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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    591

    Default Small Hive Beetles, Where Do You Get Them From??

    I bought this hive in July, and one of the first culprits I found was a small hive beetle. Several of them.

    My mentor locally has not noticed any in his hives. He lives in town and is probably isolated from other keepers. Others locally have reported them. Or he may be so old he can't see them.

    I think I have my hive under control and as hard and dry as the ground was under my hive, I don't think I propagated the species after the hive arrived on my place.

    Do they come with the packages from the suppliers?

    Do they travel miles to find a new colony to infect?

    What is the research on them as far as spreading goes? Forestry Division will quarantine a whole county when it finds one little emerald ash borer. But I have not seen any bulletins about the SHB.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Palm Harbor, Fl USA
    Posts
    463

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetles, Where Do You Get Them From??

    They fly. Shade encourages them, as does hives low in population. Really strong hives seem to run most of the SHB out.
    My wife says I have ADD, but, hey look- a chicken!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,929

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetles, Where Do You Get Them From??

    The adults just fly in. Treating the ground really does nothing to prevent infestations, but it might help if they're multiplying in your hives, if they're not, treating the ground is useless IMO.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
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    2,505

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetles, Where Do You Get Them From??

    I think I've figured out why full sun gets rid of the beetles -- the bees chase them into the space between the frame top bar ends and the box, and also tend to keep them corralled at the ends of the frames. SHB are less tolerant of heat than the bees, so a box in full sun will cook them in that space between the ends of the bars and the box. Either the bees aren't as affected or they stay cooler.

    The beetles pupate in the ground, so a solid base under the hives with plenty of nice ants around will keep the number of adults emerging down (the ants eat the larvae on their way into the ground). However, adults can fly much further than bees, so if you have beetles it's most likely they flew into the hive.

    Peter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    1,979

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetles, Where Do You Get Them From??

    mike syracuse ny
    I went to bed mean, and woke up meaner. Marshal Dillon

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Citrus County, Florida, United States
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetles, Where Do You Get Them From??

    Another good article from University of Arkansas Ag. Division

    http://www.uaex.edu/Other_Areas/publ...F/FSA-7075.pdf

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
    Posts
    623

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetles, Where Do You Get Them From??

    Has anyone had any luck with Beetle Traps and if so, which ones.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,403

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetles, Where Do You Get Them From??

    Heres my experience with SHB here in the bay area of CA:

    Two hives in town, both pretty much shaded all day, damp/loose soil around the hives as well as ground ivy surrounding the hives, the only ants I seen were Argentinian ants (hate those suckers!). Both hives had SHB in them, not a ton of them compared to other states, but probably around 10 or so per hive, even found a few dead ones when inspecting both dead outs (both town hives succumbed to V.mites). One hive was a swarm hive and one was a daughter hive split from my original package the year before. No treatments. Both hives were booming and made about 80+ pounds of honey.

    Six hives in the country, full sun all day long, hard packed clay ground, no vegetation around or under hives, red ant nest within feet of my hives. Never seen the red ants on the hive stands, always under them carrying off dead bees or bits of pollen that fell through the SBB. Not a single hive beetle has been seen in any of those hives and all 6 of those hives were alive as of last week, no treatments. Five of the hives were either cut outs or swarm catches, one hive is the remnant of my original hive but with a new queen I believe. All the hives made very little honey and had to be fed to make it through summer. None of them were considered booming, but had enough bees to stay alive.

    Seems to me that hive beetles prefer lush circumstances, damp loose soil, shaded areas to keep cool and plenty of food!! Im not an expert by any means, just making a personal observation.
    Coyote Creek Bees

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,648

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetles, Where Do You Get Them From??

    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    Has anyone had any luck with Beetle Traps and if so, which ones.

    i like the 'better beetle blaster' disposables from mann lake. i keep a used dish detergent squirt bottle full of vegatable oil that is 'baited' with overipe banana juice and apple cider vinegar, and put about 3/8" worth in each trap. every box gets one, and they are changed out as needed.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    591

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetles, Where Do You Get Them From??

    The shaded loose soil area fits the description of the hive location where I picked it up from its original owner.

    I placed it in the sun on dry hard clay that had been scalped of grass. Problem went away. I tried a few of the beetle traps and placed a tray filled with veggie oil under the SBB. Several of the little suckers dropped out and a few fell in the trap.

    So I assume they can fly for some distance. They were not transmitted by packages from a supplier?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,648

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetles, Where Do You Get Them From??

    >They were not transmitted by packages from a supplier?

    not likely transmitted in packages since the shb is more interested in a place to hide and lay eggs and not that interested (actually has to run and hide from) the bees.

    the metal frame dividers i thought i just had to have turned into the best beetle fortresses imaginable. i removed those dividers pretty fast.

    those buying nucs on the other hand shouldn't be surprised if they find a beetle or two when they get them home.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetles, Where Do You Get Them From??

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    i like the 'better beetle blaster' disposables from mann lake. i keep a used dish detergent squirt bottle full of vegatable oil that is 'baited' with overipe banana juice and apple cider vinegar, and put about 3/8" worth in each trap. every box gets one, and they are changed out as needed.
    An attractant is a must - I'm interested in how you make your banana juice cider mixture - cider alone does not mix with the vege oil and goes straight to the bottom - I had a V-8 moment when you mentioned the detergent bottle - filling is the real hassle, good tip

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ft Myers, Fl 33967
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetles, Where Do You Get Them From??

    JD
    SHB can fly several miles and they are attracted to be hives as this is their natural habitat. They can also live in rott5en fruit.
    The female can lay 600 eggs a day. Depending on temps, they can hatch in 1 1/2 days. The larva eat their way through the comb and poop constantly.
    the female can chew a hole into the surface of the wood and lay her eggs there if the bees leave them alone. Or they can lay eggs in the cracks and crevices inside the box.
    Under normal conditions the bees will "corral" or contain the beetles and prevent them from laying.
    When ever the colony is stressed and the guardian bees lose focus, the beetles will promptly lay their eggs. Stress can be caused by many things, bears, skunks, pollen dearths, splits, cutouts, relocations etc.
    SHB do not like light. One fellow wrote in Bee Culture that a transparent plastic top cover without an inner cover would keep the beetles out. I am trying this myself and it appears to work

    If you take a frame out of a box, brush all the bees off of it, put it in a large zip lock bag, fill the bag with Propane and you can watch the beetles run. Thirty seconds inside the Propane will cause the beetles to seek another place to hide and the will come out of the comb and run across it, Shake the bag and drop the beetles to the bottom of the bag, remove the frame and repeat as necessary. It takes 4 hours in the Propane to kill the beetles, After 24 hours in the Propane some of the larva are still alive. They are tough.
    I was told by the head of a major university Etymology dept that the beetles cannot tolerate vinyl paint. and suggested I paint the inside of my hives. That also appears to work.
    regards
    Joe

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    591

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetles, Where Do You Get Them From??

    But bees like the dark. How does the transparent cover affect the bees?


    Does the propane ruin the comb or do you put it back in the hive?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,648

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetles, Where Do You Get Them From??

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
    An attractant is a must - I'm interested in how you make your banana juice cider mixture - cider alone does not mix with the vege oil and goes straight to the bottom - I had a V-8 moment when you mentioned the detergent bottle - filling is the real hassle, good tip
    correct, it doesn't mix at all, and the banana clumps clog up the detergent bottle. all you do joel is close the top and shake the bottle up good before you fill the trap. enough of the scent gets in there to entice the beetles. it's deadly.

    the recipe for the bait that was given to me and i have pretty much followed is:

    overipe banana
    apple cider vinegar
    little water
    little sugar
    pinch of bakers yeast.

    (the amounts aren't critical)

    mix well and store at room temp overnight.

    mix bait:veg oil at about 1:20, shake well before using.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ft Myers, Fl 33967
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetles, Where Do You Get Them From??

    JD
    Here in SW Florida it is a common occurrence to see a colony of bees take up residence in a tree, not in the trunk but out on a limb. I took a colony out of a tree last Thur. and two weeks ago I cut one off of the under side of an overhanging soffit. They also live quite happy in an observation hive.

    I only leave the comb in the Propane for less than a minute. Does it hurt the comb? I really don't know. The wax makes everything impervious to water but it might affect the eggs. this is something that needs a long term study done and I am just starting in that direction.
    Regards
    Joe

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetles, Where Do You Get Them From??

    Thanks Square - I had pretty much sworn off the blasters last year because just oil or oil & vinegar was not working- it would make sense the other ingredients would cling pretty good to the plastic as well as mix in.

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