Ignorant Questions on SHB
We just got the SHB last year. I used some Hood traps with marginal success although one hive had 30 beetles in the trap. This year we have more beetles, or at least I'm noticing more of them in my hives, in my swarm traps and in my mating nucs.
Interestingly, we have adult beetles, but have not had much problem with larvae burrowing up in comb.
And being fairly new to this subject due to an intentional ignorance because I didn't have a problem with SHB, I now have a couple of questions.
First, in another older thread, the advice was to check all your old equipment, dead outs, stored comb, etc. My initial thought was there wasn't anything in these combs/equipment for the SHB to feast on. Have any of you found SHB in dry, stored equipment? I have only found SHB in living hives with stores of honey.
Second, this Guardstar treatment has me confused. You pour it on the ground to kill the pupating larvae. But if you have larvae escaping the hive to pupate, hasn't the damage already been done inside the hive by the larvae? Is not Guardstar a little too late, and at best, would only prevent more adults from emerging to lay more eggs? What can you do if you have larvae in the hive tearing up your comb and making a stinking mess of the honey stores?
Third, I remember reading something, somewhere questioning if adult beetles can fit through an 8-mesh hardware cloth that most of use for screen bottom boards. Can anyone remember where this topic was clarified?
Thanks for your patience and insights,
SHB and West traps - a no pesticide solution
I've used these for several years now and found them to be a super effective way of capturing larvae and adult beetles if you don't want to use pesticides in or around your hives. I've used oil and DE effectively. I think the oil is a bit more effective as these nasty critters are killed quickly by the oil - the DE takes a bit longer but is nowhere near as nasty to deal with in periodic clean up.
The downside to the West traps is that you can't have screened bottom boards if you're using these gizmos.
It's true that part of the trick is to keep your hives in the sun and not to let failing or puny hives hang on - blend 'em, do whatever you need to keep your hives full and active.
Thanks for DE and sunshine tips
Thank you all for the tips, especially about using diatomaceous earth instead of oil in my new West traps. I wil have to think hard about how to move the hives into the sun.
I just found shb for the first time in one hive. Just about 4 adults running around under the floats in a hive top feeer. This is a big, strong hive so I am mystified, but will spend time here to learn more.
Once again, thanks to all who volunteered info here.