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Thread: earwigs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Spartanburg, SC
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    125

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    I see alot of earwig bugs in on the top and on the bottom board of my hives. The bees don't really pay attention to them. Are the something to be concerned about?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Volga, SD
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    You don't need to be concerned about the earwigs doing any damage to the bees or the hive. Earwigs feed on plant tissues (so I suppose they might eat a little pollen if they found it), and often seek refuge in cracks, under objects, in objects, etc. The earwigs are most likely just hiding in the hives.

    Earwigs can damage plants, especially if populations of earwigs get exceptionally high. If you're trying to raise lettuce, for example, large numbers of earwigs might do a fair amount of damage to your lettuce plants; then you might need to be concerned about the earwigs.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    GA, USA
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    183

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    They can also pinch if you don't see them and get too close(particularly the males with the large pincers). Most eat decaying vegetable matter, however, a few species a predaceous(but not toward the bees). They're nocturnal and hide in cracks and crevices in daylight hours.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
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    Janice Lane . . .

    Check the earwig info in this book:

    BEEKEEPING: A PRACTICAL GUIDE, Richard E. Bonney, 1993.

    See page 158.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Spartanburg, SC
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    125

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    Ok,
    Thanks for the info!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Milford, MI
    Posts
    328

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    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news Janice, but I strongly disagree with those that say that Earwigs are nothing to be concerned over.

    I have posted previously about my fight with Earwigs in my hives, search and you will find...

    I have witnessed Earwigs burrowing through brood comb, and have found many a live bee, freshly emerging from it's cell with an Earwig lodged in it's abdomen. They will predominantly prey upon weak nucs, and scavenge freshly laid eggs outside of the main cluster area.

    I have fewer problems with Earwigs in those colonies kept in full sun.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Volga, SD
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    Hmmm. . . interesting stuff here. I've had to do some extra research on earwigs (Dermaptera), since I hadn't bothered much with them before. Turns out, both might be correct. Earwigs might not cause any problems for bees. Earwigs might cause problems for bees. It all seems to depend on the species of earwig.

    The species that seems to be most common in most of the U.S. is the European earwig, Forficula auricularia. These earwigs are vegetarian, and, therefore, are unlikely to damage bees.

    Another fairly common species in the U.S. is the ringlegged earwig, Euboriellia annulipes. These earwigs are omnivorous, and will eat almost any arthropod they can catch as well as eating plant materials. Obviously, these earwigs can kill bees in hives.

    In the Great Plains, I've only encountered the ringlegged earwig once, and I never bothered to learn much about them. The European earwigs are fairly common, but I've never seen any in my bee hives. I just assumed (which I shouldn't have) that the earwigs seen in bee hives were the European earwigs.

    Phoenix or Janice Lane, if you'd like to send me some specimens of the earwigs you find in your hives, I'd be interested in seeing them and identifying them for you. Identifications might give you a better indication whether or not the earwigs in your hives are likely to cause problems (although, Phoenix, in your case, the identification would simply be to put a name with a "face," so to speak, since you've already determined the earwigs are causing problems). PM me if you'd be interested in sending some samples to me for verification.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Milford, MI
    Posts
    328

    Post

    Sure Kieck, I'll send you some samples.

    You have a PM.

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