mites i have been using apilife-var but i want to go a cheaper way my bottom boards are solid will the powder sugar kill the mites on contact or will it suffercate them.

Super Bee
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Gender: Female
Posts: 1740

Location: Atlanta, GA

Bee in N Georgia on a Blackberry flower

« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2007, 11:30:54 PM »

Actually the powdered sugar doesn't exactly do anything TO the mites. 

What it does is inspire the bees to groom themselves and in the process, they groom off the mites who fall through the screened bottom board and can't come back through to reattach to the bees.  So you are lowering the mite population when you do a powdered sugar shake because of grooming.

but if you have solid bottom boards, then the mites can reattach to the bees -

If you are going to use the PS method, you will need to use SBBs.

Linda T in Atlanta
"You never can tell with bees" - Winnie the Pooh

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House Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 179

Location: East Central Missouri

« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2007, 12:47:27 AM »

I don't know exactly how accurate it is, but I also read that the smallest grains of the sugar also interfere with the mites ability to adhere to the bees.
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2007, 10:09:33 AM »

Yes wtiger, you are exactly right.
The other theories about how powdered sugar might work are simply wrong.

If you go back through back issues of ABJ, you will find the original article
on this in June of 2000.

Mites have "tarsal pads" - little suction cups.
Sugar particles in the 5 micron to 15 micron range will clog those pads,
and the bees cannot hold on to anything (bees, comb, whatever).

This is why it is important to create a fine "cloud" or "mist" of powdered
sugar when "poofing" it on the bees.  Anything less is just dumping
sugar in the hive.  There have been several attempts to make the
treatment less labor intensive, and while they may have some level
of success, they have not been subjected to "controlled studies" to
prove that they are effective approaches.

Here's a complete run-down I wrote back in 2001:

New Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 17

Location: Belington, West Virginia

« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2007, 11:56:07 PM »

This seems like a very fine solution to the mites problem. I hadn't read anything about this treatment up until now. I'll definitely be storing this one in the head. ^_^

Obviously, this is not one-hundred percent affective, but will it do enough to slice the problem by any major majority?

House Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 352

Location: Ocean City, Maryland, USA

« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2007, 08:39:21 AM »

Obviously, this is not one-hundred percent affective, but will it do enough to slice the problem by any major majority?

It keeps the mites under control.

Galactic Bee
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Gender: Female
Posts: 9827

Location: Grindrod, B.C. Canada

« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2007, 08:57:22 AM »

jfischer.  You wrote a very very good report back in May 2001.  I read all of it with great interest and you provided some excellent ideas.  The war against the varroa destructor, yeah!!!  I had 8 colonies collapse last fall from the mite and its "by-products".  Being uninformed of the visual cues that are so noticeable when one is totally informed of what these cues are was my downfall.  We are all living and learning.  Have a wonderful day, thank you for resurrecting your report.  Greatest of life. Cindi

There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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