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Thread: SHBs in supers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Santa Clara CA
    Posts
    63

    Default SHBs in supers

    When checking out a couple of dead hives that have full supers above I was taken aback to see SHBs crawling across the top bars. They were sluggish so killing them was easy, but am doubtful they have been wiped out.

    My plan was to re-populate these hives with swarms, but have a concern that this may happen too late to protect the combs from being slimed by SHBs starting to breed as the weather warms up. The temperatures here are already mid-60s during the day.

    There is no freezer to store frames in or cycle the frames through, and there is pollen scattered amongst some of the honey combs. Bringing the frames inside to warm up prior to extraction could induce egg laying and subsequent sliming, so am very reluctant to go that route yet.

    www.ars.usda.gov says that "Temperature significantly influences their developmental period; higher temperatures shorten development to about 23 days, and cooler temperatures extend their development to about 39 days" and "An adult female mated with one male can lay an average of 165 eggs per day at room temperature. Egg-laying increases at higher temperature." The lack of precision does not inspire confidence that the USDA has a handle on these pests.

    The best article I found find on SHBs was at http://new.dpi.vic.gov.au/notes/agg/...eekeeping-pest, and although it did not directly address my issues, it sure aggravated my level of concern.

    The 2004 IBRA paper by Mürrle and Neumann on SHBs spoke of "All rearing boxes were kept without normal daylight in a dark storeroom at room temperature (18-25 degrees C) and checked every four days for 20 days. Fermented honey was removed from the bottom of the containers to achieve a ‘dry’ rearing approach" (18C=64.5F) and at http://www.texasdrone.com/Beekeeping...ive_beetle.htm it says "Warm temperatures in the 60 degrees F and humidity levels about 50% promote beetle activity at all stages".

    These two links confirm that my fears may be well-founded (especially since humidity is well above 50%, we are having light rain).

    Placing the supers on top of other hives won't protect the combs because the surviving hives currently have supers above and there won't be enough bees to corral the SHBs in the expanded hives.

    Any advice from southern beeks who have had experience dealing with these pests would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Walker County, Texas
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: SHBs in supers

    Best way to deal with SHB is,keep your entrance as small as possible,no inside feeding,keep your hive strong.
    Before man took over bees there was nature,it did a better job.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    New Cumberland, PA
    Posts
    1,380

    Default Re: SHBs in supers

    sjbees,

    I do not have a problem with SHB, but what are your fully drawn frames worth to you.

    If you don't have a lot of empty hives, My thoughts are why not buy a used chest freezer and freeze the frames until they are needed. Would that take care of the problem? Just my 2 cents.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Huntsville, Alabama
    Posts
    677

    Default Re: SHBs in supers

    sjbees...
    I am like you and do not own a freezer that I could put frames in. BUT, I asked around my friends and did find someone that had a freezer. They let me put a couple of frames in at a time. I bet if you ask around, you can find someone that has a small freezer with space will under your need.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Geneva,Florida, Seminole USA
    Posts
    290

    Default Re: SHBs in supers

    You didn't say how many supers you have. If its just a few, melt em down. If you have a lot I'd go the old chest freezer route. You can get them pretty cheap. Freezing for 48 hrs will kill the eggs. I've tried to clean up frames and put them on other hives and regreted it. When the temp comes up and the eggs start to hatch its to much for a strong hive. The larvea crawling around do the damage, not the adult.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Santa Clara CA
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: SHBs in supers

    The larvae is what had me worried. Spreading 3 dozen frames over other hives seemed like a recipe for disaster as even the strongest of hives could never build up quickly enough.

    Buying a freezer is not an issue, we had a freezer when we lived back East.
    Having the space to put a freezer becomes an issue when there is no basement.

    It will be a shame to melt down well drawn comb but it beats breeding the little bastards.

    Thanks guys

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Walker County, Texas
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: SHBs in supers

    Put them in big trash bags.
    Before man took over bees there was nature,it did a better job.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN, USA
    Posts
    1,398

    Default Re: SHBs in supers

    I freeze them and put them in black trash bags and tie them shut.

    You know, I just thought of something. The larva can't live without air. Buy some of those large vacuum seal bags for clothes. Just put the frames in them and use your vacuum to draw out all of the air. That might kill the eggs alone. If it doesn't, let the bags warm up so that the eggs hatch. The larva can't live very long without air. Just a thought.

    You will probably have to put something acroos the comb itself, like laun that goes from wood to wood over the comb. If not the vaccuming will probably smash the comb when the plastic bag comes across it. Just drill a few holes in the laun to ensure that the air come out of the comb.

    Anyone else think this might work?
    De Colores,
    Ken

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Walker County, Texas
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: SHBs in supers

    I put mine in the freezer too.Someone told me if you put them in bags and make sure their air tight,they will hatch and use up the oxygen and die.The ones that don't the bees will take care of when you put them in the hive. Someone else said fill the bags with water.
    Before man took over bees there was nature,it did a better job.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Poplar Bluff, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    2,280

    Default Re: SHBs in supers

    sjbees, I don't remember the chemical name, but I saw it in a bee catalogue recently, as advertised working on both mites and shb. So if it were me, I'd go back thru all my bee catalogues, looking at the chemical treatments and see which is supposed to work on the shb. I also recall reading that one of the mite treatments kills the shb. While I don't use chemicals myself, I sure would use them to kill the mites in comb unoccupied by bees off an active hive. That is in order to save the comb and kill the shb. Good luck to you!
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: SHBs in supers

    The treatment referred to is Check-Mite but it only works on the adult beetle. You have to put half a strip in a beetle trap. Your best solution now is to freeze the frames. If the larva hatch you are going to have a real mess so, if you can't freeze them, cut them out and melt down the wax.

  12. #12

    Default Re: SHBs in supers

    i seen a guy that stacks his supers outside on a rack he made with a tin roof and the supers laid on there side one corner pointing down. Light is able to shine in between frames. he says he doesnt have any problem with wax moths or hive beetles. the roof is about six feet high similar to how some people store firewood.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Santa Clara CA
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: SHBs in supers

    > Someone else said fill the bags with water.

    This idea is intriguing. The wax cap should prevent the honey from diluting into the water.

    Can't imagine that wooden frames would be unaffected by a long dunking but there are a few plastic frames I could try out the idea with.

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