Bad news and beetles - what you may not want to hear....
I've been thinking a lot about the beetles, and about traps. This was the first year I saw beetles take hold in Va with a vengeance. With 2012 being the warmest year ever, it makes sense we had to deal with more beetles, especially after the warm winter we had. I do a LOT of cutouts and found them in every one, plus I would even find them huddled in swarms. Since cutouts are hard to make it through the winter, I got to see how the beetles did in freezing weather, and fortunately they die out too, but they seem to huddle in their own groups for warmth, just like the bees.
In looking at physical characteristics, I was wondering if we could create a gill net of sorts, based on their size and body segmentation. I'm still working through that and an entaglement option based on the type of leg hairs they have in opposition to the leg hair types and sizes of bees.
However, I believe it comes down to natural selection. As an adherent to a no-chemical approach, I like to breed my bees as survivors. I have a near neighbor beekeeper friend that purchases Verroa sensitive bees, so I'm picking up his genetics.
However if we are to take confidence in bees that like to actively clean each other for mite control, we may have to accept the other side of the coin for beetle control.
Here's the simplest article I could find to explain what I'm thinking: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/no...beetles-alive/
It may come down to a situation where we need to start resurrecting the bee varieties that over propolize their hives to protect themselves from beetles. We've bred the propolizing tendency out of the bees for years because it's a hassle for the beekeeper, but we may need to start bringing it back.
Any of you beekeepers out there with heavy propolizers- have you noticed any change in the way they handle the beetles? I had one hive that heavy propolized - they almost totally closed off their normal langstroth entrance. They had very specific little castle walls around the beetles they had trapped on the inner cover. Though all bees propolize, we may need one that propolizes fast- to trap the beetles between the times we open up the hive for inspection.
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