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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,220

    Default Small hive beetles in winter

    Pulled the sticky board from one of my hives today to see what was going on in there and found about 100 dead hive beetles on it, around the outside of the cluster.

    We had some cold weather last week, the bees must have run them out to the outside of the cluster and they froze, which suits me just fine.

    More than I expected, they've been raining down for a while it seems. Hopefully this next frigid blast will kill them all off, including any larvae in the ground, and I won't see so many next year.

    I don't expect any local ones this year, unlike last year when we didn't get freezing weather much. Ground froze about 6 inches down this time, should get at least one more solid freeze and that will take care of the pupae.

    I've not had any problems in the hive with the beetles other than seeing more than I would like. If I see as many this year as I did last, I'll make some traps I think.

    Peter

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    3,284

    Default Re: Small hive beetles in winter

    This past summer was the first time I've witnessed any noticeable number of hive beetles in my colonies. They never posed a problem but I was surprised to see them as often as I did. I noticed some of the hives had a few on the sticky boards when I checked the boards during our last warm spell a couple of weeks ago.

    Peter, I'm hoping that you are right about last winter being too warm and the larvae/pupae surviving in the ground. Last year I don't think the ground here ever froze more then a inch or two below the surface. This coming week our temperatures look pretty rough so I'm sure the frost line will go down.

    Either way it appears it's time to study up on the beetles and have a game plan ready to go, just in case they are here to stay. I suppose I'm a naive optimist ... expecting them to go away.
    To everything there is a season....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Pottstown, Pennyslvania, USA
    Posts
    288

    Default Re: Small hive beetles in winter

    How far north are these **** things fully established at this point? This year was the first year I saw them here.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,402

    Default Re: Small hive beetles in winter

    I get them but they seem to pose no threat to the colony so far.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,220

    Default Re: Small hive beetles in winter

    I didn't see anything that indicated problems from the beetles, just more than I want to see. My brother had a few, far less than last year -- seem to have arrived with packages.

    We shall see, but I'm thinking beetle traps or modifying my bases to hold an oil tray just in case.

    Peter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Brainerd, MN
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Small hive beetles in winter

    Well at least that's reassuring that maybe he cold isn't good for them and maybe they won't reach me. I will be honest that I don't know much about them and I hope that they never make it this far north.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,402

    Default Re: Small hive beetles in winter

    The farther north you go the harder it is to keep bees so I am not sure what you are wishing for.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,038

    Default Re: Small hive beetles in winter

    popped the top on the twelve hives in the home yard today.

    the bad news is i saw a few hive beetles.

    the good news all but one, (and she got pinched with a tweezers), were dead in the disposable traps.

    i had to put fresh traps in two of the twelve because the vegatable oil had solidified.
    beekeeping since june 2010, +/- 20 hives, tf

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    797

    Default Re: Small hive beetles in winter

    Quote Originally Posted by DPBsbees View Post
    How far north are these **** things fully established at this point? This year was the first year I saw them here.
    I had them in my hives last year. I didn't have any real issues with them last year, but I did have to freeze a frame that had larva on it. (Stupid beekeeper feeding cut-out comb on top of the inner cover. Bees don't defend that and they laid and hatched. The frame directly under the hole had larva. Lesson learned!!!) This year every hive had at least one trap. I did a cut out this summer and w/in 2 or 3 days there were a ton in the frames that I cut out.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    597

    Default Re: Small hive beetles in winter

    They can hitchhike on packages up North but they can't survive a good freeze.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    1,647

    Default Re: Small hive beetles in winter

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBuzz View Post
    They can hitchhike on packages up North but they can't survive a good freeze.
    I know that there are alot of threads about beekeepers not agreeing, but I have to disagree on the above statement. I had beetles in Mass. over 10 years ago, we got cold weather every year, this was my isolation yard bees went out of the yard no bees came into the yard. Had shb in that yard every year once they showed up, there were no bee hives at that time for miles.
    It's normally even colder in syracuse, and I have shb in most of my yards, last year was bad enough that I have ordered some traps to see which one works best. now here there are no isolation yards so they can come in from other beeks or go from my hives to others.

    do agree that a good cold winter seems to cut down the # of mites though.
    Last edited by wildbranch2007; 01-20-2013 at 03:34 AM. Reason: added do agree
    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    JACKSON OHIO
    Posts
    479

    Default Re: Small hive beetles in winter

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    The farther north you go the harder it is to keep bees so I am not sure what you are wishing for.
    Not hard to keep bees in the north just have to have plenty of stores and a good size cluster

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,402

    Default Re: Small hive beetles in winter

    Quote Originally Posted by wadehump View Post
    just have to have plenty of stores and a good size cluster
    Some would say that is harder, maybe not.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Algonquin, IL, USA
    Posts
    635

    Default Re: Small hive beetles in winter

    Quote Originally Posted by TheBuzz View Post
    They can hitchhike on packages up North but they can't survive a good freeze.
    Unfortunately I have to disagree with that statement. Here's my experience from Northwest of Chicago:

    Two years ago I started to notice SHB in my hive. The hive was never slimed, but once I found THOUSANDS of larvae on the bottom board, under the screen. I was very concerned, but, the hive flourished. This was a new hive, off of almonds, and I assumed the SHB hitched a ride. I assumed that after the winter, I would see no more.

    Our winter in 2011/2012 was warm, but heck, in this part of the country, even a warm winter is very cold by SHB standards. Come spring, the hive survived. I pulled the bottom boards under the screen and saw hundreds of dead SHB that attempted to over winter with the cluster. I was hoping to see no more. Unfortunately I saw more last summer than I have ever seen. They still posed no problem for the hive, though, but it was a little disconcerting to see so many. They DO overwinter with the cluster. No doubt.

    By the way, we have no commercial operation around here.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    689

    Default Re: Small hive beetles in winter

    First time in my area near the coast of MA. A new beek, 3 miles away, ordered a package - the new hive didn't last the summer. When inspected, several frames filled with SHB larva and a few beetles. OMTCW

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