That's about what I thought - All my instincts and reason agree that no matter what Langstoth might have been able to do with his bees, it would be still be a really, very, bad idea to NOT have a smoker kept on ready for the guards, and in case the bees were not impressed by the sugar that day :)
Also kinda suspected/worried that sugar would work better with only a hive or few, rather than a yard full. Visions of 1 really happy hive being worked on, and the rest of the yard diving into robbing mode....
And the alarm pherenomes - that is a good enough reason to have a smoker at hand whenever working or checking the bees. Yep. Probably save sugar spray for hiving the packages.... :)
On related, if powdered sugar shaken into the hive encourages bees to clean mites off, and helps cause the mites to fall off, what effect would sugar water spray have? Would the liquid loosen the mites, or is it mainly the powdery-ness that makes them lose grip? - Thanks