Possible SHB....is this a good plan?
I'm a new beek with two hives. They've been doing well, and have been installed for only 4 weeks in a 10-frame deep. The first hive had completely drawn 9 frames of a deep within 2-3 weeks and the second seems to be "stuck' after filling out 7 frames; they hit the third frame from the end, then stopped. I noticed this during an inspection last week, but did not note anything unusual about the frames themselves. Instead, the rate at which they were building out led me to add a second deep to prevent crowding in both hives.
I use SBB's and slide out the boards every couple of days to do an indirect inspection, and yesterday noticed some black/grey material (not pollen or wax) and a small larva on the board of the "stuck" hive. Just one, but where there is one there are more. I was not able to closely inspect the larva. I also noticed a sour odor when replacing the feeder (jar surrounded by an empty super on top of the hive), so I suspect SHB and will confirm or reject this hypothesis later today when I undertake a thorough inspection. I could be dealing with wax moth and a fermented feeder. Meanwhile, I have placed a couple of CD jewel case traps in each hive to sample.
Now that I have a specific objective and possible issue in mind, I need to develop a plan for my inspection. Here is what I have in mind, and would appreciate any commentary/critique.
1) Carefully inspect each frame for damage/larvae/odor/sliming. Sliming and odor would confirm SHB (so would the presence of beetles).
2) If slimed frames with larvae are found, and the sliming is significant, they will be removed from the hive and replaced with new foundation. If larvae but no sliming is found, the problem may be wax moths.
3) If the beginnings of infestation are found on a frame, but the areas are small, those portions will be cut out and removed.
4) IPM: Continue with the CD traps, obtain beetle jail or other and order a SBB with an oil tray. Monitor the situation.
5) Determine if I will need to treat. I am not opposed to treatment, but would like to hold off on this as an option to be used if other approaches do not keep things in check.
I'll also welcome opinions, but would be most appreciative of constructive commentary based on experience. If I have things wrong or have not thought of something important, let me know. Debate on the merits of one philosophy over another is not going to be helpful to me or others who may read this thread, but I am willing to consider actions and approaches that have been demonstrated to be practical and successful. Many thanks in advance.
Pete. New 2013, 12 hives, zone 6a
To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.