Re: Could chickens in the beeyard help with Small hive beetles?
Sounds like there are mixed opinions on whether chickens affect the SHB population, but that is pretty normal for us beekeepers, right? :-)
I have heard that the guinea hens are a lot better for insects as Lazer mentioned, but they sure can be annoying! Growing up my sister and I raised a bunch of guineas and chickens. The guineas would squawk at anything like a watch dog. Sometimes they would even get on the porch rails and squawk looking at the windows...LOL! The chickens weren't nearly as annoying. However, we let them free range and we didn't have our garden fenced. Once they figured out that tomatoes were edible they consumed quite a bit of tomatoes (we had a bunch of chickens though).
I really like the idea Deknow mentioned. It makes sense to lure those little SHBs into range so the chickens can get them!
So far, I have found the SHBs to be mostly a nuisance in my area of VA. However, it seems that there population has increased some this past year. This may be related to the increased use of small mating nucs I was running. The most vulnerable hives definitely seemed to be the smaller mating nucs like the two frame divisions of queen castles. I may try to use more larger mating nucs in the future.
"Science is knowing, art is doing, and common sense is knowing and doing on the basis of experience." Alex Shigo