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Author Topic: SHB control. Accumulated Knowledge  (Read 8677 times)
SlickMick
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« on: May 06, 2009, 08:02:02 AM »

There is a heap of knowledge on the SHB on the forum but it is all over the place and it is often difficult to track down. I have sometimes thought that it would be a worthwhile to accumulate all the information and experience that we have on the SHB in one place with the thought that it would give us a collective in-depth understanding of what we are dealing with.

So to start the ball rolling, I will give you some of my experiences together with some of the research that I have come up with and ask that you take the time to add to it:

From the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Cut and paste the following link into your browser to see the whole article

http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/bees/small_hive_beetle.htm

“Dr. Lundie reports that stationary colonies are more vulnerable than those that are moved. Thus, relocating colonies may break the beetle's life cycle, a classic control measure used elsewhere in agriculture. Certainly the bees' self-cleaning behaviour itself should be used to the utmost. Colonies will probably vary in the ability to withstand infestation and should be monitored for the ability to do so. As part of this, beekeepers should be very careful not to provide more exposed comb than the bees can adequately cover, or purposefully infest a colony that doesn't already have beetles. The beetle's arrival could signal a paradigm shift in honey bee management. Standard practices like stacking empty or weak colonies on stronger ones, making weak splits, and/or liberally exchanging combs are not good options in beetle control.”

There are a few things in this that need mentioning.

·   Colonies that are relocated may break the SHB life cycle
·   The colony’s self cleaning behaviour is important. This appears to confirm many of the comments from contributors to the forum.
·   Care should be taken not to provide more exposed comb than the hive is able to cover. This is also been commented on by many contributors.
·   The arrival of the SHB certainly does signal a shift in how we do things.

The article continues with the need for cleanliness around the honey house and the speedy extraction of frames, the care that must be taken with stacking supers from infested hives onto clean colonies, care that must be taken with making splits or exchanging comb or brood, the monitoring of the hygienic behaviour of a colony and the importance of the use of traps.

Other information the article provides
·   “When the number of small hive beetle larvae reaches a certain level in a colony, honey bee brood rearing stops.
·   Adult beetles do not get caught on sticky boards, and move quickly across them.
·   Best survey technique for beetles is carefully examining the frass on bottom boards and/or cardboard inserts, with one side removed and the exposed corrugated portion in contact with the bottom board. The beetles apparently are drawn to this material and easily hide in the corrugations. This has now been integrated with use of coumaphos impregnated plastic strips.
·   There is no need to consider treating this pest until it has been detected in the apiary. The mood of some beekeepers appears to be one of preventive treatments. This is not warranted.
·   Freezing honey in the comb appears to kill both beetle and wax moth eggs and larvae.
·   Soil conditioning agents may also affect pupation of the beetle. Muriate of potash, sometimes known as 0600 fertilizer, might act as a dehydrating agent, similar to boric acid crystals for roach control in urban environments.”

OK, some of my perceptions.

Apart from what has already been mentioned one of the perceptions that I have come up with is related to the need to minimise exposed comb. Both of my hive losses have come after I have extracted and returned the stickies to the hive to be cleaned. I now think that this process moved the house bees into clean up mode and that they moved away from covering the frames that they were, allowing the SHB a free rein to do their mischief. Believe me this does not take long to happen. What I will be doing now is to allow the stickies to be cleaned away from the hive by robbing and returned clean as needed.

Traps are an absolute necessity in SHB territory.

Regular monitoring of the traps and SHB presence is important.

Build nucs up into deeps by adding frames as numbers increase to cover the frames

I am going to move from foundation to starter strips to avoid having too many hiding places for the SHB.

OK. This is a starter. All I am asking is that by adding your experiences and knowledge you are adding to our collective understanding of this pest.

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
mgmoore7
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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2009, 11:56:45 AM »

I have a number of comments/suggestions/observations.

-The only hives I have known of that have had major issues with beetles, either were in almost full shade and/or were very weak. 
-I leave out the supers to be robbed until every last drop of honey is removed.
-Remove/cutout any pollen in supers.  This attracks the beetles and wax moth
-If you are a small operation and have a freezer available, freeze the frames after they have been robbed/cleaned out.  This will kill wax moth and shb.
-Some bees seem to do a better job at dealing with the beetles and others.  This relates to genetics.  Queens with hygenic behavior seem to be better.   

This document is worth a read.  It talks about general strategies for beetles and using mitegone pads as a deterent.
http://www.mitegone.com/pdfpages/Small%20Hive%20Beetle.pdf

Trapping Methods
-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_KDPp8H6PU - FatBeeMan's homemade trap using boric acid.
-http://www.greenbeehives.com/ - screened bottom board with #6 screen so beetles easily fall through and into the oil.
-http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com/2007/05/small-hive-beetle-trap-saga.html - Sonny & Mel trap
-http://www.ajsbeetleeater.com.au/ - AJs Bettle eaters
-https://www.dadant.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=1081 - West Beetle Trap
-http://freemanbeetletrap.com/ - Another trap integrated into a bottom board
-http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/prodinfo.asp?number=296 - Hood Beetle Trap

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Robo
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« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2009, 02:42:57 PM »

How about prevention for those who don't have them (yet).

You expose you apiary to becoming infected every time you bring in a package or nuc.   If you bring in packages,  you can reduce the exposure by burning the cage after you empty the bees. Hive beetles like to hide in the cracks and crevices of the cage.  Also try to thoroughly inspect nucs before bringing them into your yard.  If you find any beetles,   DON'T bring it home,  there are more hiding that you didn't find.

If you really want to reduce your chances,  either increase by doing splits from your own hives,  or capture swarms.
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SlickMick
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« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2009, 05:04:24 PM »

One trap that I have heard of is using a slimline CD case with a bit of roach bait as a lure. I imagine the SHB find it a good place to hide from the bees

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
gwalker314
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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2009, 12:06:37 AM »

Has anyone ever tried Diatomaceous Earth around the hives? This is suppose to be effective on all crawling insects & larvae.
The cost is about $10.00 for a 4lb bag.
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charles
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2009, 07:10:12 AM »

One trap that I have heard of is using a slimline CD case with a bit of roach bait as a lure. I imagine the SHB find it a good place to hide from the bees

Mick

I like this idea. Anybody heard how effective it is?

I'm assuming you check your trap every few days and just dump out the beetles?
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4 hives
SlickMick
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2009, 07:50:25 AM »

I haven't used the CD case with the cockroach bait because I dont like the idea of having pesticide inside the hive but I have seen a photo of one that was used inside the hive with probably a hundred dead SHB inside it .

The oil traps I use are set into the solid bottom board and with the hives I have at home I check every day but those that I have had outside I check every week or so. Most often I filter the oil every 3-4 weeks (depends on how much rubbish is in the trap) by passing it through a paper filter or something similar and dump the dead beetles and reuse the oil.

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
deadsnowmen
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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2009, 09:53:52 PM »

Diatomaceous Earth I was told was like fine shells,,and when sprinkled around the hives it can cut soft bodied pest up like glass does to people..Not sure if its true but I heard it works well...forgotton all about it till now,,i may try it out...
I made small hive beetle traps with plastic mouse glue traps,(6 for a dollar) i took a plastic cutting board,(2 for a dollar) cut out squares to fit the bottom of the traps,,used political signs and cut 1/2 inch stripes from it and glued to the top edge of the mouse traps,then used the squares from the cutting boards put 2 sided tape on one side,and placed it onto the traps,the cutting board served as a bottom and put crisco at the inside holes of the politacal signs,as a beetle lure,once the beetle goes in to explore,(the holes are perfect size for beetles),he gets stuck in the glue from the trap,or the 2 sided tape,and dies..I had them on my hives for 3 days now,,I will check sunday and see how well it works.take them apart,wipe down and reuse them.I made 6 for less than 2 dollars,thats cheaper than shipping on every trap I bought and didnt work. angry
I would like to use boric acid in them,,but put them away from the hives to see if I can attract beetles with poison outside the hives,,but I am tryin to stick to all natural,,so I will try the glue traps and see how well they work first.
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SlickMick
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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2009, 11:27:05 PM »

Hi Deadsnowman, can you post a pic?

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
deadsnowmen
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2009, 11:30:53 AM »

I will set photos up 2 day or 2morrow,it may take a minute to figure out how to post them..I dont know how well the traps work,but I think with some minor adjustments and trial and error,it should work to a extent,,I also use table salt around my hives,,for the beetle larva,I know what happens when u pour salt on a snail.I tried the Hood beetle trap,made by mike hood out of clemson.These traps take up frame space,and the last time I checked it,comb was built up on it,as I cleaned it, I spilled the Vinager out of the trap and onto the hive,,since then hive #'s seem to fall...and the hive went weak. Cry--I was NOT happy with most the in hive beetle traps,so I made these to slide on top of frames,between them,between the hives and even on the bottom board,without removing any frames..U can use a clothes hanger to slide them in the bottom board and pull them out.
-I made these because I noticed the bees would give the beetle chase,but as soon as the beetle went into a crack or small hole,,the beetles always gets away and the bees seemed helpless.So I wanted the bees to play cowboy,let them round the beetles up like mini cows into a small barn,it may help them do their job,let the bees chase the beetles into the cracks and holes in the traps,once in the traps,(and with the help of crisco,if that does lure the beetles in)-they get stuck,,I noticed the glue can be cleaned on the mouse traps and it seems like it could be re-used,and the beetles stuck on the 2 sided tape,just replace the tape.
-I hope thats the way it will work,,but this is the first time I used them,will know more tomorrow when I check them,I figured 3-5 days sould be enough time to see.I will take some photos and put them up later.Thanks for the intrest,maybe between a few of us we can make a cheap trap that really works.
---But my only concern is,,,, would the crisco cause the beetles to becomes slick enough to avoid getting caught in the glue from the trap and 2 sided tape???-I hope tomorrow will tell me something.
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jclark96
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« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2009, 05:13:43 PM »

Using some of the above info and info from Tillies blog I started an experiment.

Friday I installed two traps, a sandwich box trap between SBB & Rack, and a CD case trap on the inner cover.

Today about 20 adult SHB in the Sandwich box--- 5/32 holes drilled around the edges, large juice lid hot glued to the center, apple cider vinager and banana peel in the lid, mineral oil around that.

1 adult SHB in the CD case, but it was the sticky stuff from a glue trap. So it was just running around in there having fun. I will modify it to work like the other one.

The other thing I noticed was perforated brood. Does that mean the the SHB is laying eggs and the bees are cleaning the contaminated cells? There were underdeveloped Bee pupae in the feeder?
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SlickMick
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« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2009, 05:44:24 PM »

How long were the traps left in the hive?

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
jclark96
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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2009, 07:59:14 AM »

I put them in on Friday afternoon, and checked them yesterday. So far four days. But, I left the sandwich box trap in.

I don't have a serious problem yet. Besides the beetles in the traps, I killed five or six, the bees had corraled four or five more. So what I could see maybe a total of thirty-fourty beetles in the hive. I am in Florida.
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kedgel
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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2009, 10:38:19 PM »

I wish I'd read this last week!  I found out firsthand about this stuff.  I cut a hive out of a tree last Thursday evening.  I noticed a few SHB's bail out as I cut down the combs and also saw a couple larvae.  One observation:  This wild hive was hanging from a tree branch and was entirely covered with bees.  There was not a bit of comb showing until I smoked them.  Obviously, even with no exposed comb, the little buggers can get a foothold.  This was a strong colony.  Being it was late and I was running out of daylight, I made the mistake of not mounting the combs in frames as I went, but just laid them in the box, planning on doing it later.  I tried to lay them so as to allow the bees to stay on the combs somewhat, but they slid down into a pile.  The next morning I mounted one frame before leaving for work, and they looked OK.  That evening it was raining, so I couldn't do any more.  I didn't manage to get around to messing with the hive on Sat., and couldn't do it on Sun., either.  This evening I opened the hive to find maggots swarming all through the comb that the bees couldn't cover.  ALL the comb was a loss--the brood was gone, the honey was contaminated.  The comb and the entire bottom of the hive was covered with slime and boiling with larvae.  This happened in the space of 2-3 days!  Luckily, I'd put the one mounted comb in a brood box above the box with the unmounted combs. The bees mostly abandoned the infested combs and moved up into the frames of foundation and the lone surviving comb.  The queen hadn't done any laying as well,  further proving the assertion that queens stop laying in an infested hive.  I kept bees in Tennessee and Kentucky and never had any problems.  Florida is a different situation.  Apparently every pest in the world thrives here.  I didn't know what SHB's were before I tried to keep bees here.  Hopefully others can learn from my mistakes.
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SlickMick
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« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2009, 07:11:37 AM »

I agree Jerry that the issues around the SHB need to be somewhere where everyone has access to them. A sticky is a great idea.

But don't let us stop there. Other critical issues need to be somewhere they can be located easily without going through scores of threads trying to find them. AFB and mites spring to mind as other subjects that affect most of us at sometime or other.

Perhaps a moderator could comment on this idea

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
JP
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« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2009, 07:51:28 AM »

Shb's are in every hive I've ever opened and are in swarms I shake, often. I don't bother with them. If a hive gets weak for whatever the reason it will have a shb or waxmoth problem, that's if it gets weak.


...JP
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jclark96
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« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2009, 07:53:57 AM »

I had to move my hive, most of the combs collapsed. Within 5 days, there were thousands of SHB larvae all over the place. Before the move, I could only find one SHB in the hive. I let them settle for 5 days due to work and other issues, but I should have cleaned out the crazyness sooner. The next time I checked the hive there were still hundreds of larvae dropping into the tray under the SBB. Yesterday when I checked them, there were only five or six.
  So, my experience is to kill all the beetles that you find, fed all the larvae to the chickens, and keep strong hives. The beetles don't need very much time. grin
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JP
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« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2009, 08:10:20 AM »

JC, you're not kidding about shb needing little time to do their dirty work. I've seen hatched out shb larvae within 1 and a 1/2 day's time in colonies that became weakened. Particularly in colonies that are in trees, if I get a call the first day one is felled, rarely the second day, the colony may be saved, but usually by the second day, shb's have done their dirty work and the colony you are left with is beyond the point of no return.

Usually, the colony will swarm out when trees are felled as the comb sections, once vertical are now horizontal and compressed against one another.

I have seen this with shb over and over and over again, it only takes a day and a half-two days for shb larvae to be everywhere, absolutely amazing, how fast they work!


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

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
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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/
SlickMick
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« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2009, 08:42:00 AM »

Both JP and JClark96 are correct. The SHB needs very little time to take control of the hive.

JP, I think that the issue of having a sticky thread that deals with a single problem is so that those who find themselves in trouble with that problem can go to a single place to read all that has been written about controlling that problem. I also think that hobbiest beeks with only less than a handful of hives can't afford to lose a hive if they run into a problem that has the potential to wipe them out.

I have no problem with the shb now although it did wipe me out late last year. But I spent a lot of time researching the shb and did a lot of thiinking about how and why they were able to take control of my hives. Since then I have made a lot of changes in how I manage my hives and how I deal with the beetle.

But neither of us are novice beeks and I am sure that you would have practices in place should you see the shb start to take control of a hive. The purpose of the sticky would be for those who are dealing with the shb for the first time to help them learn management strategies that would help them over the hump.

It would be a resource for all to use and for all to add to when they find something that would assist others deal with the problem.

That was why I first posted this thread

Mick
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On the outer Barcoo where the churches are few,
   And men of religion are scanty,
On a road never cross'd 'cept by folk that are lost,
   One Michael Magee had a shanty.

Now this Mike was the dad of a ten-year-old lad,
   Plump, healthy, and stoutly conditioned;
He was strong as the best, but poor Mike had no rest
   For the youngster had never been christened,
A BUSH CHRISTENING - A.B. "Banjo" Paterson http://www.middlemiss.org/lit/authors/patersonab/poetry/christen.html
JP
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I like doing cut-outs, but I love catching swarms!


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« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2009, 08:58:38 AM »

Mick, you're absolutely correct, this post is for all, not just my point of view. Perhaps my bees are different or its something to do with our soil type down here that allows our bees to live harmoniously with shbs.

Didn't mean to insinuate they are not a real problem somewhere else, let me be clear on that, cause I have seen what they are capable of, and as stated, they can devestate in an extremely short amount of time.

If I were having colonies colapse or abscond on a regular basis due to shb, I would be implementing preventative measures, trust me on this one Mick.

I wish everyone the best of luck dealing with any issues that weaken/destroy hives. I am well aware that I am in a special situation as I have access to all the bees I need or want and if I lose a hive, although it is unfortunate, there are so many more that I can replace that one with that it doesn't hurt me, whereas someone in another state or country that doesn't have easy access to bees, it is a real travesty, not to mention expensive, to lose bees.


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

My pictures can be viewed at http://picasaweb.google.com/pyxicephalus
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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