Re: SHB in central Indiana
Well hello, neighbor! Im from Trafalgar, just down the road from you. shb's showed up at my place just shortly after my bees did, and have been here ever since. I have learned not to freak out about seeing as many as a dozen or so in a hive, so long as they are running and hiding from the bees. If they are comfortably strolling about unharrassed - then I believe there will soon be a problem in that hive. I've tried different traps and they all work to some degree, but I'm a stron believer that the best defense is a strong, well-populated hive. I don't mess with traps or baits any more, but I will reduce the size of a hive when necessary to make sure they aren't allowed to get a foot hold. And of course I take great pleasure in crushing every one I can get my hive tool on. A couple years ago, I painstakingly went through each of my hives, killing each and every beetle I could find. It took several hours. After the last one was closed up, I stood for a few moments to reflect on what a great, caring beekeeper I was. While reflecting, I watched a dozen more hive beetles fly in and land on my hives from who knows where. Now, I no longer think of it as an infection that I can get rid of, but rather an attack. Unless I'm able to stand there continuously and defend my hives, then the bees are going to have to defend themselves.
I don't hink the concrete slab will help much. The larvae are capable of crawling quite some distance to find suitable soil to pupate in.
Once the bee is inside, Mr. Veil is no longer your friend.