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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Mt. Prospect, IL
    Posts
    11

    Default Small Hive Beetle

    I have found the small hive beetle in my hive and I have quite a few frames that are dark brown in color with dead bees in the cell with there behinds hanging out, I am assuming this was caused by the SHB. I would like to know what I should do with these frames, should I take out this foundation & put new foundation in or will the bees take care of everything on their own? See pictures, Thank You for all comments!,
    image.jpgimage.jpgimage.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    914

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle

    Head first in the cell generally indicates starvation last winter. SHBs on the other hand raise tons of eggs that hatch and the resulting larvae slime the hive. That doesn't sound like your problem at all. The bees will clean up that empty comb and put it to good use. Just make sure to leave them more stores this fall so they don't starve over the winter.

    HTH

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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Mt. Prospect, IL
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle

    Rusty, thank you for your quick reply, it sounds like you know what you're talking about can you tell me if it's normal for the honey comb to be come discolored over time. Wen I closed the hive for the winter it was normal in color, and now a lot of the comb area is dark brown in color. Thank you again.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,068

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle

    Mary, two points.

    1. if you see hive beetles in your hive it would be very wise to freeze the frames of comb for at least 3 days to kill any eggs the SHB have laid. And to kill any larva that may have hatched but be too small to see. handle the comb very gently while it is frozen. Then take it out of the freeze the day before you are going to give it to the bees.

    The wax in the comb is always between white and medium-yellow. It starts white but goes yellow because pollen get mixed with it and the bees track over it and leave pollen on the surface that gets worked into the wax by the bees. So your comb where the bees store honey will always have this color. But the comb where the bee raise brood or new bees starts to look darker because the waste products and cocoons of the new bees are left behind by the new bees in the cells when they emerge. Over time the combs can go completely black because there are so many cocoons left in the cells. the bees don't care. Now there is much thought about the comb building up with waste products, treatment chemicals, and chemicals the bees might bring into the hive so some keeper get rid of comb after it get older. Each keeper has their own idea about how often you should do that.

    Over time bees change what they use comb for in the hive because the size and sometimes the location of the "nest" area changes. so they can store honey in dark comb when they want to and the honey is still fine.

    Now even in the black old brood comb the wax the bees made is still white to medium-yellow deep inside the comb. When you melt the wax out of the comb the wax comes out yellow from the pollens and the old cocoons and waste products stay black.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    High Springs, FL
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle

    Looks like the hive got weak/ran out of food, then the SHB's moved in.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,288

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle

    > I have quite a few frames that are dark brown in color with dead bees in the cell with there behinds hanging out, I am assuming this was caused by the SHB

    The dark brown is normal. It's just cocoons in the brood cells. Bees head first in cells in winter is just how they cluster. Bees head first other times are probably starving. Nothing there I would say is caused by SHB.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Cleveland, Oklahoma, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle

    What I the best way to get rid of hive beetles?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Benton, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle

    I have a freeman bottom board (tray under screened bottom board that you can place veg oil, DE, soapy water, Propylene Glycol or whatever you want) under my hives and have some of those beetle blaster oil traps in each box. I don't see many hive beetles, until fall. I treat with an Oxalic acid dribble in the late fall or early winter, and see a tremendous drop of hive beetles as well as mites. This has happened 3 years in a row. I don't think its a coincidence, but who knows. Good luck to you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Benton, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle

    Last fall some tests were done using the heavy duty disposable towels. They put a strip of them across the middle of the box. The thought was that hive beetles would get caught up in them and the bees could get out of them. I don't know whatever happened about that or how successful it was. I think they were microfiber disposable towels. Has anyone had any experience with this?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Cleveland, Oklahoma, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle

    Great, thank you for the advice. I have one of the bottom boards you describe and I will install it and see what happens.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Oceanside, New York
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle

    i had shb in two hives, I made my own screened bottom board and an oil pan underneath. I have exactly zero small hive beetles now. The best thing since apple pie

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Cleveland, Oklahoma, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle

    Great news! I installed a screened bottom and pan of oil yesterday. Hope to have the same results. I only saw two beetles, hope I caught them early.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Lakeland, Florida
    Posts
    527

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle

    I too just installed the screen/oil pan. Now when i open up my hive, I do notice that the SHB are all at the top hanging out trying to hide from the bees. There is a SHB trap that you can install that lays on the top of the frames (looks kinda like a Raid Roach Motel) that if you put a speck of ROACH gel (instecticide) in the middle, the SHB supposedly go in to hide, eat and die. then you just shake out the dead SHB, cleran it and put more ROACH gel inside. Notice I empahsize the ROACH gel. They make the same thing for ants but DO NOT USE the ant gel, only roach. Gottta get me some of those SHB hotels!!!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Cleveland, Oklahoma, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle

    Yesterday I inspected my hive and after 48 hrs. with screened bottom and oil pan there were 30 or more dead beetles. Hope it gets them all!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Libertytown, MD, USA
    Posts
    136

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle

    Quote Originally Posted by arcowandbeegirl View Post
    Last fall some tests were done using the heavy duty disposable towels. They put a strip of them across the middle of the box. The thought was that hive beetles would get caught up in them and the bees could get out of them. I don't know whatever happened about that or how successful it was. I think they were microfiber disposable towels. Has anyone had any experience with this?
    I tried it. All I got was a fuzzy mess. I have seen it done with some success though (ie, beetles were caught - % is anybody's guess). I think the key with the handi-wipes may be to get a particular weight which I couldn't find at the time I attempted that method. I also got some Freeman traps. They were amazingly effective - worth every penny.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Miami Florida USA
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle

    I've had a horrible problem with SHB. Saturday I installed a screened bottom board I bought from South Florida Bee Supply. Instead of a tray for oil, it has a flat, white plastic board for the beetles to fall on. You spray PAM cooking oil on the board to trap the beetles. Sunday I went out to check it and found close to fifty beetles dead on the board. It was a wonderful sight! To clean it you just wipe it off with a paper towel and re-spray. It's less messy to deal with than an oil filled tray. If you already have the tray type, you might try spraying with PAM instead of using oil.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Cleveland, Oklahoma, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle

    Thanks, I'll try that.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle

    Something else to remember when using oil trays...you don't have to fill them up. Just enough oil to cover the bottom is all that is needed. You need to figure that the tray will not be laying perfectly flat (unless you have your hive built by NASA ) so add a little extra to the shallow amount. I use baking pans which have sides maybe 3/4" tall and I fill them at the *very* most only halfway full, most of the time only about 1/4 full.

    Lots of people use vegetable oil but I prefer mineral oil as it's not attractive to insects and other critters. A pint for $2 is the best deal I've found so far, which isn't cheap...but I can load roughly two trays with a pint and that will last most of the season. Again, don't overfill them...all the beetle has to do is hit the oil and he's a goner...he doesn't have to sink below the surface or anything. As debris falls into the tray a level of capping wax, "bee dander", bugs of different sorts, etc., will build up in the oil and it will need to be either replaced or filtered through an old flour sifter, a piece of window screen, or something.

    PAM is definitely good to use being as it won't spill out, but it might have the "critter attractant" aspect to it.

    This reminds me that I need to check with my local pharmacist and see what the cheapest they can get me a gallon of mineral oil for...

    I tried the "Handi-wipes" last year. I actually grabbed their counterfeits at a "Dollar Tree". I "fuzzed" them up good and laid them on top of the inner cover, my escape holes and feeding holes are screened so the area between inner and outer covers are bee-free. I still have two hives with the wipes on them...the bees have nicely glued them down to cover the screened escape/feed holes. When I first put them on I failed to see any trapped beetles. Since the bees have sealed the holes beetles are seldom (never) on top of the inner cover so there's no chance for them to get caught in the wipes now. If I decide to tear off the sealed up screens and replace them with fresh screen I will stick the wipes back under there and see if they catch any beetles. Apparently the wipes work for some people, but didn't do much for me.

    I think the best traps are in-hive traps, such as the in-between-frame traps (I use Beetle-Jail,Jr's but there are others), entrance traps, and screened bottom boards with oil trays. Just be careful handling the in-hive traps so that you don't spill any oil in the hive...oil will kill bees, too.

    Best wishes, keep those oil traps full!!!!
    Ed

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Gillham Arkansas USA
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle

    You also have to watch the oil pans in times of heavy rain my filled with water . And my hives are angled with a slight pitch Forward but still filled . But they do work even the screened with the coraplastic board catch the bettle larva so the cycle can be stopped .
    Nothing ventured nothing gained . Sometimes the only way to learn is do .
    25 hives at the moment .

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