Is the Australian-made "Bluebees Brood Box Bottom Board" the silver bullet to rid our hives of small hive beetle (SHB) ?
An unattributed Article in the October 2013 edition of The Australasian Beekeeper (ABK) makes the claim that when the Bluebees bottom board is used "SHB can no longer successfully breed in this dry and clean environment. The SHB will relocate to a more suitable breeding environment, leaving the beehive with optimal ventilation and beetle free".
A letter to the Editor in the January 2014 of the ABK written by the seller of the Bluebees board includes the statement that "the Bluebees Boards work very well to control and keep the hive free of another recent interloping pest called the small hive beetle (SHB)".
Does it work? Is it proven? Why is SHB remaining a problem when there is apparently a simple cure? Can I install Bluebees boards and have my SHB abandon my hives and "relocate" to someone else's hives?
Wow, was that the salesman that said that?
I use home made SBB's with oil trays on all of my hives. I used to keep oil in the trays until last year. My neighboring beekeeper also uses them and we killed SHB's by the thousands in every hive for 3 years. Last year we both went without oil because we were not getting that many beetles and it is easier to clean and check on what is going on in the hives. I think we reduced the number of beetles in the area significantly. Remember, SHB's can smell your hives from miles away. Your hives are their first choice for laying their eggs. We were still getting a few in the hives per week but the bees can handle them and when they were in the trays during inspections, we killed them. They do work because they not only kill the SHB' that fall in the oil but their larvae also ends up being killed in it also. This stops the breeding cycle.