I finally got my observation hive back up and running last week. This morning, I went to check on the girls and watched the queen lay a few eggs. Right before I closed the outside doors though, I noticed a little black movement at the botttom of a plastic frame. There was a little black beetle, then I noticed a few more. They were in the 1/8 space that the plastic frames use as apart of the engineered spacing at the bottom. The beetles would duck back everytime a bee walked by, then come back out and check their surroundings.
I've noticed for years the wax moth larva would get in the side spaces that were about 3/8" and build a cocoon that the bees couldn't pull out, but this was the first time I noticed the beetles using those same odd plastic spaces.
My bees never liked the plastic frames much. I used them because they were cheap and done, but over and over they've caused issues. The weight throws my extractor off, as well as catching in it. The bees take plastic foundation in a wood frame twice as fast. They warp if they get left in the sun, or because they just want to. This beetle issue is the last straw.
I was moving to foundationless anyway, it just happened that there was a lot of larva on this old plastic comb that I used to start the observation hive.