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Feeding and Final Sugar Shake

Honey 1 Sugar Shake

Today was the day to do the final sugar shake of Honey 1. We purchased a coffee grinder from the local hardware store. This helped us produce our own icing sugar without the cornflour that is usually included in icing sugar.

We did the sugar shake with the ground sugar, and noticed again a large number of dislodged mites. I have also filmed this for YouTube. The video is located HERE.

So we have competed the hives treatment, so now we need to wait ten days and then redo a mite drop count. We hope this has reduced the count. So we don't need to do further treatments.

Some thoughts about organic versus chemicals. Doing the sugar shake does involve doing five treatments over five weeks. Which is more labour intensive than sticking in chemicals.

You can treat a hive in around fifteen minutes once you get your technique down. You also need a method to create your own icing sugar. Buying a grinder is an expense, if you don't already have one. But to be fair it was cheaper than buying enough Apistan strips to treat all our hives, and we can use the grinder next year.

The grinder will also be useful for breaking up dried herbs and any tea we grow.

I might try to make some tea from the tea trees at KiwiMana HQ. It was named “tea tree” by Captain Cooks crew for this very reason.

Mokoroa 1 feeding

I also sugar shook the Mokoroa 1 hive, that has a low mite count and noticed that the mite fall was also very small after the sugar shake.

I also added a feeder and added some white sugar (1 cup). Will see if the bees take this feed.

I am concerned about the number of German wasps in the bee garden. We have reduced the hive entrances on all hives. So hopefully the bees will be fine. Spotted a couple of wasps eating a bee (see PHOTO below).

If you live in New Zealand this is the time of year to reduce your entrances to around 75 mm. This gives the bees a smaller entrance to defend from wasp attacks.

Thanks for reading…Gary


Gary Fawcett

Gary enjoys designing new kiwimana products which we sell through our on-line shop.He is passionate about saving the Bees and encouraging urban beekeeping.Gary loves to write about issues that affect the Bees and our environment.He is also into tramping/walking in the beautiful New Zealand bush.

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4 thoughts on “Feeding and Final Sugar Shake

  1. Fascinating stuff Gary and Margaret, I had no idea how much was involved in beekeeping.

  2. Thanks for the feedback Paul, yes bees are fascinating. I would like to encourage everyone to keep them.

    Urban Beekeeping has really taken off in the last few years, we have heard of people living in apartments in big cites who have a couple of hives. So everyone can get involved in this rewarding pastime.

    See ya…Gary

  3. Hi Im intrigued by this method as a total control for Varroa, why would using the icing sugar with cornflour in it from the shops be a bad thing? also I noticed you modified your technique in the second vid, are you happy with the second technique as opposed to the 1st one where you dismantled the brood boxes and used the thingy to shake the icing on. – so many Q’s! thanks,

    1. Hi Kerry,

      Thanks for the comments.

      The reason why the flour is no good for the bees as that I read in Ross Conrads book “Natural BeeKeeping” that if the bees have trouble ingesting it, it can cause dysentery in the bees.

      The only change between the videos is that I didn’t sugar shake the second box separate from the main box, I sugar shook it while it was on top of the lower brood box. This ensures all the fallen sugar is caught on the inspection tray.

      I did start filming after the first box was shaken and the second box was back on top. Sorry for any confusion caused.

      I am working on a step by step guide on how we do the sugar shakes, which hopefully will make the process much more clear.

      See ya…Gary

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