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Thread: Hive Beetles

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Thaxton, Mississippi
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    Default Hive Beetles

    I have ran into a new problem for me. I have a hive that was 5 boxes high in the spring. Tried to keep them from swarming but failed. It is now in one large box and two supers. I have noticed a lot of hive beetles in this hive. After taking a good look it seems all the beetles are in the bottom box where there is an abundance of pollen.
    I want to remove the bottom box and try to treat this like a capture, (Start over). The problem is tranferring the bees and not so many beetles... I feel like I am just sending them into my other hives where I have seen no beetles.
    What do you do with a hive that is overrun? These things are tough, I have sprayed them with pure clorax before and they just fly away.

  2. #2
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    Oct 2003
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    Jenison, MI
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    Have you tried a beetle trap? There are several posts on those. I would recommend this. Diatomatious earth in the tray of the screened bottom board if you have that.

    Seems that if you just could get that bottom box or one of the top boxes off (whereever the brood isn't), that would condense the bees into a smaller area and make their job of sequestering and kicking out the beetles easier.

    Rick

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Laurel, MS
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    I have a similar problem with SHB. I too, would like to have a way to remove the majority of the beetles from the hives.

    I have noticed something about the way the beetles behave when I go into the hive for an inspection. When I enter the hive to inspect, I remove the outer cover, turn it upside down and lay it on the ground at the back of the hive. Then I remove the inner cover, turn it upside down and lay in the upturned outer cover. I then do my inspection for the box on the top of the stack. When this is completed, I remove the top box and sit it on the rim of the outer cover, in a slight diagonal manner. Then I continue on with inspecting the boxes and stacking them onto the boxes already inspected. Ok, that’s how I inspect, probably most people do it similar to this.

    Now, this is what I have noticed. When I am stacking the hive back up after inspections, I pickup the last super that was sitting directly on the upturned outer cover's lips and there will be a BUNCH (100 or more) of SHB's with bees on the upturned inner cover. From what I understand about Adult SHB's, they don't like light and will try to get away from it. They move towards the bottom of the inspection stack looking for darkness. We "should" be able to use this behavior to reduce the numbers of beetles in the hive every time we open it up to inspect.

    What I have in mind of trying, is to build a trap that one would sit a single box/body or maybe the whole stack on. If a single box, doing it either before, during, or after inspecting. The trap will have the same footprint as box. It will have a thin sheet of plywood or paneling with 1/8" slots about 1" apart across it. This slotted sheet will be built into the trap about 1/4" down from the top. Under this slotted sheet will be a removable tray that will hold any beetles that enter thru the slots in the slotted sheet. One would let a single box sit on the trap for a few minutes or the whole stack for ever how long to inspect. This would give the beetles time to run from the light and enter the trap. When all boxes have been inspected and removed from the trap take a sheet of 1/2" plywood, cut to just fit inside the lips of the upper surface of trap, and place it on top of the slotted sheet to prevent the beetles from escaping. With the trap closed up, take it to a vacuum and while slowly pulling out the tray vacuum up any beetles that are in it and dispose of them as you see fit.

    I believe beetles will be captured with this trap, but how many and how effective I don't know. I intend to build a trap the next few days and give it a try.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Austin TX USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsmith1957 View Post
    I believe beetles will be captured with this trap, but how many and how effective I don't know. I intend to build a trap the next few days and give it a try.
    Nsmith, thanks for the great observations. That trap sounds like an excellent idea. I hope you report back on how it works.

    It makes me wonder if home-made portable versions of the West SHB traps could be used for inspections too...maybe covering the diatomaceous earth with slotted cardboard for the SHB to crawl into and placing each super on top the trap during routine inspections.
    ~May your hive thrive
    Aisha

  5. #5
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    Nov 2003
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    North Alabama, SW Kentucky
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    Aisha: maybe covering the diatomaceous earth with slotted cardboard for the SHB to crawl into and placing each super on top the trap during routine inspections.

    Aisha,
    I think DE works a bit slower than that so the SHB could end up tracking it into the hive.

    As for DE, We used it last year. Sadly, I wasn't very dillegent in cleaning and replacing it. when I did pull the traps, I found them with the DE so compacted that the SHB were actually using it for breeding grounds out of reach of the bees. I'm certain it worked while fresh. However, I didn't like the complications of using it. Namely:

    1)trying to not breath it in.
    2)trying to keep my hands, equipment and any other item which might come in contact with the bees or inner hive clean of it
    3) once damp, it became less effective
    4) the hassel of replacing it as "topping off" wouldn't be as effective over damp DE
    and 5) trying to not breath it in.

    WayaCoyote
    WayaCoyote

  6. #6
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    Jul 2007
    Location
    Mountain View Arkansas
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    25

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    Use the sandwitch box trap. The guy that came up with that Idea is one of my friends. Yes shb love the dark and tight spaces. When ever you go back out there put the one of the boxes on the lid and when you pick it back up drop it right back down hard and then pick it back up then you really can see the shb. You never will get all the shb gone you just need to keep the trap on there 24 7. And thats all about you can do.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Thaxton, Mississippi
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    454

    Default Beetle Count

    Put some sticky boards under about ten hives yesterday, sprayed with pam. Checked them this morning and did not see many mites.. But saw lots of beetles, some boards had as many as ten while some had none. These beetles appeared to be dead.
    Did they die and fall onto the sticky boards or did they get stuck and then die?
    They definitely go through #8 Hardware cloth.
    I did not see any beetles two weeks ago and now they seem to be everywhere. They must like hot dry weather..
    Will try some of these homeade remedies as most of the traps are too expensive this year.
    NO HONEY---NO MONEY!
    As for as I am concerned, these beetles can go back to where they came from.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    The beetles die in the oil; THats what I have seen.
    I put trays of veg. oil under my screened bottom board (#8 hardware cloth) and I see SHB and the associated larva floating in there - also the occasional mite.

    I have enough of a gap between the tray and the board that that the beetles trying to sneak in the back way can crawl into the tray (not by design, just worked out that way).

    I think this is easier to use than the west trap as I can change the oil without going into the hive.

    I had a beetle problem last year, put in west traps and problem solved.
    JG

  9. #9
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    May 2007
    Location
    Austin TX USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by snarky View Post
    The beetles die in the oil; THats what I have seen.
    I put trays of veg. oil under my screened bottom board (#8 hardware cloth) and I see SHB and the associated larva floating in there - also the occasional mite.
    Snarky, I am having trouble visualizing this great solution. Is it just a metal baking tray that you put on a support under the sbb, or did you make a special rack to hold it close to your sbb? Or did you buy the setup pre-made?

    I still have a few bees under my sbb, so I might have some bee casualties in the oil unless I got it really close.
    ~May your hive thrive
    Aisha

  10. #10
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    Sep 2006
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    Laurel, MS
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    I built the trap as mentioned in post #3 of this thread. Used it today to try and clean out SHB out of 3 hives. It does work, but needs some modifications. The beetles WILL go into it. When you open the trap to clean, only a small percentage are in the tray. They have "leaked" out and hide in every crack and crevice in the trap. Makes getting them out difficult to imposiable. I would say between 300 to 600 went into the trap, but was only able to vacuum out about half that many.

  11. #11
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    Oct 2006
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    Atlanta, GA
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    I used the tray from a west trap, but a cookie tray works as well. I built "L" shaped brackets out of 1x2 on the inside of the hive stand, it works like a drawer - I can check it any time without disturbing the hive. The top of tray is within 1/4 inch of the bottom board. I do get a few bees in there, but more beetles
    JG

  12. #12
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    Sep 2006
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    Laurel, MS
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    Most of the beetles in my hives are in the top half. This may be due to I use top entrances which are located at the top of the brood chamber. This puts the entrance at the junction of the brood chamber and the supers. I don't think I would catch many beetles if the trap was at the bottom of the hive.

  13. #13
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    Oct 2006
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    Atlanta, GA
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    When I open the hive, the beetles tend to try and move to the dark, into the lower parts of the hive. I have an extra box I move the frames to so each one gets well exposed to light. the beetles in the box itself (not on the frames) head down to the next box and eventually out the bottom of the hive. I get quite a few beetles this way.
    JG

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