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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
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    1,774

    Default Re: Anythin else I can do to control SHB

    Someone upthread said compost made the numbers higher, but I don't think so.
    I use beneficial nematodes every spring. I only water the apiary enough to keep scattered wildflowers in it alive, pretty much just watering the plant roots, so I do lose my nematodes in summer, but by then they've handled the higher reproductive stage of most critters like fleas and beetles.

    If I had a bunch of rotting watermelon in my compost piles it might contribute to shb. but I feed watermelon rind to my mealyworms and hens. And I keep my hives in the sun, shb hate the sun. I also have sbb, some with sticky-boards underneath (and some with boards but no sticky til I get the bees booted off the boards.)
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: Anythin else I can do to control SHB

    Quote Originally Posted by DJS View Post
    Do you think compost piles make their numbers higher? I have one not to far away from hives but never seen any SHB in there.
    SHB are scavengers at heart. They seek rotting fruit and are often seen in watermelon fields (as mentioned above). They like to feed on all the busted, rotting fruit left in the field. I don't think they are that particular on the type of fruits or vegetables(?) that they eat. It is almost as if they need to eat things that are already partially digested/rotted. It depends on what goes into the compost heap...if it's oak leaves and cow manure then it's probably ok...throw some over-ripe peaches, or bananas, or...watermelon, or...?? and the compost pile might become a beacon for them.

    Ed

  3. #23
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Scott, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    148

    Default Re: Anythin else I can do to control SHB

    Mike thanks for the suggestons. Like that beetle jail. Soon I will have so many traps there will be little room for bees. But what ever I can do to kill them little pest.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Scott, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    148

    Default Re: Anythin else I can do to control SHB

    Thanks for all the suggestions everyone.
    Last edited by DJS; 09-14-2012 at 04:29 PM. Reason: saved twice

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Leominster, MA USA
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: Anythin else I can do to control SHB

    We were recently in Florida at a bee meeting where Dr. Peter Teal from the ARS office in Gainesville spoke on SHB. Apparently SHB prefer very ripe fruit to any products of the hive. Cantaloupe is a favorite. It was suggested that placing ripe cantaloupe pieces outside the hive would be a great attractant if you are able to monitor the traps every few days to replace the fruit. Not doable for remote locations or commercial beekeepers but a great option for folks with a few hives close by.

    I would definitely use chickens to feast on the beetles.

    Ramona

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    benton ky
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: Anythin else I can do to control SHB

    2 weeks ago I put 2 oil containing traps in my one hive. I opened it today and the trap was empty but I killed about 10 beetles saw running around.also on another thought. I have one super about 1/2 full of partially capped honey. This is on top of 2 deeps. My hive is absolutely full of bees. Do have enough for to winter my bees?

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,774

    Default Re: Anythin else I can do to control SHB

    I'm finding beetles in my yellow jacket traps (the 2 liter bottle with vinegar & banana peel kind.) so to enhance the effect I added a couple of thin pieces of watermelon rind to each trap. I'm not seeing many in my hives these days, actually I saw one today, dropped off the bottom of the super and I stepped on it.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  8. #28

    Default Re: Anythin else I can do to control SHB

    I've been thinking (I know, a dangerous thing!). On one of my hives, I have popsickle sticks between the box and the telescoping top for ventilation. The inner cover is below the box, and entrance feeders are on top of the inner cover. The hole in the side of the inner cover is stopped up. I haven't put a popsickle stick next to a hive beetle, but I wonder if they could get in between the top and the box, since the top is a popsickle stick's width above the box?
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,774

    Default Re: Anythin else I can do to control SHB

    I have seen hive beetles slip through some pretty thin slits. If I need to vent my hive I build a vent layer out of 1x2, drill holes in the sides and put screening on them. I have too many shb for the stick prop high tech solution. (but I use migratory covers without inner covers in summer)
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Papaikou, Hawaii, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: Anythin else I can do to control SHB

    Where I live, we all use screened bottom boards with oil traps and keep the hives in full sun as much as possible. But what is most critical is proper bee space, and making sure the bees can patrol all areas of all the frames. My commercial beekeeper friend mentors new beeks on the weekend, and drives this point home repeatedly and constantly! Last week we saw a hive that had been, as a result of beekeeper error...overrun by SBH and was crawling with larvae and had several frames slimed. The reason: When someone did a hive inspection, two frames with honey were pushed too close together--probably not replaced in their original position---the honey cells were damaged, bees were trapped between them and died, and the other bees were not able to get in there and clean it up in time. This type of thing is club med for beetles. And whenever he has a slime-out, it seems to be due to the bees not being able to clean up any mess in the hive, or because there are not enough bees to patrol the outer frames.

    We never put empty frames on the outside unless it is absolutely necessary. A frame with no comb drawn out means the bees are not working it, and it is an easy part of the hive for the beetles to hide.

    Each time you pop the top of the hive you are setting the beetles free by disrupting the holding areas the bees build for them, to keep vigilant with your hive tool when you open the hive and be ready to smash them. Smoke will drive them down into the oil trays as well, so if you have a heavy number of adult beetles you can smoke them into the lower parts of the hive as you are closing up and the bees will chase them.

    I found two SHB in my kitchen, on the windowsill near the bucket I keep my compost in before it goes outside.

    I hate them!

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: Anythin else I can do to control SHB

    Quote Originally Posted by David Cassity View Post
    2 weeks ago I put 2 oil containing traps in my one hive. I opened it today and the trap was empty...<snip>
    Did you have anything to lure them into the oil?

    Ed

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: Anythin else I can do to control SHB

    Quote Originally Posted by Slow Modem View Post
    <snip>... I haven't put a popsickle stick next to a hive beetle, but I wonder if they could get in between the top and the box, since the top is a popsickle stick's width above the box?
    Greg, is your top covers, inner covers and hive boxes all completely flush with each other? There's a chance you have a gap big enough for a beetle to crawl through even without the popsicle sticks. Inner covers seem to mesh well with the top box and then the bees seal it up...it's the gap between the inner and outer cover that indeed is the problem. I would think at least the smaller beetles wouldn't have to much of a problem doing the limbo the height of a popsicle sticks' thickness. I feed with quart mason jars on top of the inner covers. What I've done with a couple of hives is to sit one jar over the porter escape hole and the another one on a 2-3/4" hole I cut into the inner covers. I've stapled house screen over these holes. With the lid of the mason jars in close contact with the screen the bees feed through the screen. No SHB or wax moths are getting in through there....the only entrance the bees have to defend now is the bottom one.

    Ed

  13. #33

    Default Re: Anythin else I can do to control SHB

    Quote Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
    I would think at least the smaller beetles wouldn't have to much of a problem doing the limbo the height of a popsicle sticks' thickness. I feed with quart mason jars on top of the inner covers. What I've done with a couple of hives is to sit one jar over the porter escape hole and the another one on a 2-3/4" hole I cut into the inner covers. I've stapled house screen over these holes. With the lid of the mason jars in close contact with the screen the bees feed through the screen. No SHB or wax moths are getting in through there....the only entrance the bees have to defend now is the bottom one.
    That makes sense. I'll remember that next year. Now that it's cooling off, I think I can pull the popsickle sticks and put the telescoping cover directly on the super around the feed jars, eliminating that possible entrance.
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,530

    Default Re: Anythin else I can do to control SHB

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    djs, so sorry to hear about the shb problem. we have them here too, and they cost me two hives last year.

    hear is what i am doing now, and so far this year i haven't had any problems:

    1. i use solid bottom boards.
    2. my inner covers are notched front and back, but i have them screened.

    these two things limit the entry of beetles and moths to the bottom entrance only, which is guarded well.

    3. i keep my hives in mostly sun, with a little afternoon shade.

    i tried locating some hives in shaded areas, and i helped a friend tend to his hives which are in mostly shade, and there were way more beetles in these hives. i moved mine back to a mostly sunny spot and now there are very few beetles.

    4. i keep one disposable 'better beetle blaster' trap in every deep and medium box , (i get them from mann lake). i use regular vegatable oil in them, and i mix a little over-ripe banana and apple cider vinegar in with the oil. if i get a few beetles in a trap and the oil gets dingy, i'll replace it.

    5. i try not to have much more space in the hive than there are bees to fill the space.

    6. i only inspect the hives when needed, and i kill any loose beetles i find with tweezers.

    even though i know there are beetles around, it's not too unusual to not see any running loose during an inspection, and i have some traps that are still beetle free since spring. so far so good this year.

    i hate those little buggers.
    i think i'll have to add a number 7: i stopped killing fire ants around the bee yard.

    not by design, but by procrastination.

    come to think of it, those shady yards where i saw so many beetles were well kept yards and i bet their owners eradicated the fire ants.

    a quick google search revealed that fire ants have been shown to eat shb larvae. hmmmm.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,774

    Default Re: Anythin else I can do to control SHB

    Fire ants also eat bee larva. I lost my first hive to ants, probably fire ants - with a solid bottom board I might add. Not much deters a hungry fire ant.
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,530

    Default Re: Anythin else I can do to control SHB

    yikes! i have several mounds near the hives, but i never see them going into the hives, and don't see them during inspections. i wonder if it matters how hygenic the bees are.

    afterthought: back in the day when i thought i needed to feed syrup, there were some small ants getting into the feeders, may have been fire ants.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,774

    Default Re: Anythin else I can do to control SHB

    matters how hungry the ants are. I used beneficial nematodes early this spring. After losing hive 1 last year I put hive 2 up on a platform with cd's on the bottom of it's sbb, on top of pvc pipe fittings, with screen to keep bees out, over oil in peanut butter lids, to keep the ants out.

    The screen kept the bees out. I am now defending 7 hives, so I went to pipe over cinderblocks so I could grease the pipe. Wasn't working, I think the ants helped induce one departing swarm, not sure. gave up. I use pond liner on the ground under my hives, got Amdro ant-block (does 14 species and put it under the pond liner, so even if it rains, the bees won't be drinking it.)

    Finally no ants after the hives. Now you are in Alabama. Would you like to test some Texas fire ants?
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: Anythin else I can do to control SHB

    My mentor's best friend (my back-up mentor ) said he'd never poison fire ants around the bee yard again unless they were observed actively raiding a hive. He thought he would "clear" the yard of fire ants and so poisoned them....then the beetles kicked things in high gear. The ant population has recovered (don't they always?) and the beetle population has decreased....coincidence? Whatever the case, in my mentor's friend's mind he has drawn a connection between to the two. He's in his mid-80's and has been keeping bees since he was six years old so I figure he knows a little about what he's doing. He's very strong minded about the ant/beetle relationship.

    Ed

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,774

    Default Re: Anythin else I can do to control SHB

    Well I haven't seen more than 3 beetles in a hive since I got the hot hive out from under the elm tree (had to keep it away from humans). And I darn sure poisoned the ants in the immediate vicinity of the hives. I had carpenter ants, sugar ants, and I think pharoah ants, and the bees were plenty pissy and doing excessive propolizing around their feeder jars. I've got drought, and dearth, 3 of my largest hives have thrown swarms (all caught and kept so far), and I finally put the antblock under the pondliner on Saturday evening after I got done working the hives. And the bees are settling down.

    Your mentor can do what he likes. I don't have a beetle problem, but the beneficial nematodes weren't handling the ants, esp the carpenter ants, and they really like larva.

    Gypsi
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,530

    Default Re: Anythin else I can do to control SHB

    >Now you are in Alabama. Would you like to test some Texas fire ants?

    no thanks.

    7 hives huh, nice recovery gypsi.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

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