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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Manchester TN,USA
    Posts
    68

    Default SHB observations

    Today the weather was great for a day in the bee yards. I've got 3 good colonies one of which happens to be in front of my truck shop which basically faces due south, maybe a bit southwest. Today I opened up the hive body and all seemed well with no SHB found. This colony sits on a limestone gravel base with the nearest dirt 20' away. There is no shade at all for this colony.
    My other 2 colonies are 1/2 mile from the first colony sitting underneath 2 trees each facing the east. Each of these colonies had a good population of bees with one of them plenty strong enough to split now if I had a queen. Both had SHB,with the colony of greatest strength having a severe infestation.

    IIRC some colonies have less SHB populations when in full sunshine (no shade), it seems I read or heard.

    Would the full sunshine factor be the sole reason for no SHB in front of my shop or could the gravel base have an impact on the SHB reproduction abilities?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,116

    Default Re: SHB observations

    Quote Originally Posted by Cantrellc123 View Post
    ... could the gravel base have an impact on the SHB reproduction abilities?
    SHB pupate in soil (generally under the hive or nearby). If there is packed gravel instead of soil, that could be a serious impediment to pupae maturing. More here:
    http://www.ent.uga.edu/bees/disorder...ve-beetle.html
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,531

    Default Re: SHB observations

    are there any differences at all in how the hives are set up? i.e. entrance size and location, screened vs. solid bottom boards, open vents at the top?

    rader is correct about the ground underneath is where the hatched beetle larvae fall out of the hive and pupate, but this is long after a female beetle lays eggs that hatch in the hive, and the damage to your honey combs has already been done.

    i have a neighbor who has bees that are in a shady spot, and he uses screened bottom boards. he called me over one evening at sunset, and we witnessed dozens and dozens of small hive beetles flying into the bottom entrances of his three hives as it was getting dark.

    we killed what few we could, but most got in the hives. a lot of the ones that got in ended up drowning in the vegatable oil he had in the tray below the screen bottom. he didn't end up with any damage from them, but it sure was an eye opener watching all of those beetles flying in like that.

    last spring, i set two nucs in a friend's back yard, which is mostly shaded. i went back two days later and saw more beetles in those two nucs that i have ever seen in all my hives put together. i took them to a sunny spot, squished all the beetles, and put disposable traps in them. that was pretty much the end of that problem

    i think the research is solid on full sun making a difference. i happen to have mine positioned where they get a couple of hours of late afternoon shade in the summer months and have not had any problems. i get my disposable traps from mann lake, and have one in each box.

    i have also read that fire ants will eat the beetle larva, and i allow a few mounds in the vicinity of my hives.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Manchester TN,USA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: SHB observations

    All hives are set up identical. The one in front of my shop is actually flat on the gravel- not on a stand of any kind. My nephew is installing traps tomorrow. I don't know that this means anything but my shop has white metal on the walls so its plenty bright at that location.
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 01-20-2013 at 07:13 PM. Reason: UNQuote

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,531

    Default Re: SHB observations

    that's interesting. and it confirms the reports that shb (and mites too i think) avoid high heat, whereas the bees deal with it alright, assuming they have plenty of water nearby.

    the other tricks to avoiding shb infestation are to not give the bees too much space to patrol, (by only providing an adequate number of boxes for the size of the colony at the time, which is also important for preventing robbing), and avoid pulling frames unecessarily, (the bees coral up the shb in cracks and crevices and propilize them in 'jail' and the beetles die).
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Manchester TN,USA
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: SHB observations

    I've been thinking about this most of the evening and I'm inclined to think I will construct a wall similar to my shop along with a gravel base at my primary bee yard. This will sound expensive to most but with that falling in my career expertise it won't be to bad. Actually there is an old abandoned house within 30' of the 2 colonies, again its facing south. This would be a good wall for white metal.
    Moving the bees 30' will be a pain, but it can be done.

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