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?