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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Eagle Springs, N.C.
    Posts
    15

    Default Small Hive Beetle Question

    I have had my hives now for two years. When I first got them I found several Small Hive beetles In the hives. Over the two years I have expanded from 2 hives to seven with no increase to the hive beetle population,If any thing they have decreased. So whats the deal is it the soil here or are they getting ready to hit me hard all at one time ?

  2. #2

    Default

    Soil, sunlight, health of the hive, plus other small but maybe important factors. You may get a lot of adult shb in your hives someday, but it will not be because you are "due" to get hit. It may happen due to factors beyond your control.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Eagle Springs, N.C.
    Posts
    15

    Default Shb

    Thanks Panhandle Beeman

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    College Station, Texas
    Posts
    6,973

    Default

    we have had a relatively mild winter here and it would seem that the shb numbers are a good deal greater than the same time last year. enough so that I think I need to get pre-emptive in regards to the shb. any thoughts from those folks out there that have done battle with the shb?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    140

    Default Shb

    I've got two hives located south of Weimar that got SHB's last Sept. Based upon the advice of other regional beeks I installed the West traps under the SBB. That alone has worked well so far. I took them off in Dec. but I saw one the other day so I guess I'll reinstall both of them this weekend. I used the oil last fall but think I will try DE (diatamaceous earth) this time to avoid the mess (also based upon the advice of other regional beeks). When I would open the hives last fall I would notice that the bees in both hives would aggressively pursue the beetles that were in the open. Will be interested in hearing what works for you & others.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    san antonio.texas USA
    Posts
    488

    Default

    Seems to me the largest factors on SHB populations are ground moisture and temperature. They like hot and wet. I have not noticed a major difference between very rocky soil, rich black dirt and sand.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Terrell, Texas, USA
    Posts
    281

    Default

    Boy, SHB are sure going to be a problem. I have tried several things thus far. The most successful is the West Trap sold by Dadant (others too, I think).

    https://www.dadant.com/catalog/produ...roducts_id=724

    They are kind of expensive, but it is the only thing I have installed that has virtually eliminated the beetle. I literally had hundreds of beetles in each hive. So, I did two things, 1. installed West Traps in each hive. 2. Treated the ground in front of the hives with Guardstar. In retrospect, I think the Guardstar was not as much needed as it was me wanting to try something. The beetles are very migratory and I don't see how treating 18" in front of the hive will interupt the cycle. Others just come in from the "woods".

    Other things I have tried are "Sandwich Box" traps. There is a thread in Beesource that points to these. They are plastic boxes, I purchased at Walmart, the size of a sandwich. Holes are drilled in the sides and the bottom filled with mineral oil. In the middle of the oil I placed a bottle cap with an attractant (Sugar, Vinegar, Bananna peel, let ferment). The beetles are supposed to crawl in and drown. I placed one of these traps in each hive. The West traps were also in place. The west traps caught hundreds, the sandwich box traps caught no beetles and 6 bees.

    This was all during the time my hives were building up to strength from being installed as a package. Now when they see a beetle, they grab it and fall to the floor of the hive. The bee gets up and the beetle falls through the trap and drowns. It is hilarious to watch.

    I think the important thing is to keep the hive fairly strong and to break the breeding cycle when you see a large concentration of beetles. My plan for beetle control is probably to have some number of West traps (certainly less than the number of hives) and disperse them when I see a bad infestation in a particular hive.

    I have not yet installed the AJ's Beetle Eater traps. Right now I have no beetles to trap. They are about $5 each and may be a good propholactic to keep in each hive. Still kind of expensive. The West trap is much more elaborate and is $11.95. The dollars vs. product are not proportional.

    I have not yet tried any chemical control inside the hives. Others have reported success with this, but I think the bees have enough chemicals to deal with right now.

    Hope this helps, I will keep you posted on my battle with the varmits.

    Tom

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Suffolk NY
    Posts
    200

    Default

    While we're on the subject, is the honeybee an essential part of the shb's life cycle or can they survive independently?

    Anybody on Long Island see them yet?

  9. #9

    Default

    According to information from the Mite Gone people (I know it may not be all that objective) Treating the hives with formic acid significantly lowers the ammount of adult shb in the hives. This will last up to 5 weeks after beginning the formic acid treatment. I would imagine treating with formic acid and using a west hive trap will increase the kill of adult shb, instead of just getting them to flee for the neighbors bee yard.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dubhe View Post
    While we're on the subject, is the honeybee an essential part of the shb's life cycle or can they survive independently?
    Not as effectively, there have been reports of shb reproducing on rotten fruit, etc.. However I read that the shb wont/cant reproduce in the same numbers as they do in beehives. Adult shb can and do live outside of a beehive for a long time, will fly up to 20 miles, and look for a bee hive to lay their eggs.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Suffolk NY
    Posts
    200

    Default

    Thanks Panhandle. Ironic how any success in building honeybee populations will probably increase the range and population density of shb. One more thing for the queen breeders to select for.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Jackson, Ga USA
    Posts
    146

    Question SHB's

    Here in GA. I have a big SHB problem. I have tried everything out there and they all will work to some extent but nothing will kill them all. I got rid of the West traps because of the mess and after two years the plastic degrades and breaks up. Right now I use FGMO, and Gardstar and get the best results.

    I wanted to pose a question to all about sticky boards. Since the SHB larvae drop through the bottom of the hive or crawl out the front, wouldn't a good sticky board catch the larvae and they die? I am going to design a sticky board that will catch the little buggers on thier way to the ground, thus breaking the life cycle. What do you all think?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Suffolk NY
    Posts
    200

    Default

    HTML Code:
    wouldn't a good sticky board catch the larvae and they die?
    A paper posted on the MAAREC site http://maarec.cas.psu.edu/pdfs/Small...etle_-_PMP.pdf says "The beetles move easily
    across the sticky material even if the boards are coated with
    a stickier material such as Tangle Foot®."

    If they can crawl across Tangle Foot, I doubt a sticky board is gonna do it.
    Last edited by Dubhe; 02-20-2008 at 09:52 AM. Reason: corrected the URL

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