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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brewster Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    66

    Default Hive Beetle Question

    I looked in the hive yesterday and saw one hive beetle. There may be more
    but did not see any. At what point should a beekeeper be concerned about these
    pests and take action. I'm sure one is not something to be concerned about....
    but there's probably more, just didn't see them. Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Jackson, Ga USA
    Posts
    146

    Default Re: Hive Beetle Question

    Believe me, there are more but don't be alarmed. Just every time you are in the hive and see one - kill it. If they get to be many you can salt the ground underneath the hive real well. It kills the hive beetle in the larva stage and you will see the numbers decrease rapidly. That is what I do and it has worked for me with no harm to my girls.
    Ga-Bee Apiary Jackson, Georgia
    Bees And BS on Blogger.com Twitter - #kenken7565 ken7565@hotmail.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Tucker, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Hive Beetle Question

    Quote Originally Posted by GA-BEE View Post
    ...salt the ground underneath the hive real well. It kills the hive beetle in the larva stage and you will see the numbers decrease rapidly. That is what I do and it has worked for me with no harm to my girls.
    Ken,
    Are you using just regular table salt or rock salt? And do you pour it on the ground so much that you can see the white of the salt?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,914

    Default Re: Hive Beetle Question

    Minor correction - The larval stage is noticed in your comb. The small hive beetle pupates in the ground. When they are larva in your comb you have a problem. The hive will either abscond or die. Ground drench Pyrethrin is the best defense against continuing shb destruction. You can use oil traps in the hive, reduce the entrance since they usually come in the wide open front door. Keep the hive in full sun or use a darker cover . Do not have more space (supers) than the hive can HVAC, clean, and defend. Reduce the cracks, crevices, hiding places for shb like frame spacers and inner covers.
    African bees, Apis meliffera scutellata, are often credited with increased resistance to SHB. Though they do show better hygeinic behavior, their significant difference is they leave or abscond at the first sign of trouble.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,527

    Default Re: Hive Beetle Question

    seeing one or two is almost the norm in my part of the country. the goal is to help the bees help themselves so that a female shb doesn't lay eggs in the hive. it is the shb larvae that are destructive, so my goal is to hopefully not ever see shb larvae.

    this is what has worked for me so far:

    1. my hives get full sun, with maybe a little late afternoon shade.
    2. i have at least one disposable beetle trap in each box, (i get these from mann lake, use regular vegegable oil mixed with a little bait made from overipe bananas and apple cider vinegar).
    3. i try not give any more space, (boxes), than the bees can use and patrol.
    4. i keep a tweezers handy when doing inspections and kill every beetle i can.
    5. i think my bees are fairly hygenic, as they aggressively chase, coral, and propilize for eternity most of the loose beetles in the hive.
    6. i have a vented inner cover, but the vents are screened, and i use solid bottom boards.

    i did have one colony abscond last year, (luckily i caught them), when a combination of shb and wax moths infested their hive. i was able to freeze and reuse the drawn comb.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Bardstown, KY, USA
    Posts
    321

    Default Re: Hive Beetle Question

    I found one or two of the SMBs in my hives when I was removing supers. I plan to put salt on the ground below them (since I have them raised). How much salt do I need to put on the ground?

    Regards,
    Phil
    Grandchildren are the best.... Bees a close second....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Geauga County, Ohio
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: Hive Beetle Question

    I'm not sure about salt.

    I keep 6 mil black plastic under the stands, and sprinkle Sodium Tetraborate (laundry borax) on the ground under the plastic. The borax will kill ants and other insects, so I'm fairly certain the pupating hive beetles would be doomed as well. Just don't raise a cloud when sprinkling it (wouldn't be good for the bees). And you need the plastic, because like salt, the borax would get washed deeper into the soil by rain. I keep a layer of wood chips over the plastic.

    Now, I have no ant issues. At all. I'm not sure the hive beetles are here yet. The little beetles I found under a SBB last spring, I slid into a lit smoker without taking mug-shots first. Haven't seen any since.


  8. #8

    Default Re: Hive Beetle Question

    I have read and seen on youtube where you can spread diatomaceous earth around the hive and that's good for shb, too. (it may be cheaper than salt. you can get it at tractor supply store).
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    NSW Australia
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Hive Beetle Question

    We have lots of SHB around here and trust me - there's at least 9 or 10 you don't see for every one that you do.

    The nurse bees are usually assigned the duty of rounding up and corralling these things. Most commercial traps are designed on the principal that SHB can move into spaces less than 3mm (not sure what this is in inches) but bees can't. A simple remedy that I've seen is to staple some Corflute (corrugated plastic - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corrugated_plastic) on the bottom board. The bees chase the beetles into it and then guard the entrance so they can't get out. If you do this, you have to routinely change the trap.

    This site (http://www.beeworks.com/informationc...ve_beetle.html) suggests that you can attract them externally. I haven't tried this yet but will this coming season.

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