The Dowda Method (sugar shake)
STEP BY STEP DIRECTIONS FOR USING THE “DOWDA METHOD”
FOR VARROA MITE DETECTION AND CONTROL
Directions for use of 10x powdered sugar to control varroa mites:
For best results, the hives should be placed on a 1/8-inch hardware cloth, (screened) bottom board, allowing mites to fall to the ground.
Sifter of some type (tea strainer) or flour sifter works well as does a colander.
If the hives have two (or more) brood boxes, break hive down to the lower box, sift 1 cup of powdered sugar over the brood frames.
Brush sugar off top bars to allow the sugar to fall down between the frames and onto the bees.
Replace the next brood box and distribute another cup of powdered sugar in the same way.
In order to ensure adequate mite control, the hive will require sugar-shaking three times, 1 week apart (three applications in a two week period).
Some beekeepers do this bi-weekly during the spring for several weeks to eliminate the Varroa population, then once a month after that.
You can sugar the hive more often if you wish to do so, however, remember that the hive is totally disrupted each time the sugar is applied.