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Author Topic: Surocide or Powdered Sugar?  (Read 1656 times)
Apis629
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« on: January 30, 2006, 02:39:55 PM »

In an inspection yesterday I found a few bees with, what looked like, shriveled wings and a few varroa mites.  Needless to say I'm concerned and was wondering which meathod was more satisfactory for varroa controll: powdered sugar or surocide?  I realize both are labor intensive but given I don't trust formic acid, checkmite+ or Apistan this is probably my best shot.  I do have a screened bottom board on right now.
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Jack Parr
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2006, 02:58:47 PM »

Seems like you stated recently that you didn't have any Verroa in your hives?

Sucrocide being a liquid is easier to apply to cover all the bees and frames IOM. However you need a pump.  A really good garden pump/sprayer will cost around 45-50 bucks. The pumps that WMT sells are cheap but don't last very long and in fact any pump selling for less than the cost stated above is not very durable IMO

The sugar shake does need to be applied the same way, pulling all the frames and sprinkling the powedered sugar on everything. The bees do enjoy that and have a feast.

What all that does for mites, I ain't sure??? I have done both and my mite counts, so far, are low, as in, I seldom see any on the white boards I have inserted under the screen bottoms. My hives are doing very good as of yesterday, after a complete inspection. Plenty of honey, pollen, brood and extra space available for their expansion.

I have never seen a mite on a bee either.

Best to have four hands when doing either application.
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newbee101
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2006, 05:46:46 PM »

Bee prepared for alot of angry off bees. I have seen sucrocide being applied. Thousands of bees in the air and lots of them stinging everything in sight.
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Apis629
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2006, 05:52:11 PM »

I know I stated that recently but, yesterday I went through every single frame, in search of the queen for a photo-op, and then I noticed bees with shriveled wings.  It's as Finsky says, "If you can't find Varroa mites then you're not looking hard enough.  By the way, what I've read about how powdered sugar works is that it stimulates grooming in the workers.
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ian michael davison
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2006, 07:29:13 PM »

Hi Apis
Powderd sugar and the like will increase the grooming of the bees but will have little effect on a heavily infested hive. Mites in the cells will not be affected and by the sounds of it you need an immediate reduction in the levels of mites you have.
Why not use Apistan or if the temperature is high enough one of the thymol based Gel products. If you intend to get this colony back on the road you will need something that will drop the mite numbers immediately and then follow this up with some forms of IPM.
You may not trust some of the acid treatments however they have a proven track record over many years and work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Other methods such as small cell and some oils receive very little use and if they were any good a lot more commercial guys would be using them world wide and they are not. There are many people looking for the magical bullet for varroa control and not just one method but a combination is sometimes the best way forward. Also keep an eye on the big commercial guys as their livelihood depends on it they are not going to risk some half baked theory.


Regards Ian
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newbee101
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2006, 09:16:15 PM »

Screened bottom boards and drone comb removal is all I did last year.
Ooops..1 powdered sugar treatment also....
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Apis629
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2006, 09:59:47 PM »

I'm not sure Varroa levels are that high.  I've only seen one or two bees with deformed wings and probably less than a dozen weak ones.  I've yet to see the Varroa mite first hand.  This comming weekend I'll do a sugar roll and try culling some drone brood.  I think the biggest reason I"m seeing them now is given my colony is going through a HUGE spring/winter build up!  The 6 frames that make up the center are filled from bottom bar to top bar with worker brood!  I've witnessed 3 frames emerge just this weekend since the weekend before.  There are many more healthy bees than sick ones but, I just want to controll this possible Varroa outbreak before it bocomes serious later when brood rearing slows down.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2006, 10:20:35 PM »

Often people think a treament doesn't work, when the real issue is whether there is brood or not.

A lot of you use some treatment, (it doesn't really matter what for this discussion), and your mite drops don't change much afterwards and you assume you're not killing mites. So let's just look at some numbers

Independent of WHAT the treatment is, here is jsut a rough idea of what goes on. Theses are round numbers and probably underestimate the mites reproduction and underestimate how many get groomed off by the bees.

Assuming treating every week and a treatment with 100% effectiveness on phoretic mites. If you assume that half the Varroa are in the cells and you have a total mite population of 32,000, and if we assume half the phoretic mites will go back in the cells and in one week, half of the mites in the cells will have one offspring each and emerge then the numbers look like this:
Week 1 Phoretic 16,000, In cells 16,000 Killed by treatment 16,000, Reproduced 8,000, Emerged 16,000 (half of the 16,000 plus the 8,000 offspring), went back into cells 4,000
Week 2 Phoretic 12,000, In cells 12,000 Killed by treatment 12,000, Reproduced 6,000, Emerged 12,000 went back into cells 3,000
Week 3 Phoretic 9,000, In cells 9,000, killed by treatment 9000, Reproduced 4,500, Emerged 9,000, Went back into cells 2,250
Week 4 Phoretic 6750, In cells 6,750, killed by treatment 6,750, Reproduced 3,375, Emerged 6,750 went back into cells 1,688

Now lets Assume treating every week and 50% effectiveness on phoretic mites. If you assume that half the Varroa are in the cells and you have a total mite population of 32,000, and if we assume half the phoretic mites will go back in the cells and in one week half of the mites in the cells will have one offspring each and emerge then the numbers look like this:
Week 1 Phoretic 16,000, In cells 16,000 Killed by treatment 8,000, Reproduced 8,000, Emerged 16,000, went back into cells 4,000
Week 2 Phoretic 20,000, In cells 12,000 Killed by treatment 10,000, Reproduced 6,000, Emerged 12,000 went back into cells 5,000
Week 3 Phoretic 17,000, In cells 8,500, killed by treatment 9000, Reproduced 5,500, Emerged 11,000, Went back into cells 4,250
Week 4 Phoretic 15,250, In cells 9,750, killed by treatment 7,625, Reproduced 4,875, Emerged 9,750 went back into cells 3,813

Now lets Assume treating once every week with 50% effectiveness with no brood in the hive
Week 1 Phoretic 32,000, In cells 0 Killed by treatment 16,000, Reproduced 0, Emerged 0, went back into cells 0
Week 2 Phoretic 16,000, In cells 0 Killed by treatment 8,000, Reproduced 0, Emerged 0 went back into cells 0
Week 3 Phoretic 8,000, In cells 0, killed by treatment 4,000, Reproduced 0, Emerged 0, Went back into cells 0
Week 4 Phoretic 4,000, In cells 0, killed by treatment 2,000, Reproduced 0, Emerged 0 went back into cells 0

Then of course there's 100% with no brood:
Week 1 Phoretic 32,000, In cells 0 Killed by treatment 32,000, Reproduced 0, Emerged 0, went back into cells 0
Week 2 Phoretic 0, In cells 0 Killed by treatment 0, Reproduced 0, Emerged 0 went back into cells 0
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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