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  1. #1
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    Mar 2013
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    Default A small hive beetle trap.

    http://freemanbeetletrap.com/yahoo_s...2.33153109.pdf

    I recently found this PDF on the "Freeman Beetle Trap." I was wondering if anyone has made these, and has had any luck? I've tried the "Better Beetle Blaster" with mineral oil with little success. (I prefer not to bait with anything that could go rancid as I prefer to open my hives as seldom as possible.) I've never really had a SHB "infestation" but I do see them on occasion and figured if these were at all effective, it wouldn't hurt to swap out my bottom boards.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Little Rock, AR, USA
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    Default Re: A small hive beetle trap.

    I have used them for the last year and have found them to be effective. Be very sure that you use the appropriate size hardware cloth and that the bees have absolutely no way to get into the area with the oil. If they can get in, they will spend all day committing suicide.
    Trying very hard not to kill the bees faster than they can reproduce.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: A small hive beetle trap.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nmace View Post
    I have used them for the last year and have found them to be effective. Be very sure that you use the appropriate size hardware cloth and that the bees have absolutely no way to get into the area with the oil. If they can get in, they will spend all day committing suicide.
    LMAO! I very literally laughed out loud (at work no less) at the "spend all day committing suicide". I don't know why that struck me as so funny, but it's like a slug trying to kill itself by repeatedly ramming into a wall... I once had a bee fly into a top feeder JUST as I was closing it, and I felt bad, but figured she'd drown happy. When I came back three weeks later, she was STILL ALIVE, but with sugar crystals forming on her! The "spend all day committing suicide" is very literal.

    So this said, I was thinking #7 hardware cloth? I assume that'll still be big enough for the SHB, and small enough to keep the "natural" sized bees from getting through?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Crenshaw County, Alabama
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    2,001

    Default Re: A small hive beetle trap.

    Jav, if you already have some screened bottom boards you might want to look at this thread... Simple oil tray mod for sbb...

    I haven't tried the Beetle Blaster traps but I have used Beetle Jail Jr's. I really like the Beetle Jail...Add a little apple cider vinigar and maybe a little mashed up ripe banana...or watermelon,..or...

    #7 hardware cloth would be great. So far the only place I've seen it listed is at Kelleys in 100' lengths unless you purchase it pre-cut to hive size.

    Best wishes,
    Ed

  5. #5
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    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: A small hive beetle trap.

    Quote Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
    Jav, if you already have some screened bottom boards you might want to look at this thread... Simple oil tray mod for sbb...

    I haven't tried the Beetle Blaster traps but I have used Beetle Jail Jr's. I really like the Beetle Jail...Add a little apple cider vinigar and maybe a little mashed up ripe banana...or watermelon,..or...

    #7 hardware cloth would be great. So far the only place I've seen it listed is at Kelleys in 100' lengths unless you purchase it pre-cut to hive size.

    Best wishes,
    Ed
    Interesting! I'd thought about using the trays for all of 10 seconds, but then just assumed I couldn't find one the right size. I'll have to reconsider! My concern though is that when I bought my bottom-boards they were pre-assembled with #8 screening on them. I don't believe that screening is large enough for the SHB to fall through. (Some of the SHB I've seen are pretty beefy here in VA.) I've heard of people having success with #6, but my bees are all foundationless, so I don't know if this will impact the results as they would be smaller...

  6. #6
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    Jul 2011
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    Crenshaw County, Alabama
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    Default Re: A small hive beetle trap.

    Jav, in the pdf FBM states that he uses 1/8" (#8) hardware cloth...looks like it's working for him pretty good. I do agree that #7 would be great...it's just hard to find at a reasonable cost. Down here in south Alabama we have some BIG sow shb's, too, so there's probably some that won't make it through...my idea of the best strategy is trays on bottom and frame traps (beetle jails, etc.) scattered in the hive.

    Ed

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Lee County, Alabama, USA
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    Default Re: A small hive beetle trap.

    Take some time and watch what OJ Blount does in this video.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niQQfPoiEmw

    I tried a variation of this in my weaker hive, which had a shb problem and have been happy with the results.

    My hive already had a screened bottom board so I just built frame to fit beneath it. This frame holds a sheet of tin coated with a liquidy mixture of petroleum jelly and baby oil. I try to clean it & replace the oil mixture monthly by sliding the tin out from behind the hive.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2013
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    Stafford, VA
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    Default Re: A small hive beetle trap.

    Quote Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
    Jav, in the pdf FBM states that he uses 1/8" (#8) hardware cloth...looks like it's working for him pretty good. I do agree that #7 would be great...it's just hard to find at a reasonable cost. Down here in south Alabama we have some BIG sow shb's, too, so there's probably some that won't make it through...my idea of the best strategy is trays on bottom and frame traps (beetle jails, etc.) scattered in the hive.

    Ed

    Yeah, I've been doing a lot of digging, and it really does seem like you just can't get it in the U.S. easily anymore. Pretty much have to order it by the roll from china. This said, the important thing isn't so much the number of wires per inch, but rather the size of the holes. The standard small hive beetle is approximately 3mm across, meaning you'd want about a 3.2 mm gap minimum from corner to corner for SHB to be able to fit through. #8 mesh typically has a .017" wire diameter, meaning the holes would be .108" on a side. (2.7432 mm). So corner-to-corner the size of the hole in #8 cloth should be slightly smaller than 3.9mm. So the math says that #8 mesh should work... IF you have standard sized beetles. This picture would seem to indicate that the "standard" isn't so standard:
    Attachment 4700
    (from an earlier post about SHB)

    So this has me thinking... Basically, using the standard screen (#8, #7, #6 or otherwise) method, we'll inevitably breed larger and larger SHBs as we kill off the smaller ones, until the screens simply won't work anymore because the beetles will be as wide as a regular sized bee. Particularly for us that are allowing the bees to naturally downsize, this delta isn't very big. So I was thinking, if the SHB's primary defense mechanism is that they're flat, and hide in "cracks" then why don't we use that against them? We could instead use a small grade expanded metal mesh, giving them a wider but "thinner" entrance, or barring that just get two (relatively) inexpensive queen excluders, and offset them slightly to only allow the "cracks" for the SHB to get through? I'll have to experiment.

  9. #9

    Default Re: A small hive beetle trap.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snakejumper View Post
    Take some time and watch what OJ Blount does in this video.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niQQfPoiEmw
    Snakejumper, I checked out all 6 videos by OJ Blount and his wife on this link and was so impressed I just finished redesigning my basic hive setup - http://queenscastlebeekeepersassociation.com/video.htm

    I was really impressed by his extended landing pad and reduced entrance as well as his feeder/ventilation board. I'm in the process of building at least 9 more setups like the one below, so if anyone can see any flaws to his approach, please let me know.

    bh-3.jpgbh-4.jpgbh-5.jpgbh-6.jpgbh-7.jpgbh-8.jpg

    Picture 1 - My "new" basic hive setup which includes a modified OJ Blount bottom board, Rossman slatted rack, standard deep, OJ Blount feeder/ventilation board, empty medium box to protect mason feeder jars (when in place) and telescoping cover. The entrance is 5" wide and 5/16" high.

    Picture 2 - OJ Blount feeder/ventilation board. The four corner holes are covered with #8 screen and the four 1" outside ventilation holes are cover with window screen cloth to keep both the little and big bugs out. An extra benefit with the corner ventilation holes is that you can get a quick view the bees in the top super or brood box without taking the ventilation cover off.

    Picture 3 - Rossman slatted rack. I just like them and they have gotten a lot of good reviews. For example my hives have very little bearding on hot summer days.

    Picture 4 - Modified OJ Blount bottom board. I used #8 hardware cloth instead of his recommended fabricated steel with 5/32" holes. The "landing pad", which is a sheet of 26 gauge steel, has a slight decline so water will run off during heavy rains.

    Picture 5 - Removable backstop. Easy way to clean the tray below the screened bottom board without messing with the bees.

    Picture 6 - The bottom tray, which lays on a solid bottom board, will be coated with a combination of vasoline and baby oil. You use a paint scrapper to clean the 26 gauge steel sheet and then "repaint" it before putting it back in and closing the door.
    Last edited by barberberryfarm; 12-05-2013 at 03:32 PM.
    Started beekeeping in 2013 and having a blast with my 10 small cell hives!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lee County, Alabama, USA
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    70

    Default Re: A small hive beetle trap.

    Nice work. You've obviously spent some time pondering and planning this. The only idea I've used of Mr. Blount's is the petroleum jelly & baby oil...now I'm inspired and need to get to work before spring time.

    Does the Rossman slatted provide more space for expanding or just more air for circulation?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
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    4,770

    Default Re: A small hive beetle trap.

    Quote Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
    Add a little apple cider vinigar and maybe a little mashed up ripe banana...Ed
    +1

    the disposable beetle blasters have been effective for me using this bait. i put one in each box.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  12. #12

    Default Re: A small hive beetle trap.

    snakejumper, "they" say the slatted bottom rack provides additional cluster space for bees, allows air circulation without allowing a direct draft on the brood, and helps prevent swarming. Also, if you get the Killion style which has the slats running parallel to the frames like I did, they say the queen will lay in the lower brood chamber. It all sounded good and the racks have been around for a long time, so I figured there must be something to it and I did notice a lot less bearding on hot days with them in place. The way I figure it, my ladies are working hard every day for the limited number of days they have, so why not spoil them a little while they're here.
    Started beekeeping in 2013 and having a blast with my 10 small cell hives!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: A small hive beetle trap.

    Most of the slatted racks that I see run with the frames.. So it's kind of an extension of the frame... What is the purpose of the bottom board being twice as long with the funnel in the front? I can see the purpose of a funnel, but that seems excessive.. If I was going to do that funnel, thing... I'd use one of the beetle baffle type entrances to keep the beetle from walking directly into the hive. Have it funnel them into the oil...
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
    http://tradingwebsites4bees.com

  14. #14

    Default Re: A small hive beetle trap.

    KevinR, I realize the 10" landing area is way longer than average, but it definitely gives the returning nectar-loaded foragers plenty of room to land when other bees are socializing on a hot day around the entrance. I think any shorter the funnel wouldn't be as effective. As far as SHBs go, they will take the deep plunge onto the vasoline/baby oil-covered sheet as soon as they walk across the threshold as the floor of the hive is all #8 screen. But they first have to get past the guard bees which only have to protect a 5" x 5/16" opening. At least that's the plan and it seems to work pretty well for OJ.
    Started beekeeping in 2013 and having a blast with my 10 small cell hives!!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: A small hive beetle trap.

    They won't take that deep plunge without being encouraged by the bees. The point of the beetle baffle is that the bees have the chance to case them around, while there is a physical barrier to prevent their rapid escape...

    I haven't tested them, but I plan to make some DIY versions...

    On a side note, I've watched SHB dance around on both sides of a screen bottom board avoiding bees... like little upside down tight rope walkers...
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
    http://tradingwebsites4bees.com

  16. #16

    Default Re: A small hive beetle trap.

    KevinR, thanks for the tip. I just got finished reading about the beetle baffle. I might have to buy one just to see if it works as there isn't a lot of personal experiences about it on this forum yet. As I am in the process of redesigning my hives, it would seem adding the baffle strips to the bottom of my slatted racks would be the ideal place to put them without having to swap out with my existing bottom brood boxes.
    Started beekeeping in 2013 and having a blast with my 10 small cell hives!!

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