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Author Topic: Bee tacking a hive beetle  (Read 2188 times)
Wonga
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« on: January 16, 2013, 05:52:59 AM »

 This may not be astounding news to you - but I was amazed and had never heard of or seen this before.

Last weekend was stinking hot, and in the late afternoon I was moving the water sprinkler down the back of my block, and walked past the back of our hives to put the sprinkler adjacent to them, for coolness and close access to water in the heat, and also to keep the Borage alive. I noticed a worker bee, all scrunched up in a ball, and flying clumsily, it crash landed onto the hive base, and I saw that it released a small hive beetle and lifted off. She had just carried the live hive beetle out of the hive, I was wrapt. I mean, I know that this was possible, I've seen a bee struggling out with another dead bee, but it was great to see it in action, and with a live beetle too.

I have beetle under control, sort of, good to see the bees doing their bit too.
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bailey
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« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2013, 07:49:41 AM »

We have a very nasty bug here in Louisiana called a love bug.  They love honey and when they are in season they are everywhere.  ( they aren't hive pests but will go in if you open the top)
 It's not uncommon to see them covering the outside of a hive here , I believe the smell of honey draws them.
 
When they land inside of hive when you pull the top the first bee that finds them usually grabs them as you described and off they go to dispose of the love bug away from the hive.
Bailey.
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most often i find my greatest source of stress to be OPS  ( other peoples stupidity )

It is better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought of as a fool than to open ones mouth and in so doing remove all doubt.
Lone
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« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2013, 08:53:13 AM »

Interesting, Wonga.  I've never seen that.  It's a shame the beetle can fly straight back in again.

Lone  Cry
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dermot
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« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2013, 09:49:09 AM »

Must have been fun discovering new behaviour!  

   An article that sort of relates can be found @ http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=5fd2b1aa990e63193af2a573d&id=88c2ca5969&e=221be60fc3

 

It seems that researchers have recently found that bees actually bite and have an anesthetic affect on insects that can paralyze for a few seconds. I doubt they'd be able to pierce the beetles defenses though .

Do you use the chux wipes? The fibers catch the spurs on the beetles legs and immobilize them letting them starve to death- taking advantage of the bees herding/harassing behavior.

Talking about the beetles flying straight back in. I read a while back about a high speed camera being used in Louisiana (high humidity- high beetle activity area) that showed over 70 beetles flying into the hive during a manipulation, while the beekeeper saw none.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 10:44:22 AM by Robo » Logged
Lone
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« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2013, 08:49:19 PM »

I guess it's helpful to know that the guards might be able to block and carry them off before they enter properly.

Good article thanks Dermot.  Where do you find these things?  Wink

We tried chuxes with no success.  They weren't the recommended blue grade ones though.  But the bees chewed them so much they all but disappeared in a week, and Nico the neighbour was afraid scraps would be carried down through the brood box and catch bees and maybe the queen, because he saw a few bees stuck to the pieces he had left.  Have you or anyone tried this successfully?  We should have used the recommended kind of chux but for now we have other traps that keep them down.

Lone
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ozebee
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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2013, 12:16:23 AM »

Very interesting article - thank you for pointing to it!!
I have certainly seen my bees fight the beetles and drive them out.
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Wonga
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The budget should be balanced, the Treasury refill


« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2013, 01:25:28 AM »

Well,
I've got the "Beltraa" traps in the hives, they hang beside an end frame, look like linoleum on the inside, got a few beetle size holes in em, on the box side they are fluffy (you scratch em up with a wire brush before you slot em in), so they do same thing as the chux, without the  bee risk. The idea is the bees chase them in.

The Aptithor traps with the attractant and the enclosed Pesticide are supposed to be good, but I hear the bees keep on sealing them up with propolis in days. The small hive beetle infestation arrived from USA in 2000, and started only about 20 km away, as the beetle flies, so I guess we just have to live with them permanently now.

 Dermot, you have depressed me with the story about them all flying in, I try to keep openings to a minimum, but have to harvest again soon, having such a good summer . . . .

Cheers,

And yes, Lone, it's a pity it released the beetle, I imagine the poor bee putting the same beetle out over and over again. I suppose you haven't got beetle up there yet?

Wonga the beetle hater
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Wonga
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The budget should be balanced, the Treasury refill


« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2013, 05:05:29 AM »

Hey Dermot,
Got that link of yours to work about bee bite anaesthetic, but it must,t work on hive beetles, because the one I saw the worker bee drop ran off straight away and hid, maybe their shell outer skin is too tough.

Wonga
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Lone
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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2013, 08:40:00 AM »

Wonga, I've heard about those traps that hang beside the frame but haven't been able to find any details about them except they might be pricey.  Could you share some information please.

The traps I use do get sealed with propolis at times, but I check them every now and again.  I don't use apithor because I haven't needed to.

I got a slimed hive maybe 6 months after I started with bees and sent the first SHB I saw to the DPI 6 months later in 2009 I think, the first they'd received in the area.   We don't get them as badly as more humid places near the coast, and there is not such a concentration of hives here as in some places to share them around.  You must have had an onslaught of them where you are. Maybe we can release a few cane toads in the Blue Mountains to eat the beetle  cheesy

Lone



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Wonga
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The budget should be balanced, the Treasury refill


« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2013, 07:08:48 PM »

I think you can keep your cane toads thanks Lone. I would rather have beetle than toad.

Wonga
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Wonga
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The budget should be balanced, the Treasury refill


« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2013, 08:30:01 PM »

Lone,

The traps I am talking about are actually called T. K.'s Beetle Frame, my local supplier sells them for $7.70 each. Apparently they come from Qld anyway - try Burnett Beekeeping supplies, at Kingaroy, phone 07 41623606.
 They are a good supplementary beetle control, dunno if they are enough on their own, especially if you find an infestation. I tried the underfloor traps, they were good, but my bees kept plugging up the holes.


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100 TD
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« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2013, 08:30:44 AM »

Quote from: dermot
........... I read a while back about a high speed camera being used in Louisiana (high humidity- high beetle activity area) that showed over 70 beetles flying into the hive during a manipulation, while the beekeeper saw none.
I've seen the video on line but can't find it now, if you find it please let me know.
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ozbee
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« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2013, 06:38:41 AM »

 one chux has caught more beetles in a week than the 400 apithor  traps i put in. stick them in 4 layers thick they slaughter the beetle . something nice watching all the ones still alive getting nowhere grin

 afro maybee i am getting evil. i lost 9000 frames in the hot room to those blighters evil
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Grahamb
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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2013, 07:22:24 AM »

one chux has caught more beetles in a week than the 400 apithor  traps i put in. stick them in 4 layers thick they slaughter the beetle . something nice watching all the ones still alive getting nowhere grin

 afro maybee i am getting evil. i lost 9000 frames in the hot room to those blighters evil

I have read on another forum they catch bees as well. Are you seeing that at all?

Cheers

Graham
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kanga
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« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2013, 09:05:43 AM »

I have not actually seen T.K.'s Beetle Frame but Quality Beekeeping Supplies has a beetle mat trap which you place between the frame and the inner wall of the hive and they cost $5. Due to my limited number of posts I am unable to add a link but if you go into Quality Beekeeping Supplies web page they have a photo of this mat.

I have used these and have caught numerous SHB and the occasional bee which has managed to get between the wall & the trap.

Kevin
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ozbee
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« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2013, 06:16:57 PM »




people further south claim good success with apithor  .not so great in dry tropics  though

beetles are trapped on the bottom as well also sneaky ones try to hide between the layers . You may lose a hundred bees in a month, nothing compared to a slime out.
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Grahamb
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« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2013, 04:02:02 AM »

Hi ozbee,

Great photo, thanks for posting. Looks like the crux works really well.

I was talking to an 'old-timer' on Saturday who retired well before sbh arrived. He said sbh has really slammed bee populations in Aus in his opinion, and I guess we can only have thevgreatestvdread if/when Varro gets here.

As only a newby beek I have to say that it worries me.

Again, yah for the chux pic and info.

Cheers

Graham
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Gazza
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« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2013, 10:55:36 PM »

Hi and as my second official post Id like to say my girls have also been spotted harassing the dreaded beetles as well, and yes if the bees can herd them into a hole or such they will do so definitely.
I live really close to the coast and we have a lot of humid weather in the late summer/autumn (now) and the beetles are rife.
A member of our ABA group has developed and patented a really useful beetle trap that sits actually under the baseboard they are called "Beetletra" (yes it is spelled correctly Tongue)
so , you cut 2mm slots in the baseboard and mount the traps underneath with screws or rivets provided and 2 rails hold the tray flush to the bottom of the board.
The trays are filled with diatomeceous earth, aglime, vege oil,or water and detergent.( I like lime as it doesnt stink so much when it is full of beetles)
They really do work and the huge advantage,, you dont need to open the hive to check/empty/refill the traps as they are pulled out from the side of the baseboard.
The first day I installed them, I put the new baseboards on with the traps attached, returned to get some aglime to put into the traps, and stopped for a cup of tea, came back maybe 15 minutes later and opened the trays to find approx 15 beetles in each trap !!
as a bonus the bees use the traps as an easy garbage disposal, I have found all sorts of detritus in them.
I will post some photos later today of the traps and will include the link oops I am too new to be allowed .., they are about 15 dollars and take maybe 10 minutes to install (versions for metal and wooden/masonite/weathertex bases)
so google "beetletra" and you will find them
Cheers
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"Veiled in this fragile filigree of wax is the essence of sunshine, golden and limpid, tasting of grassy meadows, mountain wildflowers, lavishly blooming orange trees, or scrubby desert weeds. Honey, even more than wine, is a reflection of place. If the process of grape to glass is alchemy, then the trail from blossom to bottle is one of reflection. The nectar collected by the bee is the spirit and sap of the plant, its sweetest juice. Honey is the flower transmuted, its scent and beauty transformed into aroma and taste."
~ Stephanie Rosenbaum
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