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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Decatur, GA
    Posts
    35

    Default Newbie inspection - SHB and excessive propolis

    Hey all, I did an overdue hive inspection today and wanted to pick your brains.

    First, Small Hive Beetle. Got em. First time I've seen them, and they are quick little things. I'm fermenting some banana peel for an oil-and-bait trap, but from what I've been reading it seems like apple cider vinegar can attract them on its own. Anyone have thoughts on that? Can I put some traps out tomorrow that might do alright until tastier baits are properly fermented?

    Second, I have two hives. One of them is always pretty docile and a real joy to work with (though, despite consistent double-checks with a level, they're not the brightest comb builders in the world), and the second one builds amazing, straight as an arrow foundationless comb, but is unfailingly, uh, assertive.

    The other thing they do in the champion builder hive is make barrels of propolis, and no matter how gently I try to pry hive pieces apart, I always end up making loud cracking sounds and jarring the hive. I'm sure this contributes to the bees' bad feelings about our interactions. How do you guys handle the intensely propolized hives? Is there some trick I haven't figured out to quietly loosening an inner cover that's massively glued down?

    Thanks, everyone.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Kenosha,WI
    Posts
    187

    Default Re: Newbie inspection - SHB and excessive propolis

    Alarm phermone smells for all the world like bananas and going into a hive with a banana is like going to a Packers game with a Vikings shirt. (insert any team names you prefer).

    Wiser and braver souls than I may differ on this advice.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Decatur, GA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Newbie inspection - SHB and excessive propolis

    I'm thinking that they don't smell like bananas anymore once they've soaked in vinegar for a few days. I had the same thought, but first read about that as bait for SHB traps on Beekeeper Linda's blog. Pretty sure she'd have mentioned if it was a really, really bad idea. (I've been wary of adding banana peels to my compost pile, which is a good long ways away from my hives, so I definitely believe what you're saying.)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,808

    Default Re: Newbie inspection - SHB and excessive propolis

    Rotten banana peels do not smell anything like alarm pheromone. The drawback is that a bait like bananas or apple cider vinegar will draw small hive beetles from inside and outside the hive. Imagine a mosquito zapper light - it not only kills what was over the patio but draws in the neighbor's bugs too.
    Changing queens wil decrease propolizing. The only immediate solution is judicious use of your hive tool.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Decatur, GA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Newbie inspection - SHB and excessive propolis

    Here's an interesting thing from USDA (http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archiv...etle1107.htm):

    When small hive beetles invade a beehive, they bring in a yeast that grows on the pollen. “As the yeast grows and ferments, it releases compounds that mimic honey bee alarm pheromones and are highly attractive to other beetles,” says Teal. “This sets off a cascading effect. When the beetle population gets too high, the bees have no choice but to abandon the hive, leaving beekeepers without honey and their bee colonies.”
    I home brew beer and mead, so I have lots of "live-yeast" stuff to experiment with in terms of baiting. I think I'm going to make up a few traps and see if any bait scheme provides obvious benefit over others.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    etowah,Alabama
    Posts
    457

    Default Re: Newbie inspection - SHB and excessive propolis

    I tried different baits i made up but nothing works like a mix of honey and pollen (bee bread) for me. I put this in a thin CD cast and place it on the top bars. A porton of the CD case lid is removed to allow the SHB access from the sides. The area snaps out between the tabs that holds the CD information in the lid. I will try a get a photo but I am horrible at posting photos. https://picasaweb.google.com/1134009...eat=directlink
    Last edited by guyross; 08-14-2011 at 10:09 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Amelia, VA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Newbie inspection - SHB and excessive propolis

    Nice pics of the cd case trap. Might try it. Thinking of doing a gallon bucket trap: 1/4" holes drilled arround the perimeter about 6" up, veg oil in the bottom, container of cappings/honey as bait in the middle. Of course a lid would be on top. My hives sit about a foot above the ground, so the bucket would fit under the hive stand(s).
    Thoughts?
    Obstacles are there for a reason. They give us a chance to show how badly we want something.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: Newbie inspection - SHB and excessive propolis

    Hang it in a tree or on a fencepost away from the hives, maybe 20-30 yards. YOU DO NOT WANT TO ATTRACT SHB TO THE VICINITY OF YOUR HIVES!!!!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Amelia, VA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Newbie inspection - SHB and excessive propolis

    Good idea. thanks
    Obstacles are there for a reason. They give us a chance to show how badly we want something.

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