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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Springfield, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    449

    Default 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, 7 hives, zone 6a
    To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,968

    Default Re: Possible SHB....is this a good plan?

    It's a good plan. Have fun.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: Possible SHB....is this a good plan?

    A highly populated hive, which it sounds like you have, is the best defense for hive beetles. It's not uncommon to see a few larvae. When you see dozens is when there is a problem. Don't know about the smell but if it is hive beetle slime you will see a lot of larvae. Get some traps & do your inspections every couple of weeeks. You have a plan. Good work.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Springfield, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    449

    Default Re: Possible SHB....is this a good plan?

    Thanks to you both, I appreciate it. I did see 2-3 adults in each hive today, but no sliming or damage. Both hives seem to be doing very well, and the frames are nicely filled out w/good patterns. I installed beetle blaster traps in each hive, and plan to check these every 7-14 days. The smell I noticed earlier *was* from a feeder that was clear but had begun to turn.
    Pete. New 2013, 7 hives, zone 6a
    To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous.

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