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Author Topic: How about salted beetle larvae?  (Read 1464 times)
VolunteerK9
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« on: December 13, 2010, 10:04:33 AM »

 I know some of you used to do it when you were kids....pouring some salt on some unsuspecting slug and watch him dry up to nothing. Thinking out loud here, but I wonder if placing salt under the hives would do anything to deter/kill hive beetle larvae? A good layer of it would also serve to kill out any vegetation there and the residue would stay for quite a while. Dumb idea?
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BjornBee
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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2010, 10:21:42 AM »

K9,
I won't call it stupid. As we all probably thought about this also.

Then we realize the rationale of killing larvae after they did their damage and are exiting the hive. Isn't it too late then?

Any hive I have ever seen with SHB larvae, are hives that had MANY larvae and devastating damage.

Killing beetles is one thing. But treating the ground to kill larvae as the hive has crashed, would be better done with other methods.

That is why the ground drench and other products are really a waste. They work good after the hive crashed. But until that time, it is not like there are any larvae to be killed. At least I have never seen a situation where larvae are being issued all summer long.

Am I saying this clearly?
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2010, 10:31:51 AM »

Aside from the other questions...

I don't think that salt would work the same on the larvae.  It works on the slugs because the slugs secrete mucus as a natural part of their movement.  The salt accelerates that mucus and sucks their water out.

SHB larvae, on the other hand, have a thicker, dry skin, and whereas the salt would eventually kill them,  I think the concentration would need to be so high and maintained there that it would be impractical. I'm guessing they could burrow through the highest concentration without dying.  And rain, humidity etc would destroy that barrier, and the barrier would need to be highly concentrated up to 6 inches thick.  At that point you'd be better off with a foot of gravel under the hive.

That's my theory, anyway.  I suppose you could test it out by setting some SHB larvae( or almost any larvae about that size) in some salt and see what happens.

Some people use diatomatious earth, although that is fatal to bees too.
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Rick
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2010, 12:47:41 PM »

BjornBee is exactly correct! As a survivor of the "Beetle Wars" I can safely say that when the larva go to the ground to pupate there is a dead hive above them. Do not let them get to the stage of having larva in your combs. Do whatever is necessary to kill the adult SHB. In FL we use year round traps; without them a hive will abscond in 1-2 weeks, with double handfuls of larva working the combs and piled up on the bottom boards, and nasty fermented honey pouring out the entrance. In other words, the hive is history before the larva head for the ground. Doesn't hurt to use the ground drench, maybe you'll kill the ones that would have gotten your other beeyard 5 miles down the road.
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David McLeod
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2010, 06:58:55 PM »

BjornBee is exactly correct! As a survivor of the "Beetle Wars" I can safely say that when the larva go to the ground to pupate there is a dead hive above them. Do not let them get to the stage of having larva in your combs. Do whatever is necessary to kill the adult SHB. In FL we use year round traps; without them a hive will abscond in 1-2 weeks, with double handfuls of larva working the combs and piled up on the bottom boards, and nasty fermented honey pouring out the entrance. In other words, the hive is history before the larva head for the ground. Doesn't hurt to use the ground drench, maybe you'll kill the ones that would have gotten your other beeyard 5 miles down the road.

I've never had the pleasure yet of SHB but the above sounds quite reasonable. If you've got larvae on the ground something has failed at least two steps back. Of course it is also reasonable and responsible to deal with the larvae on the ground as well so I guess it's a muti step process. Here's how I plan to deal with it. Step one; full sun Step two; entrance trap Step three; traps inside as needed and squash any seen Step four; hives on tin and Guardstar drench.
Does that sound reasonable? I'm loath to pour pyrethroids on my good soil but like the original poster asked what options are there. Has anyone got any experience with the nematodes?
I was also wondering who is experimenting with trap hives or bait stations away from your hives? I was wondering if I set up a trap/bait hive that was empty of bees without the entrance traps but with comb inside and screened to keep out robber bees but let beetles in I could make that a toxic death trap for beetles. Would it work?
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sawbrair
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2010, 07:07:22 PM »

HELLO, I am new to this forum, but have been hanging around for probably three months. I'm also pretty new to beekeeping. I registered today and the rules are to post in the first two weeks, I think, so I decided to post here because of the salt and beetles question. The beetles got pretty bad in a couple of my hives in July and one of the things my mentor suggested was to put table salt on the frame rest in between the ends of the frames and any other crack where the beetles can hide. I did this and so did a friend who had a pretty big beetle problem also. The bees propolized the salt but it did seem to help the bees by taking away some hiding places of the beetles.
BTW I have enjoyed reading all the information here on the BEEMASTERS forum.
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hardwood
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2010, 07:16:30 PM »

The beetles are also attracted to decaying fruit. I've been setting traps in shady areas using fruit as bait with some result. I assume though that these baited traps might be calling more beetles into the yard which may complicate things more. The best approach for me has been to limit the hive space for swarms and cut outs which are very susceptible to invasion and keep even strong colonies crowded. This of course makes swarm control even more fun Smiley

Trap outs and cut outs seem to be the most vulnerable where the population is continually getting smaller until the queen (whether a newer queen from a trap out or a stressed queen from a cut out) ramps up her laying again so it's necessary to keep a very close eye on them for at least 2 months.

If you are in the heart of SHB territory as I am, I have found that transferring only the brood comb and bees from a cut out and NOT the honey comb helps. Of course you have to feed them back the honey you took out to help them build.

Scott
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2010, 08:00:39 PM »

Well crap..just when I thought I could buy a bag of ice cream salt, re-label it,claim it was a cure all and market it for a million bucks then I could retire from my current job...oh well. Thanks for all the replies-guess I need to start studying up more on the life cycle of the cussed thing.
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AllenF
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2010, 08:10:25 PM »

I say give it a try, and after a while, if you are not seeing a lot of dead dried up worms in the salt, then you can at least still make ice cream.
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2010, 08:15:11 PM »

I say give it a try, and after a while, if you are not seeing a lot of dead dried up worms in the salt, then you can at least still make ice cream.

with the benefit of some added protein on the side  grin
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David McLeod
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« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2010, 08:35:46 PM »

I wonder if some sort of containment type trap could go under the boxes. Maybe a sealed on sides and bottom box filled with the ideal soil type/substrate for the larve. Except that the soil is treated so only the trap soil has pesticides and not the native soil of your property. The hard thing would be rainfall/flooding/seepage into native soil. The only other thing I can think of is to keep the hives in the middle of a parking lot.
What about an extra large moat like the leg in can used to keep out ants. A large tray full of water about 2" deep with the hive set on some bricks.
Just tossing out ideas and when one of y'all turns it into a workable idea makes millions please toss some of it my way. Cheesy
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AllenF
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« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2010, 08:48:36 PM »

Use salt instead of oil in the oil trays maybe.  But if the trays are under a screen that is sealed from the bees, DE might work better because it would kill the adults also. 
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scdw43
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« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2010, 08:55:04 PM »

This is some good info on SHB's read the whole thread.  If they get bad enough it could wipe out a small operation.

http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=248244
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AllenF
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« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2010, 08:56:20 PM »

Oh, they will wipe out a large operation if the hives are not very strong.
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