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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Slinger, WI
    Posts
    204

    Default Small hive beetle

    so today as I was pulling honey supers off I happened to see a small black beetle, i am assuming a small hive beetle. I am going to be putting Mite Away + on the hives in the next day or two and I am wondering what I can do to take care of the beetle at the same time.

    Your help is always greatly appreciated.
    Steve Wenger
    Gentleman farmer/7 year Bee Keeper

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,277

    Default Re: Small hive beetle

    in the south, it's common to see a beetle or two in the hive almost every time. best defense is a strong hive, with hygenic bees, no more space than the bees can take care of, and placed where the hive gets sun most of the day. i keep beetle traps in all my hives, currently using the disposable ones. i also kill any beetle i can, with the hive tool or a pair of tweezers.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Montgomery, Tx
    Posts
    162

    Default Re: Small hive beetle

    There are a million hive traps out there - but the best thing you can do to keep them from ruining a hive is to keep your hives in full sun. The bees can handle the heat, the beetles cant. Weak hives cannot survive in the shade here in South East Texas. Strong hives may survive the beetles in the shade, but they'll be fighting them every evening when the beetles start coming in.

    -Jay

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Bardstown, KY, USA
    Posts
    321

    Default Re: Small hive beetle

    Why does leaving the hive in the sun help control small hive beetle?
    Grandchildren are the best.... Bees a close second....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Slinger, WI
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: Small hive beetle

    my hives had full sun all summer, however now we are coming into winter and I do not want these things wreacking havoc all winter long in there. I will be putting Mite Away + strips in tomorrow afternoon, and I ordered a bunch of beetle traps from Dadant. I also will be opening that hive up for a full inspection to check for larve.

    After doing some reading I am finding that the hive beetle leaves the hive to lay eggs in the ground outside the hive, is this true? and if so how are they getting back in since my hives are elevated 12 inches above the ground.
    Steve Wenger
    Gentleman farmer/7 year Bee Keeper

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Slinger, WI
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: Small hive beetle

    NYBEEKEEPER--- I purchased a bee suit for granddaughter the other day from Dadant, had her down there today for her first hive visit, we pulled honey supers today. She is just 2 years old and she loved it! once she got her first taste of honey I could not keep her fingers out of the frames! LOL
    Steve Wenger
    Gentleman farmer/7 year Bee Keeper

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,756

    Default Re: Small hive beetle

    In my seriously limited experience, I have deduced that shb FLY into the hive, lay eggs in the hive, the larva tear up the wax, then they drop to the ground to pupate into adult beetles. Someone with more experience please correct me if I am wrong.

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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Slinger, WI
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: Small hive beetle

    So Gypsi, I think that you are correct, and if that is the case are or are we not going about killing them off in the wrong manner, why are we trapping only the adult beetles, why are we not also trapping the larva when they are leaving the hive to pupate? Prehaps a modified trap that sits on the out edge of the botom board? Trap the larva as they leave the colony, they drop into a trap of some kind?

    Just saying it would seem to me to make more sense.
    Steve Wenger
    Gentleman farmer/7 year Bee Keeper

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Montgomery, Tx
    Posts
    162

    Default Re: Small hive beetle

    Yup, thats pretty much the life cycle. But if you have larvae in the hive...its too late. Trapping the larvae is like trapping the fox on his way out of the hen house. The point is, if the bees do not catch the eggs before they hatch...then they are already weak and dont stand a chance. And I dont think its the beetles that dont like the heat from the sun, I think its actually the larvae. I've seen several beetles in hives that are in full sun, but they dont seem to have much effect on the hive-

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: Small hive beetle

    The key, as was stated before, is strong hives and limited space. Don't drop a bunch of supers on a hive that cannot patrol the entire area well. Also, don't smash two frames of honey together (if the bees build one out too far.) Your bees need to be able to patrol all of their honey.

    That's the number 1 way to deal with SHB. I do not think the traps really help much (except to confirm that you have a problem.)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,756

    Default Re: Small hive beetle

    A screened bottom board - 1/8th inch, that the bees can push the beetles through seems to help. I keep a sticky under my sbb, oiled with olive oil. Found one shb on it tonight. Similar effect to the Freeman (?) trap.

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

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Small hive beetle

    I have seen M Bush state that the best way to avoid them is to not have a landing board,just a hole for the bees to walk into.The beetles have a hard time landing on the vertical surface so the bees can better defend the hole.I can tell you that from some of the cutouts I have done is that the landing board is a luxury that the bees can do without. They usually land on the board and run in past the bees. The larvae has to go to ground to pupate so the most effective means is to put crushed limestone under your hives so the larvae has to crawl through it on their way to the dirt.That cuts up their skin causing them to dry out.That tidbit came from Kent Williams. I have had a couple of hives destroyed by SHB so this is a subject that has a special interest for me.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,536

    Default Re: Small hive beetle

    Quote Originally Posted by chevydmax04 View Post
    . After doing some reading I am finding that the hive beetle leaves the hive to lay eggs in the ground outside the hive, is this true? and if so how are they getting back in since my hives are elevated 12 inches above the ground.
    Not true they lay eggs in the hive, the larva develops in the ground, as some one else said after the larva leaves the damage is done
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,475

    Default Re: Small hive beetle

    I have limited data, as I only tried MAQS on two hives this year, but what I saw was surprising. In both cases SHB seemed completely immune to the formic acid vapors and in fact I found them thriving in mass under the strips. I found about 30 beetles under each strip and in one case they had even hatched eggs and some SHB larvae were present. Given this, I would carefully monitor SHB when formic acid strips are applied.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Small hive beetle

    Little if anything that can be introduced into a hive has any effect on the SHB so time is better spent trying to keep the hive strong which will keep the SHB as a secondary pest. I tried all of the home remedies the first year I had them and none of them work. Like someone said earlier the traps are a better way to determine how bad your problem is than they are a cure. The way I look at them is every beetle they catch aint causing me any more problems! but they sure wont cure the problem. Good luck.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: Small hive beetle

    Another thought, you said you saw one small hive beetle, the most effective tool for small numbers is your hive tool, just mash him and hope he dont have friends. If you lift cover and see 20 or 30 then start worrying. If the hive is strong and there is not too much space the bees cant cover they will be fine. The Wisconsin winter should be pretty rough on the SHB.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 10-03-2011 at 06:09 PM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,536

    Default Re: Small hive beetle

    Quote Originally Posted by hemichuck View Post
    The Wisconsin winter should be pretty rough on the SHB.
    Not ruff enuff
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Boscobel, WI
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Small hive beetle

    I live in SW Wisconsin, where the winter temps got down to -10F for severa days last winter, and still my hives got wiped out by SHB. My shock! I thought SHB was a "southern" beekeepers problem. My 1st experience w/them and they are nasty. My bees "were" of an unknown race -- I think mostly Russian (mostly small and black, and very aggressive, industrious). I made every mistake possible. I had to leave for 2 weeks, the bees were laying up honey like crazy. So, I added an extra 2 honey supers. When I came back, I discovered the queens were gone and the hives were riddled w/larva. I jumped on the problem, but it was too late. Ugh! Lost all my hives!
    If I use all new frames in my new hives, does anyone think I will still have a problem w/them? For instance, will they overwinter somewhere/ So far, the temps have gotten down to -7 for one night and several around 0F.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Slinger, WI
    Posts
    204

    Default Re: Small hive beetle

    did you treat for mites before winter? I have seen SHB in my hives but I would think mites were more likely the culprit in wiping out your hives. Last year I did not do mite treatment and I lost 3 out of 5 hives. This year I treated so it will be interesting this spring to see the difference
    Steve Wenger
    Gentleman farmer/7 year Bee Keeper

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,694

    Default Re: Small hive beetle

    Quote Originally Posted by ocooch View Post
    If I use all new frames in my new hives, does anyone think I will still have a problem w/them?
    Small hive beetles can fly, just like bees. So using new frames is no defense against getting SHB, they can just fly into your hive.
    Graham
    --- Victor Hugo - "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

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