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Thread: Question...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Wetumpka, Alabama USA
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    Smile

    Question.....
    I know it is possible to get mites when ordering package bees. Is it possible to get some small hive beetles also.
    What is the best way to make sure you eliminate these pests when installing these bees?
    It would be nice to start off clean and possibly not use chemicals except in emergencies.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    >I know it is possible to get mites when ordering package bees.

    Probably more than possible.

    >Is it possible to get some small hive beetles also.

    Probably more than possible.

    >What is the best way to make sure you eliminate these pests when installing these bees?

    Well, for the Varroa, you could do a powdered sugar shake easily enough before installing them. I have no idea how to deal with SHB. I've never dealt with them.

    >It would be nice to start off clean

    It would be nice. But may not be practical.

    > and possibly not use chemicals except in emergencies.

    IMO, always.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    I haven't dealt with SHB, either. I imagine you could get them with package bees. I understand SHB eat honey and sometimes gnaw through comb to get to more honey. Assuming that's accurate, I suppose starting packages on undrawn foundation would reduce the number of SHB. I don't know if they could or would stick around long enough to wait for the bees to start producing.

  4. #4
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    From what I've read, I think they will hang around.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
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    I am aware of a beekeeper here in the Northwest that received a queen battery with hive beetle (s) present. They were VERY ANGRY. :mad:
    Any time bees are shook from frames in areas inhabited by SHB, there is the chance of transfer.
    We have to be extra careful and keep our eyes wide open for this.
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  6. #6
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    Erin, NY /Florence SC
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    Actually the adult beetles do little damage. It is the Larvae that tunnel through combs and do the damage before migrating into soil in the locale of the host hives. The time it takes bees to draw comb as opposed to the egg and larvae cycle would would mean foundation has little impact on the beetles leaving the hive. In most cases beetles do much better in a weaker hive such as a package that will depopulate over 21 days and take another 21 to get up to peak population. The pests don't do well in other than light sandy soil or in wet/temperate area as far as we can see due to the cycle in the soil required to pupate.

    I found it is relatively futile to hope you won't get pests by starting clean. Eventually, more likely sooner than later, you will face all the problems of the industry. That does not mean you can't use natural if you stay small. There are many natural ways to control viturally every pest and disease if you stay on top of your hives, know what's in there and have a good regimine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
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    Drugstore,
    I don't know where in AL you are, but you will end up dealing with them. Let any one of your hives become weak and you'll see what I mean. And the SHB's don't have to come with the package; they are out there, man.

    Control is all we have that I know of:
    I have a plastic sheet under the hives to keep the larvae from being able to reach soil to pupate. I also have SHB traps from Kelley's on the bottom board. Those did wonders in at least collecting the SHBs. I can't attest that the traps did the killing, but I've seen bees struggling with beetles with little effect. I just pulled the oil out of my traps, look for my thread if you're interested.

    Keep the hives strong and don't leave the combs unattended.
    Waya
    WayaCoyote

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Wetumpka, Alabama USA
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    Thanks for all the answers. I live in central Alabama and from all I have heard, this is SHB territory. Most beekeepers have quit using apistan. Checkmite stapled to a piece of waxed cardboard on the bottom board is all that is keeping some of them alive. We have sandy soil and some years we have rainey temperate weather.
    It does not sound good.
    I believe that the shb could be controlled with a bacteria similar to the milky spore powder that is used for Japanese beetles.It kills the grubs in the dirt and the spore actually multiplies and becomes more effective over time. I guess I should ask you all for the natural treatments for a small beekeeper.What do you call small, 10,25,50, etc?
    I quess Michael B. is right about Medium supers for brood and honey storage.If you are going to look at these bees very often, you had better have a strong back or some light weight boxes. I have always used deeps and I can see problems already.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Alpharetta, GA, USA
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    Try to start with 5 frame Nucs, if at all possible. That way you will get a strong colony in much less time than starting with pkg bees (even if you put the pkg bees on drawn comb).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Macon, GA USA
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    SHB will definitely come in packages. Starting packages in 5 frames nucs is definitely good advice. The bees have less volume to patrol.

    I also think oil covered SBBs are a definite help. A large percentage of the larva that the bees can't get rid of will fall through the screen and get stuck in the oil. Any relief will help until the bees get established and can effectively patrol the hive.

    There is also a new trap called the "Hood" trap developed at Clemson that is reported to be very effective at trapping adult beetles -- see page 13 of the Dec 2005 Bee Culture. It's baited with mineral oil and apple cider vinegar and is placed in one or both of the outside frames which is where most of the adult beetles hang out.

    [size="1"][ December 23, 2005, 08:58 PM: Message edited by: GaSteve ][/size]

  11. #11
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    {It kills the grubs in the dirt and the spore actually multiplies and becomes more effective over time. I guess I should ask you all for the natural treatments for a small beekeeper}

    There is, the soil drench Guard Star 40. It is also highly toxic to bee so application must be done very carefully.

    [Try to start with 5 frame Nucs}

    Which is IMO the best way to start new colonies in the current atmosphere whether you buy them or do splits. 4 and 5 frame nucs with good stock will be hives in a couple of weeks, are more pest and disease resistance due to an ongoing strong population and in normal years produce a good crop the 1st year.

  12. #12
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    IMHO, starting packages in the early spring is ok in 10 frames hives, the problem is when people make splits, nuc's and start packages in june, july and august, seems like when it get hot enough they (shb) are at there worst. SHB's will kill a split or nuc in no time if it is done those times of the year and sometimes later in the year. I have seem people make nuc's in those time of year and a week later, bee's gone and shb's everywhere. if you are starting a package in a 10 frame hive that is foundation, you should never have a problem, shb's like comb, I still think they (shb) don't explode and take over a hive until the temps are high day and night. I haven't seen anyone lost a hive in march or april to shb's around here temp still to cool at nites? just my 2 cents

    [size="1"][ December 24, 2005, 10:48 AM: Message edited by: TwT ][/size]
    Ted

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Wetumpka, Alabama USA
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    Smile

    Thanks for all the great advice. I agree with the 5 frame nucs.I have ordered some nuc boxes and I will try to get one of the local bee suppliers to fill them for me. If not I will have to travel to get some. I might try Jester over in Georgia. They advertise 5 frame nucs with carniolans. Those buggers are expensive, but with luck I could split some in the fall and possibly start some of the splits with Russian Queens on small cell foundation.I would really like to have one yard with Carniolans and one with Russians.I see a good market for nucs. I would like to exploit it with some prices the ordinary beekeeper could afford.Beekeeping makes me think of the tales of the Gold Rush days. The only ones that made money were the suppliers.
    I am off to the grandkids house for Christmas, so I would like to wish you good folks and your families, a very MERRY CHRISTMAS.

  14. #14
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    im going to make some splits this coming year and im going to do it with those hives around april-to the beggining of may because of the shb from what I have seen its the best time of the year not to loose it to shb's. I have a couple hives im going to split and let them raise there own queens as soon as the population build up enough in the spring hopefully around the end of march.

    [size="1"][ December 24, 2005, 11:35 AM: Message edited by: TwT ][/size]
    Ted

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Wetumpka ,Alabama
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    I'm also in central Alabama and I can tell you from april till june (approx.) I had no shb,then in June I noticed a few in one of my stronger hives.I guess I didn't listen very well or too hard headed to know any better but I split two hives in the middle and late june.The first servived the second didn't.
    Pictures here.http://home.elmore.rr.com/kingbeeapiary/feedback.htm

    Either way,clean bees or not you are going to get them.Just try and keep your hives as strong as possible.
    I will be splitting into 4 frame nuks this spring,Also starting packages the same way..

    Good luck.
    If you build it they will comb it.<br />Tim Rolan

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Wetumpka, Alabama USA
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    TWT...
    Guess I did not read your post closely about slits in the fall and I see King Bee is saying the same thing. I am hard headed, but not crazy. You are making your splits in the spring,and keeping your bees strong going into the fall.I am in a hurry to have a lot of bees, but I may have to slow down.I know you folks are giving good advice from experience, and it is pointless to split hives if you are going to lose them to shb.I might have to invest in a lot more nucs than I had planned to or just buy some and make slits next spring.This is kind of in reverse of what used to be common practice, but I see the wisdom in it.

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