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Author Topic: Would you just treat your hive with just sugar dusting?  (Read 3773 times)
mathew
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« on: September 08, 2010, 01:31:06 PM »

I've never treated my hives for varroa mites with formic acid before. I've been apprehensive as I've heard that Formic a stresses the queen and now most queen breeders do not have supply of queens at this time if I sustain queen problems over the winter. The only treatment i've used so far is sugar dusting. I've been dusting once a week with 2 cups of sugar per hive.

My highest mite count for one hive out of 300 bees is 21 which is really high. 

I have posted this in the general forum as well.
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davidruch
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2010, 03:29:04 PM »

Sugar dusting is good but you have to do it on the same day for 3 weeks straight. So if you dusted them on monday you need to do it every monday for three weeks. another thing I heard of this year is requeening a hive every year in July because it disrupts the varroa mite reproductin cycle thus killing them becasue they do not have a place to lay their eggs. Also use a screen bottom so the mites fall off the bees and down through the screen to the ground. Hope this helps.
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caticind
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2010, 10:29:19 PM »

I'm going to try treating using just sugar dusting and brood cycle manipulation (i.e splitting and letting the old hive raise their new queen).  We'll see how it goes next year.

If you find that it's not keeping the mites down, maybe it's time to try something else.  I'm sure people here can suggest how to do that with minimal stress to the bees.
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The bees would be no help; they would tumble over each other like golden babies and thrum wordlessly on the subjects of queens and sex and pollen-gluey feet. -Palimpsest
Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2010, 08:25:19 AM »

I haven't treated at all since 2004 and most of my hives since 2002 and 2003... since regressing...
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Michael Bush
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AllenF
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« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2010, 09:43:39 AM »

Michael, just wondering what your loss level is at.   What percentage of your hives did you replace last year or plan to this spring?
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Robo
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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2010, 10:17:23 AM »

One thing that no one seems to address when doing sugar shakes is the stress it puts on the bees.  Opening up the hive and completely dowsing them in powder seems pretty harsh to me,  especially doing it on a weekly basis.   It has to add to their stress level.   Also if you are in a heavy SHB area, every time you open the hive,  the SHB get the chance to distribute their eggs, once again increasing the stress level on the colony.  My experience has been the less intrusive you are on a hive the stronger/healthier they are.  Obviously if they are susceptible to varroa,  and you aren't willing to weed out these hives, then some treatment is needed,  but I'm not sure sugar shakes are as non-harming to the bees as proponents want you to believe.
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L Daxon
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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2010, 10:51:32 AM »

Robo,
I agree about the stress issue.  I did two ps shakes one week apart earlier this month and just decided it upset my hive too much.  The first time I thought it was because my technique was bad, so I tried to be a little less disruptive the second time but I could still see that the bees were very, very agitated.  It could have been because I have a 3 deep brood chamber and by the time you get to the bottom box the girls are not happy.  And after the second shake, my mite counts didn't drop that much, if at all.   So I gave up and put Apiguard on this week.

Michael,
Do you use queens especially bred to resist mites?  Do you know if that really makes a difference?   Someone mentioned VRQs (or something like that) at our bkps meeting Tuesday and I wondered if it was worth requeening/expense to get the more mite resistant brood strain. 
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linda d
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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2010, 02:04:59 PM »

I didn't find that sugar dusting stressed my bees much.  But I did it during a broodless period, while they were raising a new queen, so the sugar shake may not have registered against the background of confusion.

I wouldn't call myself a proponent yet, as I haven't been doing it all that long.  That will depend on how next year goes in this experiment.
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The bees would be no help; they would tumble over each other like golden babies and thrum wordlessly on the subjects of queens and sex and pollen-gluey feet. -Palimpsest
Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2010, 09:54:02 PM »

>Michael, just wondering what your loss level is at.   What percentage of your hives did you replace last year or plan to this spring?

I lost most of the small ones (two mediums or less)  during the -27 F couple of weeks we had last winter.  The large ones did fine.  I don't think I lost any of them.
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Michael Bush
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annette
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« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2010, 10:47:13 PM »

I did the powder sugar dusting for the first 2 years of beekeeping and it worked out fine, except I truly felt I put the bees in a bad situation by doing this.

I finally stopped the dusting because one hive acted so strange afterward. Many many bees came out after I dusted them and they hung in a cluster on the front of the hive. I didn't know what was going on, but after some time like this, they went back in. They never made it through the winter although they were a strong hive going into winter.

I don't know if the dusting was the cause or not, but I just did not feel good about this any more.

So last year I did not treat at all and all 4 hives came out of winter just fine. This year I have not treated at all and we shall see how they make it through the winter.

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Acebird
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2010, 02:52:38 PM »

Quote
Also if you are in a heavy SHB area, every time you open the hive,  the SHB get the chance to distribute their eggs,

Could you expand on this?
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2010, 06:49:53 PM »

Quote
Also if you are in a heavy SHB area, every time you open the hive,  the SHB get the chance to distribute their eggs,

Could you expand on this?

After a hive has been closed up for a while, the bees will propolise everything down-seal up holes, cracks, etc. What SHB are in there have been herded up by the bees and propolised in a couple of areas within the hive. When you as a beekeeper pops the lid off, it breaks the propolis seal freeing up the SHB to run everywhere.
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Robo
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« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2010, 05:04:22 PM »

everything that VK9 said. But let me add that as the SHB run everywhere looking for a new hiding spot,  they drop eggs along the way.

If you want to learn more about SHB,  I did a podcast a while back with Jerry Freeman, who is very knowledgeable on the subject and shared a ton of info.

http://robo.bushkillfarms.com/beekeeping/beekeeping-podcasts/
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T Beek
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« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2010, 12:48:35 PM »

I've only dusted once with a hive that was given to me and was overwhelmed with mites, it came from Souther MN.  They seemed to take it well and were thriving by winter but didn't survive. 

I thought I'd likely do it again and have promoted it, until reading all the above.  Now I'm not so sure.  Happy to report minimal problems since that one dusting.  I guess I'd do that rather than anything else.  What's that old saying about bees dieing?  They didn't want to live or we didn't need them, something like that.  Its a good question, to dust or not to dust.

As for SHB, not sure dusting would help at all.  I've only seen "one" up here due to our winters and that was inside a queen cage coming from Texas.

thomas
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kathyp
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« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2010, 03:30:56 PM »

there was a study done on PS dusting that found it not to be very effective.  it was posted on here somewhere.  maybe someone will remember or have the link?
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maraboo9
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« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2011, 08:06:40 PM »

Since I'm new to this forum I'm not allowed to post links, so google : Randy Oliver Scientific Beekeeper. then go to the varroa treatment section.  He has a pretty solid 3 part series on ps dusting.
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Robo
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« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2011, 09:47:21 PM »

Not sure if it is the same article,  but there has been some discussion of Randy's PS article here -> http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,18373.0.html
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rdy-b
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« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2011, 10:23:41 PM »

http://www.scientificbeekeeping.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=69
http://www.scientificbeekeeping.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=71
http://www.scientificbeekeeping.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=72
 Wink  RDY-B
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woodchopper
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« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2011, 03:54:29 PM »

Thanks for posting these RDY-B !!
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