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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Newton, Kansas
    Posts
    21

    Post

    I am thrilled to say we did our first ever extraction today. Not a lot of honey but we are still thrilled. My twelve-year-old daughter and I started with a three-pound package in March and were just hoping the bees would put up enough honey to keep them through this coming winter. They managed to fill two hive boxes and a little more then half of a honey super. Not too impressive compared to some of the “big boys” on this board, but we are thrilled.

    We do have one concern. There are hive beetles in our honey supers. I am guessing that they were beetles, I am not really sure. There were not a lot of them. Is there a treatment for hive beetles? Will they do a lot of harm?

    I guess I will read the forum on pests but I thought I would share our little success with you all.
    [img]smile.gif[/img]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Grifton, NC
    Posts
    1,302

    Post

    The Small Hive Beetle is dark brownish-black, mostly black, about 1/8-3/16" long, with distinctive little knobs on the end of its antennae. Do a google image search and you'll see all the SHB you need to see.

    The only approved treatment so far is Chek-Mite+, which requires a pesticide applicator's license to use...a highly toxic chemical(coumaphos). Alternative methods for control are the West and Hood beetle traps(Brushy MT has them). Thes involve mineral oil to suffocate the beetles that wander into the trap.

    Last year I had no SHB. This year, my hives, and the hives of nearly every beekeper I know, are wrapped up in them. They will ruin your honey and will infest empty honey supers in storage. A strong hive pester the beetles, corral them, and actually feed them. Once a hive gets weak from varroa, trachael mites, viral disease or whatever, the SHB and wax moths will demoralize the remaining bees, causing them to abscond, get robbed out or just die off.

    IMO the SHB is the most troublesome pest. Jerry Hayes has pictures of these things actually plowing passages through the sticky glue on tanglefoot traps that manage to trap roaches, mice and snakes. Jerry reports that the SHB can detect wind-borne bee alarm scent of only a few parts per billion from 10 miles away. That tends to attract them to hives that are being inspected and thebees are being stressed. They are a pollen beetle that has learned to freeload from beehives.

    A hive tool is the most effective, but not very efficient, control I've found. I use mine to cut or mash as many hive beetles as I can before they fly off. The SHB larvae are slightly more pale yellow in color than the Wax Moth larvae, don't grow as big and fat and gray-looking. They have 3 pairs of distinct pro-legs and rows of spines on their dorsal surface. They slime the honey and make a real yucky mess.

    Jerry Hayes and his cohorts in FL are working on this problem with a possible external lure and trap, but I have heard nothing about their progress lately.
    Banjos and bees... how sweet it is!

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