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I've been keeping this blog for all of my beekeeping years and I am beginning my 19th year of beekeeping in April 2024. Now there are more than 1300 posts on this blog. Please use the search bar below to search the blog for other posts on a subject in which you are interested. You can also click on the "label" at the end of a post and all posts with that label will show up. At the very bottom of this page is a list of all the labels I've used.

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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here.Master Beekeeper Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.

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Monday, January 09, 2012

No Use Crying Over Spilt…..Powdered Sugar!

I'm good at spilling things. I like wine glasses without stems for that reason. If something can be spilled, I'm your woman…..I can do it in a heartbeat.

Today I went over to Stonehurst Place to check on the bees. According to the research at UGA, if you want to treat the bees for varroa mites with powdered sugar shakes, then you start in January, treat four times, three days apart and then repeat the process every other month.

 So it's January and time to get started.

Today I treated my hives at home and then got in the car to take the Dustructor to the Stonehurst Place Inn to treat the hives there. When I opened the back door of the car to get the Dustructor, the cap came off of the canister and powdered sugar went everywhere.

There was powdered sugar in every crevice near the door of the car. What a mess!

I gathered up what I could and returned it to the canister.

The good news is that on this day with 69 degree temps around noon, the bees were flying with enthusiasm out of both hives. I am relieved that they are alive and have high hopes for their making it through to March.

On each hive, as I had done at home, I slid the end of the Dustructor into the entry to about the middle of the hive. Then I gave five large puffs of powdered sugar into the hive with as much vigor as I could muster.

Down with the Varroa Destructor! Long live my bees!

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  1. Wonderful to see a natural remedy being used! Kudos Linda

  2. Anonymous3:09 PM

    Congrats on the "still alive" bees!!

  3. I'm so happy to know our Stonehurst Place Bed & Breakfast bees are doing well over-wintering, and that these natural beekeeping methods you employ against the Varroa mite (powdered sugar, amazing?!) are effective.

    Our Stonehurst Place honey you've worked with us on is absolutely delicious and such a hit with guests ... maybe one of your upcoming Dustructor visits can be timed to enjoy one of Innkeeper Caroline's breakfast dishes with some of y(our) honey!

    Thanks for all you do for our green efforts at Stonehurst,


  4. Gretchen12:44 AM

    I am interested in how you are using the Dustructor. I started using one in the fall, and used it again just last week when we had a break in the weather. I find it takes 5+ minutes of pumping to have the sugar start to drift out the top (keeping the inner cover cracked open), which is about one cup of PS. The instructions I received said to pump until you see it come out the top. My hives have 2 deeps and one medium, so in between the sizes of the hives in your photos.

    You are doing just 5 vigorous puffs, which sounds like a lot less work than what I am doing! Are you doing a mite count with it, or have another way to determine how effective you are being? If I could reduce what I am doing that would be great.

    Thanks for your input. Your enthusiasm for the Dustructor, plus your posting about the UGA info, encouraged me to try it out for myself.

  5. I am probably not puffing enough! I am not doing mite counts - I am not trying to be precise - I am trying to get powdered sugar on the bees so they will clean off mites here in the brood rearing season. Keith Delaplane says that trying to control the varroa mite is our strongest approach to keeping healthy bees. Since I'm not willing to put poison in my hives, this is what I am choosing to do along with putting thyme in any feed I give the bees.


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