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Use of Diatomaceous Earth (DE) on Bee Mites (and for "sterilizing" a previously infected bee box)

 
Mel LaPo
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Over the past 40 years, I have had four restarts to my backyard bee hive in Sacramento, California. First hive (in the 80's)after being a very generously prolific hive, just took off and split. 2nd hive (1990's) was a victim of Colony Collapse Syndrome, 3rd hive (2002) was victim of bee mites; and 4th (2010) was involved in a hostile takeover. I'm not giving up! I read (at this site) about a milk/lime whitewash solution for chicken coups using a diatomaceous earth potion. Since DE is also used to eliminate undesirable bugs, I'm wondering what affect it will have on honey bees and bee hives, and ultimately the native honey hopefully robbed from the backyard hive. Any experts out there who can help me with this?? Thanks a billion!
 
Steven Feil
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Location: South Central Idaho
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Just be aware that the DE will have the same affect on the bees as it would on other insects. I would use it as a treatment and then wash/eliminate all traces of the DE before introducing the bees again.
 
Meryt Helmer
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Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
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I don't keep bees yet so have not been able to experiment on my own at all. I have head that using de powder on the ground below a hive that has a mesh bottom is good because mites will fall down and the de will kill them but the bees will be unharmed because they are flying out of the hove and away to flowers. not hanging out where the de is.
 
Steven Feil
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Location: South Central Idaho
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Then how do you propose controlling the mites that are IN the hive and causing issues right ON the bees?
 
Meryt Helmer
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
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i have heard people dust the bees with sugar to encourage them to clean the mites off. there is also a belief that because of poor breeding practices there are now many weak bees and sometimes letting a hive die is for the best. I have learned a lot from a podcast I used to listen to. I just looked for it and am not finding it. there are a lot of bee keepers here. I just want to keep bees and have read a lot and listened to podcast's on the subject.
 
Meryt Helmer
Posts: 395
Location: west marin, bay area california. sandy loam, well drained, acidic soil and lots of shade
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this may be it http://podgallery.org/organically-managed-beekeeping/
 
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