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Author Topic: The little hive that could...or not? SHB  (Read 1544 times)
Scadsobees
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« on: April 30, 2008, 08:24:41 PM »

For some reason, I've noticed far more SHB this spring, far earlier than I have in the past.  I'm not sure why, considering that we've had a winter that has been colder than in the past few years.  Maybe it is because I've got more hives than in the past, and they all survived.  One of my hives had 15-20 beetles in it that I saw, and I've never seen that before, ever, even in fall.  A couple have a few shb worms on the bottom boards, I suppose that is a good sign that the bees are dealing with them.  I haven't seen any worms in the hives.

Anyway, I have a small observation hive in the house, 1 med, 1 deep frame.  They made it through the winter with maybe a softball size cluster, and survived on less than 7 lbs of honey.  I've noticed a few beetles all winter long, hanging out where the bees couldn't get them.

Well, the hive made it to spring.  They had virtually NO stores left, no honey, no pollen.  Well, with a really nice week, things really went well for them. They packed away almost a whole medium frame of pollen, and put away quite a bit of honey.  I've been trying to suppliment honey.  They've been able to lay eggs in both frames, and most of that is capped now.

Early this week I noticed agitation.  Then I noticed them ripping out larvae, and then some evil beetle worms.  There isn't enough honey for them to slime the hives, but it looks like the worms get under the wax and will tunnel, killing brood, chewing up the wax.  The bees can tell where they are, as there will be a 1/2dollar size section where the bees are going nuts.  Then, while the bees are distracted, I could see some beetles flitting from cell to cell (laying eggs in there?).  What a trouble!

I think that they will make it, but they are pretty stressed right now.  The weather turned, and they are low on honey again, they are fighting off the invasions of the evil worms, I'm not seeing quite as many bees going crazy on the brood.  There are a couple of poop streaks on the inside of the hive, a sign of stress.

Before it started, I got a couple of pictures.  They aren't the best, since I'm still figuring out how to photograph macro through plexiglass.  The first is a spot of some eggs.  The evil beetle must have crammed her evil little butt into a tiny crack to deposit these.  They were hatched a few days later, and I think even now there is little offspring in that area.

Some SHB eggs...

One of the she-devils hiding in a cell...


It has been a little nerve-wracking.  I don't want to have to start them over, but if I lose them, its not a huge deal.  It has been fascinating watching them fight off these infections and how they progress.  I think (and hope) that my full size hives can handle them a little better, they have a much higher population.
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Rick
doak
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2008, 10:45:55 PM »

Very interesting, Might try to make me one but would have to keep it outside.
doak
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twb
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2008, 09:22:06 AM »

Thanks for the warning.  I just saw a beetle yesterday, too.  I was surprised to see one this early as well.  We just started our first obs hive last week so we will hope for the best.  So much for Michigan winters being our best defense Sad.  Have a great spring season Smiley.
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JP
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2008, 09:25:05 AM »

I am seeing an increase in these little bastages here as well.


...JP
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wayseer
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« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2008, 08:56:36 PM »

First - get you bees out of those frames.  Kill, kill, kill any beetles.  But you won't get at the larvae which is what is causing the damage.  Transfer bees to clean hives along with what brood you can rescue.  Repeat process in a week or so if necessary.  Install SHB traps. Requeen if necessary.

SHB has a armour coat which bee stings cannot penetrate so the bees muster them if they are a stong hive.  In Australia we have SHB traps.  The one I use is a shallow trough with a grid above which sits between frames on the top bar.  It is filled with cooking oil.  Some cover is put over the trap.  The idea is the beetles find there way into the trap trying to escape the mustering bees - and drown.  It works fine.  But it won't get rid of larvae.

I got hit by SHB just after I purchased by hives and took some work to get it clean up.  The main reason SHB, along with most pests and diseases, takes hold is that the hive is not strong.  Good queens and stong hives will whether most problems.  I have SHB running in the hives still but they are now 70,000 bees strong and there are one or two per hive and they are too busy trying to get away from the chasing bees.

You have to find a way to live with SHB as it flies into the hive initially - almost impossible to stop.

I can see where you guys who experience freezing winters have problems.  If there is SHB present going into winter I would image it would have to snuggle up to the bees to survive as well.  So I don't know what you would do here.  But going into Spring should give you the opportunity of going into attack mode.

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Hayesbo
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2008, 06:30:48 PM »

I am seeing an increase in these little bastages here as well.


...JP

JP, you ever in the Navy? We used to say Bastages then also.

Steve
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JP
The Swarm King
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I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2008, 08:13:47 PM »

I am seeing an increase in these little bastages here as well.


...JP

JP, you ever in the Navy? We used to say Bastages then also.

Steve

Nope. My Grandfather was though.


...JP
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"Good friends are as sweet as honey" Winne the Pooh

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and
http://picasaweb.google.com/112138792165178452970

My Youtube videos can be viewed here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=JPthebeeman&aq=f

My website JPthebeeman.com http://www.jpthebeeman.com/jpthebeeman/
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