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Biotechnical Methods


Simulation of sugar dusting against varroa

Knowing the intrinsic rate of reproduction of the honey bee colony and of varroa, the proportion of mites that are phoretic at the time, and the efficacy of a powdered sugar dusting at removing those phoretic mites, one can create a spreadsheet that will calculate the estimated effect of repeated sugar dustings. I’ve done so, […]

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IPM 5.5 Fighting Varroa 5.5: Biotechnical Tactics II

Introduction 1 Drone Brood Management and Trap Combs 1 Powdered sugar dusting 4 The Oliver 15-second sugar dust method 6 Discussion 7 The one-two punch—30 seconds to knock out varroa! 7 My new website 8 References 8 Tactics: Biotechnical Methods II–The one-two punch Sixth in a series on Integrated Pest Management of varroa Note: this […]

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IPM 5 Fighting Varroa 5: Biotechnical Tactics I

(Photos to be added – check back) Fifth in a series on Integrated Pest Management of varroa In the “silver bullet” model, any mite kill less than 95% was considered ineffective. Unfortunately, the days of that kill rate are fading for most synthetic chemicals. It would be wise for beekeepers to consider an alternate model […]

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Powdered Sugar Dusting – Sweet and Safe, but Does it Really Work? Part 3

Powdered Sugar Dusting—Sweet and Safe, but Does it Really Work? Part 3 Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First Published in ABJ in Feb. 2009 Update 2016: although sugar dusting can indeed cause a substantial proportion of the phoretic mites to drop off the bees, in order to effectively manage varroa, dusting requires more effort and repetition than most […]

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Powdered Sugar Dusting – Sweet and Safe, but Does it Really Work? Part 2

Powdered Sugar Dusting—Sweet and Safe, but Does it Really Work? Part 2 Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First Published in ABJ in Jan. 2009 One beauty of science is that it is anti-authoritarian. Physicist Lawrence Krauss put it well: “There are no scientific authorities. There are scientific experts, but there should be no authority figures whose statements […]

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Powdered Sugar Dusting – Sweet and Safe, but Does it Really Work? Part 1

Powdered Sugar Dusting – Sweet and Safe, but Does it Really Work? Part 1 By Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First Published in ABJ in Dec. 2008 Updated 9 March 2017 The dusting of colonies with powdered sugar as a means of varroa control has become quite popular with hobbyists. Unfortunately, there is precious little published data […]

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Trial of HoneySuperCell® Small Cell Combs

A Trial of HoneySuperCell® Small Cell Combs Randy Oliver ScientificBeekeeping.com First Published in ABJ in May 2008 Introduction There has been considerable discussion as to whether “small cell” foundation (4.9mm diameter vs. the industry “standard” of approximately 5.4mm) has potential as a means of controlling varroa reproduction.  Research on Africanized bees in South America indicates […]

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