Revisiting powdered sugar for varroa control on honey bees (Apis mellifera L)
Jennifer A Berry, Ohad Afik, Maxcy P Nolan IV and Keith S Delaplane
Dusting bees with powdered sugar has been examined as a remedial control for Varroa destructor Anderson and Trueman (varroa). Two modes of action have been proposed: one being that fine dust impedes the locomotion of phoretic mites and induces them to fall off bees (Ramirez, 1994), and another being that dust induces a grooming response in bees that similarly dislodges mites (Macedo et al., 2002). When measured as a percentage of phoretic mites dislodged, powdered sugar dusting has achieved experimental knock-down rates ranging from 77% (Aliano and Ellis, 2005) to more than 90% (Fakhimzadeh, 2001; Macedo et al., 2002), but a persistent problem has been translating these kinds of results into practical field applications.