Sugar Dusting. Yes or No?

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Do you treat varroa mites with sugar dusting?


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oliver90owner 

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Isn’t some research beginning to show something about colonies that are good at grooming correlate with healthier, less mite infested bees? So would icing sugar not encourage that trait? Just asking, don’t bite my head off please!
No. Why should it? I found the sugar rolling was quite effective - and no ‘grooming’ during that operation!

‘Some’, ‘beginning’ and ‘something’ are not exactly definitive terms, in any way, shape or form, in my book. Much so called research often starts off with a foregone conclusion and is carried out by those with an agenda. I am careful to read exactly what the details of the research and the conclusions proved (not necessarily reached after fair experiments). Too much marketing hype, read by unsuspecting punters, around these days.

RAB
 

pargyle 

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Isn’t some research beginning to show something about colonies that are good at grooming correlate with healthier, less mite infested bees? So would icing sugar not encourage that trait? Just asking, don’t bite my head off please!
There are colonies that are being raised with hygienic traits but these bees are not in general circulation and they don't seem to transfer well to other locations. I rather doubt that icing sugar dusting - even of existing hygienic bees - is going to have any substantial effect on varroa populations, assist the bees or encourage them to groom for mites.

I think that those of us who have been treatment free for some years are seeing some ability in our bees to cope and live with varroa and remain healthy and productive but ... it's not a course I would recommend for a beginner or someone with only a couple of hives. The risk is that your colonies become heavily infested and die out. Treatment free is not just about not treating them ... there's a bit more to it. I've been lucky and my bees are fine but I know of people who fail to treat for varroa and who have lost colonies or seen them seriously weakened. There's alway a risk .... and in the early days of beekeeping just keeping ahead of the basics is hard enough without having to worry about varroa.
 

Ian123 

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There are colonies that are being raised with hygienic traits but these bees are not in general circulation and they don't seem to transfer well to other locations. I rather doubt that icing sugar dusting - even of existing hygienic bees - is going to have any substantial effect on varroa populations, assist the bees or encourage them to groom for mites.

I think that those of us who have been treatment free for some years are seeing some ability in our bees to cope and live with varroa and remain healthy and productive but ... it's not a course I would recommend for a beginner or someone with only a couple of hives. The risk is that your colonies become heavily infested and die out. Treatment free is not just about not treating them ... there's a bit more to it. I've been lucky and my bees are fine but I know of people who fail to treat for varroa and who have lost colonies or seen them seriously weakened. There's alway a risk .... and in the early days of beekeeping just keeping ahead of the basics is hard enough without having to worry about varroa.
Well said and treatment free is not necessarily management free.
 

Ice509 

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Isn’t some research beginning to show something about colonies that are good at grooming correlate with healthier, less mite infested bees? So would icing sugar not encourage that trait? Just asking, don’t bite my head off please!
Yes, I think that's true!
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Too many - but not nearly enough
Isn’t some research beginning to show something about colonies that are good at grooming correlate with healthier, less mite infested bees? So would icing sugar not encourage that trait?
That's a pretty vague assertion there - in general, sugar dusting has been found to be a waste of time, not much evidence of bees grooming the mites off really either.
Yes, I think that's true!
But you don't know it to be true.
Just wishful thinking
 

Ice509 

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But you don't know it to be true.
Just wishful thinking
[/QUOTE]

No, I don't know that that is true, research does!
 

Ian123 

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[/QUOTE]
can you direct us to that please?
[/QUOTE]
If you’ll forgive me for clarifying!!! Some thing from a recognisable/decent research group(we have none)or the larger US universities that put big bucks into beekeeping. Perhaps a new Zealand organisation who have a large beekeeping industry and the back up to boot. Or even the large EU beekeeping organisations. He doesn’t mean 1 bloke and a dog in the garden shed! Small cell and the lusbys is a prime example of how such ideas can gain a following with little basis in anything factual. Ian
 

Ice509 

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No, I don't know that that is true, research does!
Can you direct us to that please?
[/QUOTE]
Sure:
Bees grooming each other can boost colony immunity

I will get more if I find, but they are few and far between!
 

Ice509 

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Read through this. You probably will find something good.
 

Ice509 

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I am beginning to see why many people feel harassed on these online forums. :(
 

Erichalfbee 

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Can you direct us to that please?
Sure:
Bees grooming each other can boost colony immunity

I will get more if I find, but they are few and far between!
[/QUOTE]
So do bees groom icing sugar off themselves or each other or both and does that achieve the same effect as allogrooming pests?
 

Erichalfbee 

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I am beginning to see why many people feel harassed on these online forums. :(
No don’t feel that. If you post questionable or debatable comments you will get questions and debate and folk will ask you to substantiate your claims. It’s not harassment
 

Ian123 

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I am beginning to see why many people feel harassed on these online forums. :(
Don’t feel harassed because you are asked to justify your info/stance. FYI the first link is a reference to natural grooming not icing sugar?
 

Ian123 

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The second is a link to another beekeeping forum much like this 1. It doesn’t qualify as reasearch. The fact there’s a paucity of info may be a clue in itself. Ian
 

Ice509 

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No don’t feel that. If you post questionable or debatable comments you will get questions and debate and folk will ask you to substantiate your claims. It’s not harassment
Sorry, Let me clarify.
I did not say I feel that way, but sometimes comments may seem sightly aggressive.
 
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Ice509 

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The second is a link to another beekeeping forum much like this 1. It doesn’t qualify as reasearch.
Sorry, but I did not say it was research.
 

Ice509 

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Don’t feel harassed because you are asked to justify your info/stance. FYI the first link is a reference to natural grooming not icing sugar?
Yes, I was looking for info on grooming not on icing sugar. Hope that clarifies.
 

Erichalfbee 

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That's a pretty vague assertion there - in general, sugar dusting has been found to be a waste of time, not much evidence of bees grooming the mites off really either.

But you don't know it to be true.
Just wishful thinking
Plenty of observation on grooming. Grooming bees lift tergites apart and pull out mites BUT I agree with you. I bet they don’t do that when they lick sugar off each other which is what Fiona was suggesting it might
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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Too many - but not nearly enough
I will get more if I find, but they are few and far between!
You've found nothing yet - no reference to sugar dusting that I could see and yes, they are few and far between because that reference is just a wee bit obscure
 
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