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Author Topic: How do you do a sugar shake?  (Read 4905 times)
Myron Rotruck
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« on: September 03, 2006, 03:24:21 PM »

I guess I have mites and need to do a sugar shake, How do I do that ? and what kind of sugar do I use. As you can see I need some tips. And does this sugar shake cure these mites.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2006, 01:21:13 AM »

Use powered sugar. Use a shaker of some type to dust the bees down between the frames.  The powered sugar will knock of enough of the mites so you'll be have an idea of their concentration.  You should shake every 10 days for a month to decrease their population be fore the winter.
A SBB helps as the mites and the excess sugar fall through the hive.  The sugar shake works because the mites are dislodged from the Bees as they groom themselves and each other to get rid of the sugar.  The sugar is usually converted to stores.
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Mici
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« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2006, 10:34:45 AM »

so, sugar really is effective? is it effective enough to not treat bees with acids and other poisenous stuff?? is it ok if i powder one frame at a time?
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rayb
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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2006, 12:20:20 PM »

I have two hives, one established ( the OLD one) and one started from a package ( the NEW one) this year. With a SBB mite tray installed in July, I counted less than 5 mites in a 24 hour period. This week, I counted 150 mites in the OLD and 50 in the New hive. Yesterday, I removed every frame and shook powdered sugar on each side. They were very agitated and flying everywhere but didn't take it out on me. I wonder what this amount of disruption does to their normal workings?

I will report back after I do a mite count later today. It certainly is labor intensive the way I did it (coating each frame individually) but we'll soon see just how well it worked.

Ray
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rsilver000
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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2006, 12:35:06 PM »

Maybe I do it the wrong way but I take about 100-150 bees in a mason jar with a cover of screen.  I put powdered sugar in the jar and shake the bees to coat them.  I then pour out the powered sugar into a small container and count the mites.  The bees go back into the hive where they get cleaned up---no deaths.
Rob
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rayb
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« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2006, 03:45:37 PM »

It looks like this thread has two subjects : 1.) A sugar shake TEST and 2. )sugar TREATMENT.

Ihaven't done the test, but did try the treatment based on the number of mites found on the SBB tray after a 24 hour check.  Just now I pulled the trays and only found about 20 mite mixed in with all the sugar. I scaped them clean and reiserted them. Tomorrow I  will check again and report.


Thanks, Ray
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2006, 05:37:31 PM »

>It looks like this thread has two subjects : 1.) A sugar shake TEST and 2. )sugar TREATMENT.

Exactly.

IMO powdered sugar is a useful treatment.  But it's not 100% and anything (even 100%) isn't very effective with brood in the hive:

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesvarroatreatments.htm

If you really need to knock down the mites you need to do it after queen rearing stops, or remove the queen and/or brood so that it DOES stop while you treat.  Or treat often enough to put a dent in them.  Retular use of powdered sugar would be more effective than expecting one treatment to make much difference.

I've seen good results with Oxalic acid vapor once a week for three weeks.  It really knocks down the mites.

But with small cell I really don't find any of them necessary.  But even if you want to go to small cell, you'll need to deal with the current problems and you won't really get much regression done before spring.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beespests.htm
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesnaturalcell.htm
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rayb
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« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2006, 04:20:20 PM »

Sunday I sugared the two hives and inserted the SBB trays on Monday. Today I checked the two for 24 hour mite drops. Last week the unsugared drop was 150 mites in hive #1 and 50 mites in hive #2.

Today's count was 250 and 230 respectively. I'll keep on checking throughout the week and let you know the drops.

Ray
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2006, 08:45:50 PM »

Those are very high mite counts--you have a problem.  Lets hope that a series of 10 day spacings of sugar shakes helps reduce the mites enough to allow the bees to survive winter.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2006, 06:53:03 AM »

If you want to use powdered sugar, then I would continue to treat once a week until you see 24 hour mite drops in the single digits.  Certainly at LEAST in the double digits.
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rayb
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« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2006, 07:09:30 AM »

Thankyou gentlemen, I am curious to see just how well the sugar works and will continue the dustings. Your advice is always appreciated.

Thanks, Ray
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Mici
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« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2006, 02:28:47 PM »

one thing i am still not sure about. you do a sugar shake in the afternoon right?? isn't it dangerous to cause a robbing? i mean, at least now when honey flows are rear and bees tend to rob. and, it's important to powder the bees, what goes onto frames is unimportant?
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Myron Rotruck
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« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2006, 03:13:18 PM »

when you shake this sugar powder on each side of the frame, does it hurt the young brood that is not capped off yet?
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2006, 12:39:53 AM »

Dust down between the frames.  Leave the frames in place and shake the powdered sugar between the frames.  Using a large salt shaker (with the holes drilled slightly larger) works well.  By letting the sugar sift down between the frames to cover the bees the effect on the uncapped brood is kept to a minimun.  As the bees groom themselves and each other to get rid of the sugar the mites are pried off in droves.
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« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2006, 07:40:11 AM »

should i be concerned about robbing?
It is done in the afternoon right?
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2006, 07:47:49 PM »

If you're asking about robbing due to the sugar used in the dusting for mites==don't be concerned.  Powdered sugar doesn't draw the bees the same way sugar syrup does.  When feeding powdered sulgar it is also prudent to make a water source available so that the bees can mix it with the sugar.
Doing the sugar shake in the afternoon is a matter of personal choice--it's more important tp dp a series fo 3 shakes spaced 10 days apart than the time of day.
If you're asking about robbing, yes the tendency for one hive to start robbing another is most likely to begin in the afternoon, but once it starts it will be ongoing until something occurs to stop it.
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tillie
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« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2006, 12:24:31 AM »

I did a sugar shake on both of my hives on Sunday.  I put an aluminum tray under each hive with oil in it to keep whatever fell in it from getting away.

The shake was funny - first I didn't know what kind of powdered sugar to buy and since Michael and Brian each said, "IMO powdered sugar is the best..."  I went online to find out what IMO powdered sugar is ..... duh,,, I finally got it that you meant "In my opinion," so I bought Dixie crystals powdered sugar 10X and sprinkled it on both hives.

One of my hives had a lot of robbing after the sugar shake - not from other bees but from yellow jackets and bald faced hornets.  When I pulled the tray out the next day, there were many dead bees, yellow jackets, and three bald faced hornets.  I didn't see many mites - about six in that try and 5 under the other hive's tray.

I am still going to repeat the shake in 10 days as per this thread, but I don't think I have much of a mite problem.  I do have small hive beetles and both hives are armed with Brushy Mtn's cider vinegar trap - we'll see how that works.

Linda T fighting pests in Atlanta
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2006, 07:01:32 AM »

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesglossary.htm
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Michael Bush
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tillie
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« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2006, 08:01:57 AM »

Thank you for the glossary, Michael.  

I actually already knew the IMO abbreviation in the email world, but I have such respect for you and Brian that when you each recommended that "IMO powdered sugar is the best," I thought you meant a brand name!!!

Linda always somewhat befuddled in Atlanta
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tillie
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« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2006, 01:12:20 AM »

The first time I did a sugar shake two weeks ago, I couldn't do a good count 24 hours later because my sticky board plan was covered with dead bees from the robbing that occurred due to yellow jackets who were interested in the sugar.

I did the second sugar shake yesterday, reduced my entrance, and 24 hours later I counted the mites on my homemade sticky board (poster board smeared with Vaseline).  One hive had about 83 mites that I counted and the other 94.

The mites are gross - look just like miniature ticks, but brown, and some were moving - YUCK.

I can't do a sugar shake every 10 days - I have to wait 14 days due to my work.  Is there a reason that it should be every 10 days?  Or as Michael mentioned in the earlier post to this thread, should I sugar shake every weekend until I get my numbers down?

My numbers are as high as rayb's but I do want to take care of my bees without chemicals.  I plan to learn as much as I can over the winter about cell size reduction and try it at the beginning of the season next year.

Linda T concerned in Atlanta
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empilolo
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« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2006, 05:27:39 AM »

The sugar shake Varroa mite treatment is a "biological" method based on the natural mite reproductive cycle and bee self-cleaning behavior, based on

Quote
Reproduction. Mites reproduce on a 10-day cycle. In 12 weeks the number of mites in a Western honeybee hive can roughly multiply by 12.


You might want to read the full text on Varroa mite at

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varroa_destructor

In the wikipedia article, go to the heading of Life Cycle and click on the link (A Look under the cap) provided to find more/detailed information about mite reproduction.

What makes the sugar treatment work is

a) the powdered sugar dust triggers the natural bee behavior of cleaning themselves (the bees feel "dirty" due to the sugar dust on their bodies). During the cleaning exercise, mites are "cleaned off" from their bodies together with the sugar dust by the bees and drop down. Sugar treatment in combination with SBB's work best as the mites will usually fall right out of the hive.

b) 10-day treatment cycle. The bees can but clean the mites on their bodies. Mite eggs and larvae inside cells are not affected. For that reason you repeat sugar dusting every ten days, that is to get at those mites having hatched and emerged in the meantime.

Sugar dusting does not kill the mites. What does for them is that they either fall through the SBB and completely out of the hive or if they fall on their backs. If they fall onto their back, they cannot right themselves on their own and die. Obviously, sugar dusting does not produce 100 percent kill rate, it only reduces infestation levels (if done right, to levels non-critical for a colony to survive). The dusting is repeated several times to get some more of those that escape.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2006, 06:26:03 AM »

Every week will work fine.  The issue is the mites in the cells that keep emerging.  They are emerging constantly, so the point is merely to do it at least every ten days.
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Michael Bush
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