Need Bees Removed?
International
Beekeeping Forums
September 22, 2014, 04:58:08 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: 24/7 Ventrilo Voice chat -click for instructions and free software here
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar bee removal Login Register Chat  

Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Min-Vacuum for SHB battles  (Read 4586 times)
Boccyman
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 11


Location: Sugar Land, TX


« on: January 28, 2009, 03:04:16 PM »

Hi Guys, so I'll be right up front with everyone and let you know that I'm new to beekeeping.  I just joined the forum and started my first hive from a swarm catch in Sept 08.  They're overwintering fine and I noticed some Small Hive Beetles (SHB's) a few weeks ago when I checked the hive on a warm day.  I'm located in Texas and it stays pretty warm here year round, so I expect SHB's to be quite prevalent in my area - any comment from you Texas Beekeepers out there?  Anyway, I only spotted adult SHB's (no larvae) and the bees were actively getting after them (which I really liked).  After researching SHB's on the net and within this forum topics, I decided on a course of action to do "battle" with the SHB's in an attempt to keep the hive from being overrun.  I ordered a package of Checkmite+ strips along with some AJ Beetle Eater traps (to place between frames near the top of the brood chamber) as well as a bottom trap that covers the bottome board.  Lastly, I order my (call me crazy) secret weapon - a min-vacuum (the kind used for maintenance/cleaning of electronic components and computers).  So, the weekend of Jan 17th I went out to the hive and installed the bottom trap (with Checkmite+ strips enclosed in the area only the SHB's can access) and placed 2 AJ Beetle Eater traps (one containing Checkmite+ strip cuttings and the other containing vegetable oil as per the manufacture instructions).  I didn't have the min-vacuum yet, so I manually caught and squished maybe about a dozen SHB's.  The SHB population had grown from my original notice of a few beetles a few weeks ago to an estimated 50+ SHB's (a complete guess on my part from inspecting the hive on Jan 17th).

I went out yesterday (Jan 27th) to check on the Hive as the temp jumped back up into the 70's here in Texas - I was armed with my mini-vacuum.  As soon as I took the cover off the top feeder I sucked up about a dozen beetles that could just fit under the plexi-glass separating the bees from the sugar syrup feed.  As soon as I sucked up the beetles, the bees chased a few more my way - I stood there for about 10 minutes "collecting" SHB's as the bees chased them up and out of the top feeder.  Next I removed the top feeder to uncover the top of the hive.  I immediately sucked-up another ~15 to 20 SHB's.  I found that after the initial "scurry" of SHB panic, most of them dove for cover under the lip of the frames resting on the interior wall of the hive box.  I simply moved the frame to the side and "collected" the beetles with the min-vacuum.  The tube opening of the min-vacuum is large enough to accept the SHB, but too small for a Honey Bee.  I was actually competing with the Bees to get after the SHB's and had the vacuum right on Bees at several times.  I should note that the suction is enough to pull in the SHB, but I have to be right on top of them with the tube - the suction was not enough to suck a Bee onto the tube (very nice!).

I checked the top AJ Beetle eater traps.  Had "1" dead SHB in the trap with vegetable oil and "8" dead SHB's in the trap with the Checkmite+ strips.  I pulled out and inspected the frames one at a time and "collected" about 10 to 20 SHB's per frame.  I did not pull out the center-most 2 frames as about 3/4 of the bees were stilled huddled there and I did not want to break-up their "winter nest".  I pulled out the bottom hive trap and inspected it for SHB's - I had "15" dead SHB's and about 2 dozen live SHB's which I "collected" with the mini-vacuum.  I  then put everything back together and closed up the hive not wanting to keep it open for too long (as it was going to drop back down into the high 30's last night).  I did replaced the vegetable oil in the top AJ Beetle Eater trap with Checkmite+ strips as this seems to be working O.K. for me.

In summary, I removed ~100 SHB's from the hive yesterday in about 40 minutes using a min-vacuum and am curious if this is accepted practice and what you guys think!?  I know there are more SHB's in the hive, but I feel that I removed the majority of them yesterday.  Using the min-vacuum during routine inspection along with the traps (and Checkmite+) I hope to keep the SHB population in check (or low enough) to keep the hive from being too stressed.  Oh yes - and I poured a solution of GuardStar on the ground back on Jan 17th around the hive area to keep any SHB larvae from taking and will probably do this several more times as the weather warms up.

I'm interested in your feedback ...
« Last Edit: January 28, 2009, 10:41:44 PM by Boccyman » Logged
Keith13
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1770


Location: Baton Rouge, LA


« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2009, 03:30:12 PM »

Do you have a lot of excess space in your hives the bees cannot cover? If so the bees may not be able to guard the space which allows the SHB to move in and flourish. Just a thought
But I do like the mini vac idea good thinking on that one
Keith
Logged
BjornBee
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3773


Location: Lewisberry, PA


« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2009, 04:09:56 PM »

First time I heard of a vac.    Creative.
Logged

www.bjornapiaries.com
www.pennapic.org
Please Support "National Honey Bee Day"
Northern States Queen Breeders Assoc.  www.nsqba.com
Brian D. Bray
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 7369


Location: Anacortes, WA 98221

I really look like this, just ask Cindi.


WWW
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2009, 06:11:00 PM »

First time I heard of a vac.    Creative.

Time for a run on Radio Shack.  Very crative.  I'm shocked at the difference on the dead population between the AJ beetle trap with veggie oil and with checkmite+, I'd have thought the reverse.
Logged

Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Scadsobees
Galactic Bee
******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3198


Location: Jenison, MI

Best use of smileys in a post award.


« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2009, 08:48:39 AM »

Whatever works! 
I actually do something similar on my observation hive.  I have several areas where SHB congregate so I drill small holes through the plexi and then just stick the shopvac tube up to it and shwip shwip shwip them nasty little beetles get sucked right up.

As long as you don't have the hive too open and the bees too bothered in that time.  If you are stressing the bees out, it only takes 1 beetle or 2 to lay a mass of eggs that will mess the hive up.  I'm not saying it is a problem, but I would be cautious about it.

Rick
Logged

Rick
ArmucheeBee
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 514

Location: Rome, Georgia


« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2009, 12:39:24 PM »

Boccyman

Do you have a piece of tile over the AJ's trap?  Their directions say to put a cover over it which encourages the shb to use it more.
Logged

Stephen Stewart
2nd Grade Teacher

"You don't need a license to drive a sandwich."  SpongeBob Squarepants
Robo
Technical
Administrator
Galactic Bee
*******
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 6405


Location: Scenic Catskill Mountains - NY

Beekeep On!


WWW
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2009, 12:46:51 PM »

There has been previous discussion on using a mouth aspirator.
http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,14809.0.html

Fortunately SHB is not something I have to deal with.   Good luck and nice thinking outside the box.
Logged

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison


Boccyman
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 11


Location: Sugar Land, TX


« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2009, 12:09:54 AM »

Boccyman

Do you have a piece of tile over the AJ's trap?  Their directions say to put a cover over it which encourages the shb to use it more.

Yes, I've got about a 4" x 6" piece of corrugated cardboard with one side removed so the "ripples" are underneath with the Checkmite+ strips stapled to it - this give the SHB's a place to collect and hide.  The top part of the cardboard is sealed with clear package tape to keep the bees from chewing on them - but I have these located inside the bottom hive trap which has a slotted cover that will only allow the SHB's to enter (slots are too small for the bees).  Seems to be working well ... thanks for your comment!
« Last Edit: January 30, 2009, 05:36:38 PM by Boccyman » Logged
Boccyman
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 11


Location: Sugar Land, TX


« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2009, 12:15:11 AM »

Do you have a lot of excess space in your hives the bees cannot cover? If so the bees may not be able to guard the space which allows the SHB to move in and flourish. Just a thought
But I do like the mini vac idea good thinking on that one
Keith

Thanks - that's a great observation!  The bees are not covering all the frames, so I could probably move them into a 5-frame Nuc Box to give them a better shot at guarding the hive.  The Nuc Box is also polystyrene which should be warmer than the wooden hive for the remaining cold nights.  I can make the move when another warm day hits us here in South Texas - just a matter of time as the cold fronts come and go.  The more I think about it, the more I like your observation - thanks so much!
Logged
sc-bee
Super Bee
*****
Online Online

Posts: 1963


Location: Edgefield, SC


« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2009, 08:36:25 PM »

Am familiar with a beekeeper who has been using a small computer vac for a couple years. He places something in his hive for the shb to congregate under when the bees corral them and flips it over and vacs when he removes the lid. I have not seen him in a while. I need to run him down and see how he faired with it.
Logged

John 3:16
rdy-b
Super Bee
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2212


Location: clayton ca


« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2009, 04:43:45 PM »

this is designed for sampling of bees for nosemea-gusse you could collect beetles with it also- Wink RDY-B
http://www.scientificbeekeeping.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=62
Logged
mgmoore7
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 364

Location: Tampa, FL


WWW
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2009, 09:06:50 AM »

Good thing that you caught those beetles.  Sounds like a infestation to me for sure.  I have never seen anywhere near that many but I know they can do serious damage in a matter of short time if left the opportunity. 

My biggest issue has been extracted frames in storage.  I have had to freeze all the frames to kill any eggs otherwise I end up with a crawling floor of SHB larve and a big mess. 
Logged

Boccyman
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 11


Location: Sugar Land, TX


« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2009, 11:22:39 PM »

Thanks everyone for the great comments and suggestions.  Checked the hive this weekend and snatched up only 6 live SHB's.  Had "0" dead in the AJ Beetle Eater traps (2 of them on the top of the frames) and had 6 dead inside the bottom hive trap (Checkmite+ strips under 2 postcard sized corrugated cardboard squares).  The bees were chasing any SHB's I saw and I notice an increase of honey stores in the frames.  I think I'm through the worst of the infestation and will keep an eye on SHB numbers very closely.

Any thoughts what a reasonable SHB count should be in a growing hive in Texas (Houston area)?  I'd like the count to be "0", but only have bees covering 3 out of 9 frames in a deep brood box.  I have lots of eggs and small larvae so will expect to have more frames covered with bees in the next few weeks.  Hopefully, the weather will stay mild and the hive will progress to where the bees can adequately cover all the frames and more effectively keep the SHB's out of the hive.
Logged
mgmoore7
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 364

Location: Tampa, FL


WWW
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2009, 08:34:05 AM »

Boccyman
Did you see fatbeeman's video on the traps that he uses. 
 
Logged

ArmucheeBee
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 514

Location: Rome, Georgia


« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2009, 09:45:06 AM »

Just reading all the posts on AJ's traps, I get the impression they are hit or miss.  If you have a huge SHB population they kill many, if you have a low population of dispersed SHB you may not find any in the trap.  If they enter through your bottom board entrance, looks like the first thing they would encounter would be one of Don's traps, especially if the traps were in a corner!!  Did I mention I just bought 2 AJ's!!! huh
Logged

Stephen Stewart
2nd Grade Teacher

"You don't need a license to drive a sandwich."  SpongeBob Squarepants
Boccyman
New Bee
*
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 11


Location: Sugar Land, TX


« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2009, 11:31:56 PM »

Boccyman
Did you see fatbeeman's video on the traps that he uses.   

Wow - this looks really promising! I think this would be really applicable for me as there are several feral hives in the area and I think the SHB's will always be around - so I need a cost-effective and long-term preventative measure.  I've got to try this ... !  Thanks Matt!
Logged
mgmoore7
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 364

Location: Tampa, FL


WWW
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2009, 09:44:26 AM »

Boccyman
Did you see fatbeeman's video on the traps that he uses.   

Wow - this looks really promising! I think this would be really applicable for me as there are several feral hives in the area and I think the SHB's will always be around - so I need a cost-effective and long-term preventative measure.  I've got to try this ... !  Thanks Matt!

Sure, I just picked up a sign last night advertising "Rent your home for the bowls & super bowl for $1000 a day".  That is over now, so I picked it up.  I think I can make at least 10 traps with this.  I also got some boric acid at Lowes.  It was less than a quart though and labeled as "orthoboric".  I wonder if this is some diluted version.  I bought it but am going to look around a bit more before using it. 

Anyone know where to get boric acid with out paying for some brand relabeling?
Logged

BULLSEYE BILL
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 121


Location: The scenic Flint Hills of Kansas


WWW
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2009, 10:37:26 AM »

I bought mine at the grocery store, Twenty Mule Team Borax.
Logged
ArmucheeBee
Field Bee
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 514

Location: Rome, Georgia


« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2009, 10:54:16 AM »

Should be able to find it in the clothes washing section.  20 mule team boric acid.  folks washed clothes with back in the day.  I worked pest control for 5 years at the world's largestest kitchen.  we used boric every where in the kitchen because it is non-toxic to us, if it got into the food no problem.  in roaches it causes irritation to the cytoskeleton, causing them to scratch, opening their skeleton to infection.  I am not sure how it kills the SHB.
Logged

Stephen Stewart
2nd Grade Teacher

"You don't need a license to drive a sandwich."  SpongeBob Squarepants
mgmoore7
House Bee
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 364

Location: Tampa, FL


WWW
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2009, 11:40:21 AM »

I am trying to understand the difference between Borax and boric acid.  They are definately different from a chemical standpoint but seems that they are used for the same thing and the 20 Mule Team looks to be easily available.  I did find one study that showed that borax was sometimes considered more repellent than boric acid.   

I did find that "orthoboric" is the same as boric acid. 

Borax is Na2B4O7-10H2O, Hydrated sodium borate

Boric acid is H3BO3

Logged

Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Beemaster's Beekeeping Ring
Previous | Home | Join | Random | Next
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Sitemap Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.332 seconds with 22 queries.

Google visited last this page September 19, 2014, 01:41:09 PM