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Author Topic: Small Hive beetle qurstion  (Read 8671 times)
samuils
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« on: May 15, 2012, 04:49:21 AM »

Hi.  As I was looking on the youtube vids, the SHB scared the crap out of me to be honest.  It was the most disgusting thing Ive seen, when the larvae starts destroying the comb, it looked like something out of the horror movie.  So here is my series of questions.
1) What are the reasons for infestation, weak hive, some kind of imbalance?
2) What is a good way to prevent the disaster, natural way please
3) If larvae does start to destroy, what in the world should I do, I mean to save the colony (forget the combs)?

Thank you
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AllenF
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2012, 05:34:40 PM »

A strong hive will keep the beetles in check.   Keep the bee numbers up.   Keep the unused open space in the hive to a minimum.  If a frame starts to get wormy, pull it and freeze it to kill them.  And use your thumb to smash all the beetles you see.   It really makes you feel better about them.   
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Joe D
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2012, 06:49:54 PM »

Allen covered it well.

Joe
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Billybee
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2012, 08:32:08 PM »

I also kept  small entances while I lived in Florida on top of Allens advice.Everyone I know had shb problems except me. I would only find them on the inside of the lid being chased around and took great pleasure in smushing them as they destroyed my first hive. All of the folks on this section of the beemaster forum were key in my shb fight.

Thanks to you all!

Saturday I get my nucs and start in New Jersey.
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Larry Bees
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2012, 08:35:33 PM »

Allen did cover it well, but another thing that helps is to keep your hives in all day sun. I also think screened bottom boards help too. Larry
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tillie
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2012, 11:09:46 PM »

My favorite form of anger management is to smash them with the hive tool!   Nothing better.... evil evil evil
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jataylor
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2012, 07:33:00 AM »

I love to sit and think about how effective 5 million nematodes can be on the larvae that pupate in the ground!  Check out southeasterninsectaries.com for a great biological control of small hive beetle.  The Hood beetle trap is great for taking care of the adults.  grin
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tillie
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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2012, 07:42:43 AM »

My friend Julia and I did the nematodes one year.  It was a hoot.  They are invisible, so it feels like being a part of the Emperor's New Clothes as you stir "them" into water!

Linda T in Atlanta
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Francus
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2012, 08:34:03 AM »

I like this. I may try it.
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vnorton
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« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2012, 11:53:51 AM »

My friend Julia and I did the nematodes one year.  It was a hoot.  They are invisible, so it feels like being a part of the Emperor's New Clothes as you stir "them" into water!

Linda T in Atlanta
What happened? Did it make a difference in the beetles?
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tillie
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« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2012, 05:21:18 PM »

It's hard to say - we hadn't had bees there in years past so we didn't have anything to compare to.  We didn't have many beetles and we were in the shade which promotes SHB, so I don't really know, I imagine we had less SHB than we would have in the shade without the nematodes.  It was very unfulfilling to pour water on the ground, with only faith that the nematodes were in it and would do their job.

Linda T in Atlanta
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jataylor
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« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2012, 01:09:01 PM »

Either way, it is a win-win for you and the bees!  Anything to keep pesticides down! Wink
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marktrl
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« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2012, 11:31:27 PM »

Allen did cover it well, but another thing that helps is to keep your hives in all day sun. I also think screened bottom boards help too. Larry
Actually the screened bottom board make the beetles worse because they can get in through it. I've found on hives that the screen bottom is closed there is less beetles than the hives that the screen is open.
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AllenF
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« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2012, 07:12:03 PM »

Oil trays under screen bottoms trap beetles.   Beetles also hide from light.  Light coming in from the bottom just means less hiding places for beetles.   
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asprince
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« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2012, 07:52:21 PM »

Hi.  As I was looking on the youtube vids, the SHB scared the crap out of me to be honest.  It was the most disgusting thing Ive seen, when the larvae starts destroying the comb, it looked like something out of the horror movie. 

Hope you never see them first hand. They are nasty!

Good Luck,

Steve
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Wolfer
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« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2012, 09:42:16 PM »

I lost a hive to SHB last year.  They are nasty little buggers. I then bought a trap/ bottom board from green beehives and I'll have to say it really works. Shipping is a little pricy but you get a break if you buy more than one. It's real common to see several dead beetles in the tray but no beetles in the hive. I also have no varroa problems in hives with these bottom boards.
These really work for me, your mileage may vary. Wolfer
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adamhickman
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« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2012, 10:50:47 PM »

Try and keep your inspections to a minimum as well. The more move the boxes around, the opportunities the adult beetles will have to lay eggs or get away from the bees guarding them.
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ApalacheeRiverFarms
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« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2012, 09:10:29 AM »

I hate to hear the words bees guarding beetles... Such a waste of bee effort. Screened bottom boards let in too many unless you have a oil tray under them. I checked one yesterday and both back corners of the SBB was packed with beetles being corralled. I'm making beetle trap bottom boards for all of mine today!  It's war!
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fishman
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« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2013, 12:32:56 PM »

I emailed the place jataloy spoke of. Phil called right away. Was very helpful. I think I may give it a shot?
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2013, 09:01:30 PM »

Lots of good advice given.  Here are some thoughts might add to or parallel what has been said...

Full sun, as someone has mentioned.  And it's always mentioned to have strong hives. Smiley

Hard packed ground, stoney/rocky area...it has to be a large area as beetle larvae travel over 100' from what I've read (never found one to measure, though, and to be honest I haven't looked  Wink ). 

Dry arid area is good.

Regarding the points above...  I certainly can't get into the mind of a beetle  laugh  , but I wonder if the adult beetles consider by instinct (or whatever) the surrounding environment when infesting a hive.   I tend to think that an inhospitable sunny location with dry, hard ground beneath it is less attractive to them than a hive sitting in mostly shade with some nice moist ground close by for the larvae to pupate in.  Having said that, I have my hives in full sun but sitting in a hayfield and I do have *some* shb, but so far no great infestation.

Other things on my mind are...

Limit access for the beetles.  Use migratory covers.  If you use telescoping covers and are not using top entrances then you could screen over the escape/feed holes in the inner cover with something smaller than #8 screen, maybe a coarse window screening...this would get propolised fairly quickly but stay opened for a while.   Rather than a full open front entrance maybe choke it down to halfway open...even one-third open.

Bottom board.  If you use standard screened bottom boards and don't use oil trays you have an opening the size of your hive boxes for the beetles to enter (also wax moth).  With oil trays you have a deadly trap set for them...even if they come in through a gap around the tray there is a good chance they'll fall in the oil.  If you're not using oil trays then consider using a smaller mesh screening as mentioned for the inner cover.  Or, use solid bottom boards.  It seems to me that oil tray traps will work better with bottom entrances than with top entrances...when the beetles enter the bottom entrance they're very close to the oil tray and just need a friendly push from a bee. Wink

Use oil traps inside the hive...that is PLURAL, meaning more than one. Wink  I put one up in the top box and always try to have one or two down in the brood area.  I personally like the Beetle Jail Jrs, especially the new deeper ones...they fit nicely between the frames, hold an ample amount of oil/lure, and easily refillable/re-useable.  I'm learning not to use vegetable oil in them as it goes rancid, can congeal and be *very* messy to clean up.  There are other styles that work about the same way but I haven't used them so can't say much about them.

So, if you have the top cover sealed, the bottom board basically sealed, some between-the- frame death pits scattered inside the hive, and the entrance reduced you're in much better shape than you were. 

Just some rambling that might be food for thought for somebody.
Ed

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