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Author Topic: SHB  (Read 2575 times)
Richard
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SHB
« on: July 07, 2012, 11:49:35 PM »

I discovered SHB in my hive back on June 23. I’m using a screen bottom board which up until I spotted the SHB, I had left completely open to help with ventilation.  Even with leaving this open, the bees would begin bearding around 3pm until sometime in the early hours of the morning.  Once I spotted the SHB, I slid in a board coated with cooking oil.  This greatly increased the number of bees bearding, reducing the number of bees “in” the hive even more.  Since this hive was started from a package in mid-May, I feel like it falls in the category of a “weak” hive.  Needless to say, I was very concerned that the SHB would be allowed to start its destruction if I didn’t do something about the ventilation and bearding soon.   I came across some plans for a ventilation box at honeyrunapiaries.com/plans/all_season_inner.pdf which I was able to build and get installed before the temps here in Georgia got up to 105+.  The vent box made a huge difference and the bearding has pretty much stopped.  I’ve added two “beetle barns” baited with checkmite on top of the frames and also added diatomaceous earth under the hive.  The DE won’t make a difference in the hive but at least if larvae did drop out of the hive, they’d have less chance of survival.  I said all of this to ask….Is there anything else I should be doing to help rid the hive of this menace?

Thanks,
Richard
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BrentX
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« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2012, 12:05:57 PM »


Each hive is positioned to get at least a couple hours of direct sun each day.

Open screen bottoms positioned > 6 inches from the ground.  Not sure how important the height is.  I like the  diatomaceous earth idea, but haven't tried it.

Avoid Frames or other hive parts that provide small crevices for shb to shelter in. 

Beetle blaster traps baited with cider vinegar and canola oil.  One per hive at all times, more if needed.  These work.

Avoid giving open space to a weak hive.  Add one super at a time, and mix drawn frames in with new undrawn frames.  Strong hives have much less shb problems than weak hives. 

Kill em when you see them.  Look on the inner cover when first opening the hive.  From my observation the shb mingle there for the opportunity to enter the hive.  I squish them with a finger or hive tool.  A hemostat is good for chasing them down on


Results so far are good.  I am seeing maybe one shb on an inner cover these days, and none in the hive.  In the fall as the bees slow down extra vigilance may be required.
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AllenF
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2012, 12:13:30 PM »

Look at putting an oil tray under your screen.   That will kill any beetles that fall down and any larvae also.   And every so often when you get bored, go out there and put your thumb to work smashing a few.   And really don't sweat it.   All hives have beetles here now.   .   
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David McLeod
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2012, 12:14:08 PM »

We are definitely "in season" for SHB down here. They really seem to hit hard as we go into the height of summer and the dearth begins in ernest. Not sure if it's the heat or lack of activity within the hive or possibly the SHB have a build up cycle in the spring but whatever the case this is the time of year we here in GA can expect to see a huge increase in SHB problems.
I am grudgingly coming to an acceptance of the fact that SHB are here to stay and are now as much a part of beekeeping as wax moth, but far far worse. I can not recall the last cutout or swarm that did not have SHB on board. All I can do now is to do my best to keep the bees strong and in as small a space as they can defend.
 
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Georgia Wildlife Services,Inc
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David McLeod
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2012, 12:24:59 PM »

Look at putting an oil tray under your screen.   That will kill any beetles that fall down and any larvae also.   And every so often when you get bored, go out there and put your thumb to work smashing a few.   And really don't sweat it.   All hives have beetles here now.   .   

Sad, but so true. I recommend the oil trays as well as I have a few under some of mine. They are not the only answer though it has to be a system of many things to keep the beetles in check. Since we may never have the one magic bullet that does it all we have to add up the percentages.
Full sun 20%
Defensible space 20%
Oil trays 5%
Healthy strong colonies 20%
Traps 5%
Chemicals 10%
Sanitation 5%

That's my best guess of effectiveness and since I use no chemical control if I can help it I'm around 70%-75% which may be the best any of us can hope for with this little black devil.
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Georgia Wildlife Services,Inc
Georgia's Full Service Wildlife Solution
Atlanta (678) 572-8269 Macon (478) 227-4497
www.atlantawildliferemoval.net
georgiawildlifeservices@gmail.com
asprince
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« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2012, 12:39:09 PM »

Bearding is not such a bad thing when it's hot. I start seeing SHB's in force starting in June.


Steve
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David McLeod
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« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2012, 12:49:53 PM »

Steve, I have come to pretty much expect to see their numbers going up as the flow ends which makes me wonder what corelation is there. Do you know of anyone who has looked into that? One would think that the bees would be less effective at controlling them while busy with a flow but the numbers skyrocket when the bees are idle, go figure.
I haven't looked to far into the beetles life cycle other than to know they leave the hive to pupate in the ground. Do they have an emergence cycle like cicadas which leads to the increase?
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Georgia Wildlife Services,Inc
Georgia's Full Service Wildlife Solution
Atlanta (678) 572-8269 Macon (478) 227-4497
www.atlantawildliferemoval.net
georgiawildlifeservices@gmail.com
Richard
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« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2012, 01:26:40 PM »

Thank you for all the replies.  I am looking at changing out my screen bottom board ...maybe go with something more like those on  greenbeehives.com.  The screen bottom board I’m currently using has a slot for sliding in the screen and then another slot below that to slide in an oiled down board.  I spotted a SHB today hiding out in the grove.  Another problem I see is the frames I’m using.  They have a slot down the center of the frame and along both sides for sliding in the foundation.  It’s easy to see where the bees have them cornered in these slots as they’re frantically trying to get to them.  At least when they run in there, they’re easy to smash with the hive tool.  Avoiding frames and other hive parts that provide small crevices for the SHB to hide in should definitely be in the top 10 things to avoid.  My only concern with the bearding was that with the bees on the outside, the beetles on the inside wouldn’t have as much opposition.  Just being a paranoid newbee I guess.

Thanks again!
Richard
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AllenF
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« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2012, 04:09:39 PM »

I believe that beetles can just walk into a hive no matter how tight it is.   Right through the front door.   I would leave the screen on.   
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beek1951
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« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2012, 07:33:29 PM »

 Keep stron golonies, no less than 80% filled and they will take care of it.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2012, 03:47:16 PM by beek1951 » Logged
RHBee
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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2012, 04:05:42 AM »

Hey Rich,
+1 on the green bee design. I bought 6 GB bottom traps for my 8 frame equipment. They removed and killed more SHB than any nother trap I tried. I live 30 miles from Charleston SC, SHB ground zero. I don't know everything about SHB but there is a wealth of information about the subject on the internet.
I use latex caulk or wood glue to seal up places where the beetles can go but the bees can't. I use the Green Bee design bottom traps with cooking oil, no soapy water.
I have made 2 queenless splits. Both have become infested to the point of honey leakage. I had the GB trap under the 8 frame split but had used soapy water as the killing agent. The Nuc had a screened bottom board. Even after the 8 frame traps pan water had evaporated the larvae were caught live in it. I built the Nuc a GB type trap. Filled both with oil this time. Caught a bunch of bugs. I have and will continue to monitor the status of both splits. The honey leakage looks to have stopped.
The trick to these traps is that they are constructed with #6 mesh screens. This stuff costs $300 a roll for aluminum and $500 a roll for galvanized steel. Roll is 3'X100'. #8 mesh is common/cheaper and while it likely will trap the larvae and smaller adults it will not catch large adults. If I have an obsession now it is the SHB and I have just a touch of OCD.
Lifecycle: Adults, eggs in cracks and crevices where bees cant go, larvae in honey and brood if the bees are over wealmed by numbers, pupate in the ground, emerge a adults.
Break the chain win the battle. Keep equipment in good shape, seal up nooks and crannies where they hide and lay eggs, loose the screened bottom board (it only makes it easy for them to reach earth), Trap adults and larvae (whatever trap you think is the most effective), make life hard for them. Don't give up your bees don't.
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Later,
Ray
sawdstmakr
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2012, 11:03:38 AM »

Rich,

Another thing you can do is add a screen top board. Take a 3/4" x 2' board and cut and glue it together to be the size of your box or use an old super and cut it into 2" deep sections. Using a table saw, cut a 1/8" slot 3/4" from the top about 10" long in the middle of each side. This is for ventilation and to allow the beetles to get in above the screen. Staple a piece of screen on the bottom of this frame. Then cut 3/4" x 3/4 piece of wood cut to the size of frame and nail it over the top of the screen. Be sure it seal it to keep bugs out below the screen. When the SHB are coming in, I lift the lid every day and kill the beetles that are above the screen. This year there was about a week when every hive had over 100 SHB above each screen every day.
Using SBB, Screen Top Boards and getting as much sun as possible on the hives has seriously reduced my beetle population. My beetle numbers are way down this year.

Screen bottom boards with an oil tray do kill thousands of beetles, I have posted pictures here with a tray the size of the hive almost solid black with hive beetles collected over 30 days.
Jim
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dprater
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« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2012, 04:45:19 AM »

Jim-
I like your idea of a top screen board. Is this something you thought of or something you've seen other beeks doing? Eather way I put one on one of my hives yesterday. Thanks for shearing your idea.

Last night I was out sitting with my bees and I saw two SHB flying around one of my hives. I killed one but I guess the other one got in (the gall of those little buggers shocked. I have not had SHB bad so far but I'm going in to look around my hive today. Have screen bottom boards and beetle jails that I just put in last week.

Danny
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2012, 11:03:29 PM »

Jim-
I like your idea of a top screen board. Is this something you thought of or something you've seen other beeks doing? Eather way I put one on one of my hives yesterday. Thanks for shearing your idea.

Last night I was out sitting with my bees and I saw two SHB flying around one of my hives. I killed one but I guess the other one got in (the gall of those little buggers shocked. I have not had SHB bad so far but I'm going in to look around my hive today. Have screen bottom boards and beetle jails that I just put in last week.

Danny

Thanks Danny,
My father-in-law uses them during the summer, in PA. He showed me them during my first year of beekeeping. I have been using them ever since. I now have them on all of my hives. They make it easy to check on the hives without disturbing them and see if they need a new super or not.
Jim
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