SHB vulnerability when larvae leave the hive
I'm wondering if frost depth isn't pivital in survivability of the small hive beetle. Upon departure from the hive the larva wander for 3 or 4 days. During that time, they have been reported to travel more than 100 meters. They then burrow 2-8 inches (5-20cm) under the surface where they pupate. In the Southern USA, frost does not penetrate very deep into the soil and won't kill the beetle in its final steps of maturation underground.
Average frost depth in my area is one inch. That leaves the beetle's life cycle untouched by frost. Up North, frost can penetrate up to three or four feet. If you look at the majority of reports, beekeepers with high SHB populations are most often in the South or border the South. Those with less tend to be reporting from areas with more cold. Has anyone seen literature reporting a correlation between cold and smaller SHB populations?
I have found this article very informative in understanding and dealing with the SHB.
I am affectively muzzled in the TF forum, so can't say how I treat the ground under my apiary. Read between the lines.
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