Please overlook my crappy workmanship...a fingernail clipper knife, a stapler, and scissors were the tools. :o
I've been thinking of modifying Intheswamp's Simple Oil Tray (ISOT) screened bottom boards with the hope of them causing more shb to fall into the oil tray below. I've found that beetles are rather adept at walking across #8 mesh while some are simply too large to go through the mesh opening. My thoughts have been to build something akin to a shb obstacle course at the entrance. I've gotta admit that Beetle Jail was an inspiration for this...they have some *really* nice traps.
Anyhow, I removed part of the #8 mesh screening and replaced it with the flashing. Armed with my high tech tools I cut some slits in a piece of flashing and bent the metal apart there to create gaps. I bent the metal so that when a beetle passes through the main entrance of the hive that it will run into a staggered series of slits. As the beetle enters through the entrance the leading edge of the slits bends downward toward the oil tray, the back edge of the slits are bent upwards. Naturally this will be a dark area that hopefully will be attractive to the beetle. If the beetle enters the slit there is only a thin edge to the metal which the beetle should have trouble holding on to. The size of the opening was eyeballed....hopefully it's about right...it's about 1/8" but long.
This will only work for beetles entering "on the floor". It will not work for the ones crawling down the front of the hive and entering through the top of the entrance. I'm hoping that the bees will knock the beetles down to the floor either inside or outside of the hive making them have to walk inside. I'm curious as to how well a beetle can circumvent the thin edge of the flashing, though. If the beetles have a problem (they lose their grip and fall off) with the thin edge it may be that I can add a thin strip of flashing along the bottom edge of the bottom brood box at the entrance...if a beetle crawls down the outside of the hive when it gets to that edge it may fall off and have to travel the obstacle course.
Here's some pictures of the bottom board with the flashing installed to give you an idea of what I'm doing. I've still got to add the shims under the rails for room for the oil tray. Who knows, it might work!...if it does the next version will look nicer! :laugh: