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  1. #1

    Default Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for SHB Control

    Doing a little late night brain storming here. I was just out in my store room, putting down some Boric Acid to kill cockroaches, and it reminded me of another use for Boric Acid in killing SHB. The Fat Bee Man (Don) has several videos where he shows using corrugated plastic board with crisco and boric acid as a beetle trap.

    I've chased this a bit before, sourcing organic Crisco, but then was stalled at the Boric Acid. Is that considered a treatment? It's not on the list, but the way I think if organics is whether or not it exists naturally. Boric acid from what I understand is a man-made product.

    Anyway, I got to thinking how Don's traps work. I believe he said the beetles are attracted to the Crisco for one, and then once they eat through, either accidentally access the boric acid, or are run into the holes by pursuing bees, and so forced to contact it. Regardless, if contact is key, then DE should work as well. I use DE in my garden, but do so sparingly as it can accidentally injure bees if applied wrong or if they just happen to venture over it. To describe for the general audience that might not know, DE on a microscopic level looks like razor blades. To us it's nothing. But to a small insect it's deadly. The sharp nature of the dust scratches and cuts away the waxy coating on an insect causing them to dehydrate. It can also cause great irritation and make insects just scratch themselves to death too.

    Look up how Don makes his beetle traps, and consider if you swap the boric acid for DE what would happen:
    1) be as effective at killing SHB adults?
    2) consider it treatment free as DE is considered organic?

    Just some thoughts here, curious how others feel. At present I don't do anything for the beetles. I just try to keep my colonies strong to manage themselves. But I've lost several hives doing this. Somehow, sometimes, the beetles get the upper hand. I've has seemingly strong colonies get overrun by beetles and subsequently swarm out, abandoning the hive for the beetles to reduce to ruin. It sucks! Maybe I'll make a 2014 resolution to not lose a single colony to SHB!
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for SHB Control

    I could be all wet here, but I thought TF was directed at the bees--i.e. nothing that treats them directly, so no MAQS, no powdered sugar, no OA, no essential oils, etc. SHBs on the other hand are hive pests so yes, they can be treated as long as the treatment does not impact the bees. Example being oil pans under the SBB or beetle traps that the bees have no access to.

    JMO

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  3. #3

    Default Re: Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for SHB Control

    That's basically my thought too. But then I started second guessing if the bees somehow hauled out the dead corpses of the beetles, then they'd be exposed. But again, I feel if it's a natural product being used, something that is not a toxin either, then it's ok. If nothing else, it's certainly a gray area.

    I suppose all this questioning leaves to be answered, will it even work? We used DE to dust out dogs and get rid of fleas, and it worked like a charm. That's the only real world proof I have. All else just has been read. I guess I'll just have to try and see.
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for SHB Control


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for SHB Control

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Brueggen View Post
    It's not on the list, but the way I think if organics is whether or not it exists naturally. Boric acid from what I understand is a man-made product.
    Strychnine and arsenic exist naturally. All sorts of horrible things do. Why should the the fact that they exist naturally qualify them as somehow ok to use? Boric acid occurs naturally too.

    A better test is what will the effect of what you are doing be in the long term?

    Mike (UK)
    Anti-husbandry: Medication + Reproduction = Continuing Sickness
    http://www.suttonjoinery.co.uk/CCD/

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for SHB Control

    DE will also kill your bees. I would strongly suggest you do not put it in your hives. Different grades are made. You can buy food grade DE.

    http://www.wormfarmingrevealed.com/d...-and-bees.html

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for SHB Control

    Also if it gets wet it is no good. You will have to reapply it.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for SHB Control

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Brueggen View Post
    then I started second guessing if the bees somehow hauled out the dead corpses of the beetles, then they'd be exposed.
    If it's in a trap or under the screen, the bees have no access.

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper & Rusty's Bees ( LC and T)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for SHB Control

    Until the wind blows and sends a dust cloud up through your hive, assuming you have a SBB.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for SHB Control

    Here is another solution for the SHB in your hive. You will still have to deal with the ones outside your hive.

    http://peacebeefarm.blogspot.com/200...-invasion.html

    Another interesting read. Scroll down the page to biological control. I included the link which was posted previously in another thread. Google beneficial insects and you will find companies that sell nematodes.

    http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/...ive_beetle.htm

  11. #11

    Default Re: Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for SHB Control

    Quote Originally Posted by mike bispham View Post
    Strychnine and arsenic exist naturally. All sorts of horrible things do. Why should the the fact that they exist naturally qualify them as somehow ok to use? Boric acid occurs naturally too.

    A better test is what will the effect of what you are doing be in the long term?

    Mike (UK)
    I suppose I should clarify my views. Indeed, the ever feared asbestos occurs in nature too. What I meant was, things that are not "synthesized" or man-made I'm less concerned about. I know that doesn't fix the occurrence of strychnine or arsenic. Those are TOXINS! DE is a mechanical killer. It shreds the waxy coating of an insects outer skin and dehydrates them. There should not be lasting effects. Unless of course if makes the insects mutate to a thicker skin. But again, mutations occur due to extended contact with toxins/chemicals at low enough dosages to not work effectively but still have an impact, much like a vaccine, a dead or weakened form of the flu virus we'll say. That's supposed to make us resistant to the flu, but it doesn't kill us.

    Now, enough about that, let's get back on topic. Does this sound like a feasible option to treat SHB without impacting bees. And of course, it would be food grade DE.

    One more note, I'm not doing this, yet, so hopefully no one doubts my credibility in my own treatment free efforts. At this point my best solution for SHB is just to keep really strong hives.
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for SHB Control

    I use DE. It will work. I doubt it mutates them. But it is a temporary solution IMO. We are collectively looking for a long term solution. As an option for dealing with them now, yes. Dealing with them long term there has to be something else. IMO for every living organisim there is a predator. Are nematodes a viable solution? Has any real study been done on using them for this purpose? I fully support your efforts on treatment free.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for SHB Control

    I've done some preventative maintenance like this. Unfortunately I have lost several hives to slime. I've found that I can drown the SHB larvae in a bucket of water, or even better, I feed them to the chickens! No sense in just leaving them to their devices, getting into the soil and pupating to adults.

    I've also read a little on the nematodes, and have used them in the garden, but never in the bee yard. They're just too expensive, and when it gets darned hot down here in the summer I fear they get cooked in the soil anyway.

    I'm working on a bigger, more complicated plan of mutual benefit. I'm getting into aquaponics, like all the other trendy young'uns out there, and am building tanks that will allow my hives to sit on top on rails. If/when beetles get in the hives and the larvae crawl out, seeking the ground to pupate, instead they fall in a tank full of hungry fishies. But this doesn't treat the adult beetles...
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for SHB Control

    What about putting glue boards under your SBB? Or making traps with glue boards in them? I've never had the problem you are having but I am sure one day I will. Plus if you have a mouse problem it might be a double down solution.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for SHB Control

    DE won't mutate a mite. Can you mutate against cuts?

    DE is a great product...... arsenic is necessary to our lungs in trace amounts. Everything has a good and bad side to it.

    I however would not use it on my bees or where they could get to it. I think it would especially harm the wings and if the DE got into the cells with the larvea it would damage the larvae or kill it.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for SHB Control

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Rollins View Post
    Also if it gets wet it is no good. You will have to reapply it.
    That should not effect it. DE is old exoskeletons of sea critters called diatoms. The sharp edges are their natural protection (think porcupine and sea urchins). When the died, they leave the exoskeleton make of a some silicon based compound.

    It also collects on the roaches feet/legs and they ingest some while cleaning, doing nasty things too their digestive system. It really wrecks the joints of insects quickly, think of cockleburs stuck in your elbow joints or knees. A few cuts and they start to lose body fluids...death.

    Maybe in a CD case on the bottom of the hive. I had considered that but was worried that it would get out and kill some bees. If I had screen bottoms I would not worry as most would fall out of the hive. But bees have much softer exoskeleton than roaches and hive beetles so I have not gone that way yet. Maybe a one hive experiment.
    Started 9/13, building slowly, now @ 7 Lang hives + 5 nucs, and treatment style not decided yet

  17. #17

    Default Re: Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for SHB Control

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Rollins View Post
    Are nematodes a viable solution? Has any real study been done on using them for this purpose?
    I can't speak for the research. Whether or not it's been done specifically on SHB I don't know. But I imagine most of the support for it just comes from the knowledge of it being a soil borne predator. I use them on the garden area for fire ant control. Now I do see less fire ants in the garden I suppose, but that could be a false positive due to my efforts to remove most mulch and hiding places for them. After a good rain there's usually at least one mound will pop up somewhere in the garden.

    My SHB predator will not only be the tanks of water full of fish below the hive, but also I intend to let the chickens patrol the bee yard. I've already proved up that chickens LOVE to eat SHB larvae, so now it's just a matter of getting them to learn to dig and scratch for them in the soil below the hive. They're pretty smart birds, and I imagine they'll figure it out.

    Still again, fish or chickens, doesn't kill the adults. And the real damage comes from the adults getting inside, and laying eggs. Granted I can break the reproductive cycle in the larvae, but since the beetles will move from hive to hive, all it takes is few feral hives out in the woods nearby to keep my hives stocked with adult beetles.
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for SHB Control

    I consided nematodes as well if the issue pops up. I had not thought of heat, due something to think about since I am an hour or so east of you.

    I had my hives in an area of the pasture that holds water less than 2 inches for a day or three after rain. I was thinking the heavy rains would drown larvae under the hive and at least control the issue in the immediate area of the hives. Yes like you, more would fly in, but some would die. But was told or read that is bad for the bees...wish I knew where I was given that info, because I moved the hives to dry spots.

    When the chicken coop is finished, I will be feeding larvae to them as well as drone brood frames. But it has to wait until all the hives bodies are complete.
    Started 9/13, building slowly, now @ 7 Lang hives + 5 nucs, and treatment style not decided yet

  19. #19

    Default Re: Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for SHB Control

    Quote Originally Posted by marshmasterpat View Post
    Maybe in a CD case on the bottom of the hive. I had considered that but was worried that it would get out and kill some bees. If I had screen bottoms I would not worry as most would fall out of the hive. But bees have much softer exoskeleton than roaches and hive beetles so I have not gone that way yet. Maybe a one hive experiment.
    I have seen the CD case done with veggie oil in it (also courtesy of the FBM). I went and bought a pack of cases at Walmart, and then found they wouldn't work. The only cases I could find had been stripped of most of their bulk down to where they barely covered the disc itself. You have to find the old blocky, square cases.

    God point on the bees being less resistant to the DE due to the thinner skin. Perhaps SBB would be the way to go to keep the bees away from it. And like you said, I suppose it just boils down to a one hive test to see if it does appear to be affecting the bees (and to see if it's affecting the beetles!).

    Good points by all, thanks for the input!
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  20. #20

    Default Re: Diatomaceous Earth (DE) for SHB Control

    Quote Originally Posted by marshmasterpat View Post
    I had my hives in an area of the pasture that holds water less than 2 inches for a day or three after rain. I was thinking the heavy rains would drown larvae under the hive and at least control the issue in the immediate area of the hives. Yes like you, more would fly in, but some would die. But was told or read that is bad for the bees...wish I knew where I was given that info, because I moved the hives to dry spots.
    What was bad about keeping the bees in the marshy spot? Too much moisture in the hive? That's all I can think, and I've thought of this too if I'm keeping them over water. With the humidity down here, it's already hard enough for the bees to ripen nectar. But I would think as long as you set up the hive with decent air flow it should not make much of a difference. Maybe just a top and bottom entrance to the heated/moist air can easily move up and out.
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

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