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Author Topic: powdered sugar for varroa  (Read 5628 times)
Blackbird
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« on: June 06, 2004, 07:03:38 PM »

I decided tp use the powdered sugar method to treat my bees for varroa. I  did this treatment yesterday and it was a total pain in the butt!! But it is cheaper than any other treatment and requires little equipment which is good for me.
Any way after 24 hours I checked my white board for fallen varroa and there were like TWO! I was certainly expecting to see a lot more. Did I do something wrong? I don't know what to think. Maybe my bees just don't have a very bad infestation?
If any body knows anything about this treatment and what to expect please tell me.

Stacie
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Lesli
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2004, 08:40:53 PM »

Quote from: Blackbird
I decided tp use the powdered sugar method to treat my bees for varroa.

Stacie


What did you do? I've heard of it for checking numbers of mites, but how do you treat the whole hive?
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Blackbird
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2004, 02:44:30 AM »

You pull each frame and dust the bees with powdered sugar til they're white with it. You treat every 7 to 10 days for three treatments. It's supposed to kill the varroa. I don't know how it works though.
Here is the web site about it
http://fire.prohosting.com/topbargu/blas.htm
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Robo
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« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2004, 08:50:38 AM »

What was the natural drop rate before you did the treatment? Did you open up any drone brood to assess mite population? Without knowing the level of infestation, it is hard to measure the effectiveness of a treatment.

I have heard people with no mites have had great success controlling varroa by just placing a penny heads up at the entrance Cheesy
 
Depending on the specific mechanism for killing the mites,  it may take several days/weeks to kill them. For example, you will still get mites dropping from oxalic acid up to 4 weeks after treatment.
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Blackbird
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« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2004, 12:04:50 PM »

Normal mite drop was 0-3 in 24 hr period. So I don't think I have a very bad infestation. I haven't opened any drone brood. I didn't know to do that. How many cells would I have to open? Do the drone cells stick out a bit farther than worker cells? And then once it's open would I pulol out the larva to check or can you see with out pulling it out?

Were you serious about the penny thing or was that a joke?

Thanks
Stacie
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Robo
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2004, 12:50:51 PM »

Quote from: Blackbird
Normal mite drop was 0-3 in 24 hr period. So I don't think I have a very bad infestation. I haven't opened any drone brood. I didn't know to do that. How many cells would I have to open? Do the drone cells stick out a bit farther than worker cells? And then once it's open would I pulol out the larva to check or can you see with out pulling it out?


Here is a picture from Beth that shows the larger drone brood on the right.


I usually open about ten or so and pull the larvae out.  You can easily spot the dark mite on the snow white larvae.  Sometimes the mites will run out of the cell when you open it, or after you pull the larvae out. Most of the time, they will be on the larvae,  but sometimes they will be in the bottom of the cell.

Quote from: Blackbird

Were you serious about the penny thing or was that a joke?


I was just trying to make the point that some people think they have something that works, when in reality they never had a problem.  This unfortunately gives false expectations and misleads others.  People in general would like nothing better that a quick, cheap, organic solution to varroa.  By human nature, this desire tends to unittentionally bias some of the proposed methods as more effective than they really are.

With that said,  it looks like you DID do your homework and attempted to evaluate your level of infestation.  Smiley  Although your level may be low,  at 3 a day, you should have a sufficient population to see some type of result from your treatment.  I would continue to do counts for a few days to see if it increases. It may take a few days.
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Finman
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2004, 05:03:25 PM »

Quote from: Blackbird
I decided tp use the powdered sugar method to treat my bees for varroa.
Stacie


You varroa mites are in the cells. You cannot kill then now.  You can grow drones and after they are covered, you cut them off.

I have Elgon bees. They say that they kill  varroa mites from nest. http://www.beesource.com/pov/osterlund/stinkingbees.htm
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2004, 08:43:27 PM »

Finman-
So far you've made some very interesting posts. You'll be a wonderful asset here since it seems things are done a little differently in Finland.

Good to have you,
Beth
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Finman
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2004, 02:53:35 AM »

Quote from: Beth Kirkley
Finman-


Good to have you,
Beth


Thank you Beth!  My bees are 50 km from Russian border. I got 22 years ago my first varroa mites.  It is not so bad creature. To Finland varroa arrived fron Russia about 1970.

Now I have Apistan resistant varroas in my nests. I realizes it last year.
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BigRog
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2004, 06:58:58 AM »

Quote from: Robo


I have heard people with no mites have had great success controlling varroa by just placing a penny heads up at the entrance Cheesy
 
.


Guess they don't like Lincoln
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Blackbird
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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2004, 11:21:51 AM »

Today I checked mite drop and found 13 dead. Now was it the sugar or not? I don't know. I do plan on checking the drone cells. Thanks Robo for the pic. I have seen those in my hive and thought they were probably drone. I'll see what is in those cells and go from there. I'm not feeling too inclined to use the sugar again because it was such a pain and so invasive.  
I'm resisting apistan because I think it's a nasty chemical and I'm hearing of mites becoming resistant. As for the acids and FGMO I wanted to avoid buying ANOTHER piece of equiptment to store and deal with.
I may have to relent on that one.

I also wonder if I should be expermenting since I am a new beekeeper. I'm not sure how to file what I'm seeing  sometimes.

To Finman,
First welcome. All input is appreciated.
The idea behind the powdered sugar is to remove the varroa that are on the bees outside the cells. Thats why you're supposed to do three applications, to get the varroa as they hatch.
It is deffinatly an alternative method. And as Robo said still unproven.

Thanks everybody for the help. I'll figure this varroa thing out eventually. Smiley

Stacie
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