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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Hyattsville, MD

    Default Observation about TBH Design and Small Hive Beetles

    The small hive beetles have arrived. I made an interesting observation the other day about a "mistake" I made when putting together my top bar hive, that may have actually ended up working to my advantage in battling these varmints.

    For the most part, I used a design that I found on Michael Bush's website, which can be found HERE, when building my top bar hive. The method involves attaching the sides to the bottom with nails initially at right angles and then simply spreading the sides to get the characteristic sloped Kenyan-style sides. These pictures, and most other instructions I've seen for this method show the sides sitting on top of the bottom before being spread (as in A below), whereas I attached the sides alongside the bottom (as in B below). At the time I thought I had screwed up, but decided to leave it and press on.

    Hive Cross-section.JPG

    Well, It turns out that the gaps make a perfect "jail" for the bees to corral the beetles in (and they do). And, even better, because the sides are attached as in diagram B, I can actually squash the beetles upon inspection with the point of my hive tool. It fits perfectly, and as soon as I can nudge the bees out of the way, those beetles are toast. I also made a CD-style trap, but find this to just be WAY more satisfying. Had I attached the sides the other way, the hive tool would be too long to turn the 90 degrees and get into that space.

    Just an observation I thought I'd share. Didn't realize I was incoporating some IPM when I goofed up.

    Matt M.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Dunlap, TN, USA

    Default Re: Observation about TBH Design and Small Hive Beetles

    I literally did this exact same thing.

    I made my second hive this way and figured I would just leave it alone instead of correcting it. I haven't had any beetles yet but I was wondering if they would be effective trapping them. Also mine has a slight gap between the side boards and the bottom board so I'm wondering if varroa will fall through. It's small enough that the bees can't fit through but the mites may fit.

    Cool to hear there is an upside to this goof up.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Bonn, Germany

    Default Re: Observation about TBH Design and Small Hive Beetles

    Dr. Pedro Rodriguez presented a thymol formula for cords.
    One could put this substance in these gaps. Just an idea.

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