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Author Topic: Sugar shaking -- stuck in my head  (Read 6430 times)
Cindi
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« on: May 09, 2007, 09:28:55 AM »

Sometimes when I get information, it gets stuck in my head and I mull things for days until I can feel comfortable that my thoughts can be complete.  This sugar shaking method seems like such an excellent method for varroa mite control when one does NOT WANT to use chemicals in their hives, or during a time when chemicals cannot be used in their hives. 

There has been notation that sugar shaking kills larvae.  I am not so sure that this is true now.  I have been re-reading parts of a book written by a retired Professor of Simon Fraser University (Mark Winston -- the Biology of the Bee) and some research about the times that larvae are fed and visited by bees may indicate that the larvae would undoubtedly be kept clean and moist.  I will be retyping a part of a chapter that may be of some interest to many, I know it held me spellbound, and you will be astounded at how the house bees look after their babies.

This comes from a chapter regarding brood tending:

A single larva is tended by many nurse bees, and larvae are visited and inspected much more frequently than they are fed.  Lindauer (1952) observed that an average larva was inspected 1926 times for a total of 72 minutes, but only fed during 143 visits.  The time per feeding visit averaged 1.3 minutes for a total of 110 minute feeding time per larva, or slightly under 2% of its larval life.  Other studies (Lineburg, 1924; Kuwabara, 1947) have shown higher values of up to 7200 visits or a maximum of 1140 feeding visits per larva, possibly because the amount of inspection and feeding may vary according to the ratio of larvae to nurse bees.  When the ratios of brood to nurse bees have been calculated, results show that a single nurse bee rears the equivalent of two or three larvae during its nursing life.

So, it really sounds like the larvae would be inspected for anything within the colony that may inhibit proper growth and development.  They certainly are inspected by many many caring nurse bees.  Have a wonderful day, great life, great health, our sun is shinin'.  Cindi



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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2007, 09:32:41 AM »

Fascinating for sure, thanks fo sharing...I am amazed at the amount of informaton there is about bees, yet there is always so much more to learn!
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2007, 09:49:49 AM »

Excellent article Cindi. Now let's look at it from a the opposite point. Even if sugar shaking does kill some larvae. That wouldn't be catstrophic. The capped brood is protected. And normally in any hive the bees pull bad larvae and pupae for any number of reasons. The queen would lay in the cells again once they were clean. So even if it did which your article suggests it doesn't I don't think sugar shaking would hurt the hive.

And then there are those that treat by taking drone frames from the hive and then freezing them and then returning them. Which definitly kills varroa and drone larvae. However it doesn't do much about varroa that are in worker cells. I still like sugar shakes, but I haven't had to do one in a while with my permacomb and small cell setups.

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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2007, 10:15:27 AM »

I will be doing my first sugar shake this weekend. Hope it works to reduce some phoretic mite numbers. An article I read suggested this method might hurt a few eggs, not larvae. The numbers of eggs hurt are far fewer than the mites would hurt.
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« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2007, 01:38:46 AM »

Hi Cindi  was wondering if you have tried the sugar shaking ?  do you use power suger ?  thanks Barney
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« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2007, 08:14:08 AM »

Hi Cindi,

Just a couple of points that are not a bid deal,  but perhaps just pet peeves of mine. People like to use the terms chemical and non-chemical as bad/good terms when in reality everything you put on your hive is a chemical. If sugar isn't a chemical what is it?  And, to make discussions even harder,  it is also a pesticide by definition when used for sugar shakes.
I know exactly what your trying to convey about sugar being a relatively benign chemical compared to check-mite etc. I have no opinion of sugar shakes, and it perhaps is one of the mildest treatments,  but remember,  the sugar you are using is highly refined and commercially processed with who knows what kind of chemicals to make it snow white, non-clumping, etc etc....

As far as nurse bees inspecting and removing anything that would prohibit proper growth.   Might the damage already be done?  Could the powdered sugar act in ways similar to diamateous earth and cut them all up on contact?  I have no rationale for this,  just thinking out loud Wink
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Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2007, 12:19:45 PM »

Robo, I think that your comments are well worth listening to.  Of course sugar is a chemical, in its own right.  But....compare check-mite, (comouphous), and the like.  It is well known that these particular chemicals can be held in the wax, which is not good.  I do not profess to know everything, or not even a millionth close.  But, comouphous is bad.  That is all I can say, I know that it is.

I do not know what is done to powdered sugar to make it powdered, as far as chemicals goes.  But....ever left powdered sugar not in an airtight container.  It doesn't stay in that fluffy shape for long.

When I apply powdered sugar to the bees.  I process it myself.  I use my Bamix to make white sugar turn into powder.  I know that we feed white sugar to the bees, in the diluted liquid form, placed on top of the inner cover, made into candy.

I don't think that we can equate powdered sugar to diamateous  earth, or maybe one can.  But I don't think so.  This "earth" is very "strong" in its action and I don't think it would "cut" the bees up.  I don't think that powdered sugar even comes close.  I have to sit on the fence with these thoughts, because I am not an expert.

I see nothing wrong with using powdered sugar shakes.  In the springtime it will be part of my mite control plan, my mind has been made up.  It has been said that it is a very mild treatment, yes, it can cause harm to larvae (eggs?), but it certainly knocks down the mite population, and high mite populations are far more detrimental to hive health than the loss of some baby bees in the making.  I thought once that the death of larvae (eggs?) would be bad, but upon research into this, I know for surely that it is not the worse of the evils.

I don't know yet if my sugar treatments had any effect on mite control or not.  I will know this when I perform the 3 day sticky board test the first week of September.  Even then I won't know for surely if it helped or not.

What I should have done was measure the mite counts shortly after the sugar treatment tests, but as things go, plain and simply got too busy with the farm stuff.  Oh well.  Again, Rob, your comments were interesting, and yes, I think aloud too, it is a wonderful and good thing to do, we must always express what we feel or think.  Have a wonderful day, best of life, best of great health.  Cindi

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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2007, 01:18:04 PM »

Robo, I think that your comments are well worth listening to.  Of course sugar is a chemical, in its own right.  But....compare check-mite, (comouphous), and the like.  It is well known that these particular chemicals can be held in the wax, which is not good.  I do not profess to know everything, or not even a millionth close.  But, comouphous is bad.  That is all I can say, I know that it is.
No disagreement from me, comouphous is really bad stufff, and I wouldn't consider using it ever again.

Quote
When I apply powdered sugar to the bees.  I process it myself.  I use my Bamix to make white sugar turn into powder.  I know that we feed white sugar to the bees, in the diluted liquid form, placed on top of the inner cover, made into candy.
Once again,  I don't disagree,  I feed sugar syrup too.

Quote
I don't think that we can equate powdered sugar to diamateous  earth, or maybe one can.  But I don't think so.  This "earth" is very "strong" in its action and I don't think it would "cut" the bees up.  I don't think that powdered sugar even comes close.  I have to sit on the fence with these thoughts, because I am not an expert.
I wasn't thinking of it cutting the bees,  but maybe damaging the eggs or small larvae enough that the bees see them as damaged and dispose of them.

Quote
I see nothing wrong with using powdered sugar shakes.  In the springtime it will be part of my mite control plan, my mind has been made up.  It has been said that it is a very mild treatment, yes, it can cause harm to larvae (eggs?), but it certainly knocks down the mite population, and high mite populations are far more detrimental to hive health than the loss of some baby bees in the making.  I thought once that the death of larvae (eggs?) would be bad, but upon research into this, I know for surely that it is not the worse of the evils.

I don't know yet if my sugar treatments had any effect on mite control or not.  I will know this when I perform the 3 day sticky board test the first week of September.  Even then I won't know for surely if it helped or not.
I have no problem with people choosing sugar shake as a treatment over the harsher stuff if they need to treat.  I have no experience with it,  it is too labor intensive and disruptive to the hive for me, but that is just a personal opinion.
Quote
plain and simply got too busy with the farm stuff. 
Boy do I know how that is grin
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Kirk-o
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« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2007, 08:09:07 PM »

Why don't you try small cell that is what nature does.
kirko
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Cindi
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2007, 10:34:19 AM »

Rob,  again, your comments are good and worth listening to.

Kirk-o.  I have thought about small cell.  It takes time to regress the bees, my understanding, a couple of years.  Personally, I can't be bothered, I am rather lazy in some regards and it seems plain and simply, like too much work.  Then.....what does one do with all the hundreds of "regular" sized frames that they have. 

My Asian bee course teacher (who runs about 1,200 hives commerically), who taught me the two levels of beekeeping (and other courses), when I asked about why he doesn't use the small cell, like many do for mite control, basically told me that there has not been enough research yet to show that it is good for mite control.  He runs on the standard size frames.  I don't have a doubt in my mind the small cell works for many beekeepers who use them for mite control, but I just don't think it is for me.  People's mind change, I am not saying that sometime down the road I may regress the bees, but at this point in my beekeeping, I'm sticking to standard.  I will use mite controls that I know are good, that being sugar shake, formic and oxalic acid.  That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.   grin

Have a wonderful day, beautiful life, and love you're life that you're livin'.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2007, 07:55:47 PM »

Dee Lusby has been running 900 hives or so for 20 years on small cell no treatment Michael Bush has been doing small cell also no treatment so that seems like a good study for me
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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2007, 05:52:20 PM »

Just some info. I had a bad infestation in both hives. Did the sugar dusting for 5 weeks straight. It was hard on me but the bees really did well. Now I feel they are under control. The mite count is only about 4 after 24 hours on my almost dying hive.

On my strong hive, the count has been around 15-20 after 24 hours. This was after counting about 50 a month ago.

It has worked for me. The bees seem to get back to normal pretty fast although I am sure it disrupts them.

I am also planning on freezing at least one drone frame. Hoping this will totally help to control the mite population

Annette
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Cindi
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« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2007, 01:42:56 AM »

You must see the daily mite count.  If you are willing to spend time.  Then insert the sticky boards for 72 hours 

 Watch and look at this site:

http://www.mitegone.com/

Beautiful day, great life.  Cindi

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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2007, 01:48:51 AM »

My packages from this and last year and hives that were on large cell and are in the middle of natural (I call it) digression I am using powdered sugar.  The ferals are doing great.  Hopefully all will be totally on natural cell building by year after next and then I will stop sugar and go to no treatment.  I will keep SBB and will be completely on upper entrance and periodic mite checks and see how the hives are doing with the different count levels.  

I've been offered to cost share in the various hard chemicals to save money, but have declined since I get sick after giving any of the dogs flea baths with the commercial flea shampoos.

So I've got that going for me tongue
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« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2007, 01:39:32 PM »

Kirk-o.  Yes, it sounds like Dee Lusby and Michael Bush have had excellent results with small cell, no mites.  That is wonderful and good for them, good.

I cannot comment further, but I am happy for them, excellent.  But I am not sold on the small cell business and don't know if I ever will be, maybe, maybe not.  Have a wonderful day, love your life you're livin'.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2007, 02:40:55 PM »

Cindi
Maybe it is worth a try?  I am very new and it is probably to my advantage to try from as close to the beginning as possible.  I am seriously considering getting some HSC so I don't have to go through the long regression.  I don't want to have to treat with chemicals. 
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« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2007, 05:02:37 PM »

You must see the daily mite count.  If you are willing to spend time.  Then insert the sticky boards for 72 hours 

/quote]

Cindi

Michael Bush told me to insert sticky board and do a natural count after 24 hours (before dusting)
Then dust with powdered sugar and do another count after 1 hour, and another count after 24 hours.
This way you can see if the treatments are making a difference.
What do you think??? Seems there are many ways to do this.

Annette
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Cindi
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« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2007, 10:23:57 AM »

Annette.  I agree with Michael Bush statement.  He is referring to the counts when sugar dusting, to see how things go.  I believe that he is absoutely correct and this is an excellent plan.

My 72 hour prorated mite drop count was referring to basically the end of the season when one must ascertain whether they MUST (or do not have to) do a fall treatment, whether it be formic acid or alternative choices that they choose for mite control methods.  I will be applying formic acid if I see that mite counts warrant it.  And I don't doubt one little bit that I will require treatment.  It is imperative to me to enter the wintertime with the bees with as low mite counts as I possibly can achieve.

Around the beginning of December, when I know the colonies are in their "broodless" state, I will perform the oxalic acid sugar syrup trickle, to "get" any remaining mites that MAY be harbouring their lousy little lives on the bees.  That way, when springtime comes, their basically should be a zero mite level in the colonies.  The mites must have brood to propogate their eggs, that as they grow they suck and eat the very life out of the poor helpless brood. 

These are my choices for mite control, they are tested and work very efficiently.

Oxalic and formic acid are found in nature.  Man changes the intensity of these two acids, but they, in my own opinion, are excellent and safe.  Not to say that one must not be careful to protect themselves against the two strengths of these acids, by using caution and common sense when applying.  I hope that this clarifies things alittle for you, Annette.  Have this wonderful day, beautiful life, and great health wishes for all.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2007, 03:36:07 PM »

.
You have that same mite counting from year to year, from day to day.
In Europe mite problem is solved. Use new methods. They help.
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« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2007, 03:44:43 PM »

Finsky
Any what are those methods in Europe?
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