Thursday, December 9, 2010

powdered sugar

My powdered sugar goals:
  • use a soft (natural) varroa mite treatment in conjunction with the screened bottom board
  • dislodge phoretic varroa mites when brood rearing is low
  • limit powdered sugar entering open cells
  • treat the bees when most of the workers are in the hive

By design, I waited for cooler temperatures to try powdered sugar dusting as a varroa mite treatment.  John Jones agreed to provide a third hand, act as the voice of reason and take pictures too.  As the weather was just 50°F, the two deep hive bodies were treated as one (not separate) unit.   One cup of powdered sugar was placed in a flour sifter.  A uniform straight-down dusting of the bees was achieved by tapping the sifter with the hive tool.  In the end, the bee brush was used to clear the bars of powdered sugar. After one hour, many phoretic mites were dislodged.  The mites on the counting board appeared to be dead and lying on their backs.   In hindsight, I could have sifted through the counting board debris to see whether a significant number of mites are buried in the deep pile of powdered sugar. I'm puzzled why the mites are not found along bee space lines (gaps between frames). Next, the counting board was cleaned, sprayed with oil and returned.  After 24 hours a few more mites were dislodged.

You can see from the slides the bees fanning on top of the inner cover.  The insulated outer cover and bee cozy seem to keep these bees warm.

1 comment:

John Jones said...

Good Job George....A dead mite is my kind of mite. John Jones - Stone Mountain.