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Author Topic: Earwigs - eat honey?  (Read 747 times)
Scadsobees
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Location: Jenison, MI

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« on: August 27, 2011, 02:16:30 PM »

I've got lots of earwigs around.  I don't like them, but we've come to an uneasy agreement - if I find them I'll kill them, and for their part they try not to be found.  I've always found them in the cracks of everything, even the hives, but they don't seem to bother anything so I don't worry about them too much.

My sons like bugs and critters, so are always getting books of critters out of the library.  Recently they took one out about earwigs.

Fascinating critters, really, as much as I hate them.  They lay their eggs underground, the female overwinters with the eggs, and then cares for the young when they hatch in the early spring, until they are old enough, then the mother dies and the young can carry on their nefarious plan of overrunning my back yard.

One little tidbit in there caught my eye - it says that earwigs will go into beehives and eat honey!  Do you think that that is true, or just based on people seeing earwigs jammed in all the cracks and edges of a hive?

Rick
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Rick
psbeekeeper
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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2011, 02:42:09 PM »

I would think they would only eat honey from the comb in weak colonies.  I know when I check out the space between my inner and top cover, they are usually sometime clustered in there.  I also get spiders hanging out in the same space as well.  I think as long as your colony is strong, I don't think they will each the honey.
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Scadsobees
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« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2011, 07:45:05 PM »

I'm not worried about them, I've lived with them long enough rolleyes

I was just wondering where the kid's book would get that little tidbit from?
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Rick
fuimus5
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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2011, 07:09:59 AM »

I was checking my newest colony yesterday (TBH) and found it overrun with earwigs. I had observed several under the roof 2 weeks ago and thought nothing of it. Now there are HUNDREDS of them! Not just under the roof, but running all over the comb and in and out of the cells!

This is a new colony and has not been growing as rapidly as one would expect and now I think I know why. The earwigs are eating everything.

I removed several bars of unused comb to reduce the size (from a total of 7 bars down to 4) of the occupied space to give the bees a chance to build up numbers and guard against the intruders before I try any artificial control methods.

My fear is that with it being so late in the year the bees may not winter over.

Anyone have any other ideas?
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hendro
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« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2011, 08:03:07 PM »

What about using some essential oils.  Do a search on the internet but I think the right essential oils may work.  Peppermint seems to do the trick for a lot of things.
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