...the small hive beetles were more than they could handle.
This was the "weaker hive" that I had mentioned in previous posts. They were queen-right, but for some reason the queen didn't want to lay. I kept propping them up with resources from my strong hive, thinking things would stabilize...but they didn't. Lesson learned. I should have re-queened long ago. I shook out what few bees remained, cut out all the comb and disposed of it, and I'll be soaking all the hive parts in a mild bleach solution to kill the beetles, eggs and larvae that remain.
But the point is not what might have been...it's what do I do know. And to that end I have two questions for you all:
- Is there something I can/should use to treat the ground where that hive once stood? I know that SHB pupate in the earth and I don't want this mass of beetles emerging from the ground and the moving into my strong hive.
- Can I split from my strong hive this late in the year? We do get a fall flow here (although not like the spring flow) and I could always feed them if necessary. The strong hive is doing really well, and I think they could afford to give up a couple of frames to start a new colony. Or would I be better off to get through winter with my one strong colony and split in the spring?
Thanks very much for your input. I'm down...but not out.