Oh no, Annette, I think that I should have elaborated a little further on my sugar dusting. I forgot one very important part. When I did the powdered shakes, I had replaced the solid bottomboards with screened bottomboards. Of course, I did definitely not want all that sugar around so I placed sheets of newspaper beneath each colony and gathered up all the remains that fell onto it.
I am not sure that powdered sugar would start a robbing situation, such as would be if a lot of sugar syrup spilled. I don't think that powdered sugar would be overly appealing to bees, honestly. I think that they are more anxious to obtain a liquid in their honey stomach, like nectar or sugar syrup, not dry sugar. I think that that would be fairly hard to collect. I am pretty sure about what I am saying here. But just speaking out loud, I could be wrong for sure.
One point that you spoke about Annette, was you said you work from the bottom up. Obviously you are removing the second brood chamber and then putting it back, right? If you have honey supers on, I don't think that you should sugar shake, but then again I am not too sure about that either, again, just thinking out loud.
When I did the sugar dusting, I did not do the chambers separately, I simply left the two brood chambers in place and dusted from the top. I am pretty positive that the amount of sugar floated all down and covered the bees in the bottom box too. Did you hear somewhere that you need to do each box separately, maybe I missed something and am doing it wrong myself. Living, learning, eh, girl?
Dennis, I am in the southwestern corner of Canada, near a place called Vancouver, I am about 45 km from the ocean. We have pretty mild temperatures in the wintertime. We have experienced some fairly hard frosts for the past two weeks when the skies are clear. But living in a rainy climate, the weather usually remains above the freezing point. We on occasion get some snow that may last for a few days to a couple of weeks, the latter is infrequently. January will tend to be our coldest month. We can get a couple of weeks of deep freezing, no snow, because when it freezes here the skies will certainly be clear. We can have freezing ground to a depth of about 8 inches, never ever deeper than that. Now and then the small lakes in our areas will freeze over, but again that is unusual. We are rainy and cool.
I am not working with the bees any more, there is no need to. They have been fed plenty for winter stores and I feel their hives are very heavy. The bees will still come out in great numbers. For example the past couple of days the weather has been very warm, when the sun is shining. I don't know the temperature that has been during these warm days, but I have worked outside with a T-shirt for a couple of hours when the sun was higher on the horizon, but when the sun waned, the coat came back on. Cold. Today is rainy. The temperature currently is: 8 C ( 46 F). We begin to feed pollen around the middle of February for brood stimulation. Is this the kind of answer that you needed to have? Have a wonderful day, beautiful life, loving this life we live. Cindi