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Author Topic: Small hive beetles died with my bees  (Read 744 times)
tillie
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« on: March 02, 2007, 02:42:08 PM »

I understand from Michael Bush's postings that bees can starve to death because the cluster has made the wrong decision and the honey stores in the hive may be there but the bees have clustered too far away in the hive and can't get to the stores. 

Apparently the small hive beetle moves with the cluster - maybe to keep warm.  My dead hive had (just below the super frames where the bees are all desperately dead with their heads deep in empty cells) four full frames of honey in the medium box.  However, the small hive beetles didn't go there either.  The honey cells are capped and the frames intact.

However, in a number of the cells in which the bees are dead I found three and four SHBs all head down in the cells and dead as well.  Several cells with head-down bees also contained a SHB as well.  I counted at least 12 dead SHB on one side of the cluster - didn't check the other side.

I understood that the small hive beetle didn't live through the winter, but these obviously were trying to and I am surprised that they died with the bees instead of going where the honey was.  With their exoskeleton looking so tough, I would think they would have some protection against the cold.

Linda T in  Atlanta huh huh huh
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2007, 02:53:36 PM »

>I understood that the small hive beetle didn't live through the winter

In a hive?  Yes they do.  On their own?  No they don't.

> but these obviously were trying to and I am surprised that they died with the bees instead of going where the honey was.

They probably died from cold, more than starvation.

>  With their exoskeleton looking so tough, I would think they would have some protection against the cold.

Exoskeletons are no protection from cold.  The muscles of insects don't work below about 50 F or so.
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Michael Bush
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TwT
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2007, 08:14:36 PM »

yeah tillie, SHB's do winter in the cluster...
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