Treating for Varroa with Powdered Sugar

While not feasible for large-scale beekeepers because it is time-consuming and labor-intensive, treating for Varroa mites with powdered sugar may be an approach that small-scale beekeepers can use, especially if keeping chemicals out of their hives is a priority.

At left is a hive that has been treated with powdered sugar. The sugar coats the honey bees. Whether it is as a result of intense grooming from being coated in the powdery sugar, or whether the mites lose traction and the ability to cling to their hosts, they drop off and through the screened bottom board. Below the screen, they are unable to hitch another ride on a bee.

Members of the SJBA branch of the NJBA hosted this informative meeting on June 6, 2009 at the JCC Camps in Medford.

(Photo by Janet A. Katz)

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