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Thread: Hive Beetle

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Norfolk, Nebraska, USA
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    119

    Default Hive Beetle

    I understand that the best way to rid the hive beetle is to have a strong hive. They're opportunistic and prey on weak hives so my question is, Is a hive able to rebuild and overcome the beetle on it's own or do I need to intervene in some way? I don't want to use chemicals so I would like other ideas.
    Thanks
    Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
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    Default Re: Hive Beetle

    Place the hive in full sun, beetle traps, no cracks or places for the beetles to hide and entrance reducer!
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  3. #3

    Default Re: Hive Beetle

    Quote Originally Posted by wild-b View Post
    is a hive able to rebuild and overcome the beetle on it's own
    What do you mean by rebuild? If you see a few hive beetles that may be normal and there isn't anything that needs to be done. If you mean a hive that is loaded with shb larvae....that is an entirely different thing.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Mount Airy, Frederick county, MD, USA
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    Default Re: Hive Beetle

    I've been thinking along the same lines lately. I lifted the lids on my biggest and strongest hives the other day and spotted 4-6 SHB on each inner cover (they looked like they had been trapped but my activity freed them), but I didn't go digging around to see what else was going on. Is there a general guideline somewhere about how many is too many?

    Oddly, my nucs and the smaller of the three hives don't have them.
    Newbee with three hives and two nucs, zone 6b

  5. #5

    Default Re: Hive Beetle

    In my opinion there are two key things to keeping shb under control.
    Your hive must be queenright. If queenless, the workers do not defend the brood area with vigor. At that point, I believe, even one shb is enough to bring down a hive.
    Second....there needs to be a substantial bee population. It takes a good bit of beepower to keep shb sequestered away from the brood nest while still maintaining enough foragers and nurse bees to keep up with the day to day needs of the colony.
    Seeing a few shb on or under an inner cover is a good sign. It is evidence that your bees are driving the beetles as far from the nest as is possible.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
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    268

    Default Re: Hive Beetle

    I have had success dusting the ground under the hives with diatomaceous earth.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Hive Beetle

    I understand the theory behind diatomaceous earth as it kills a lot of insects such as ants, bed bugs, roaches and such, but is it also harmful to bees.

    Has anyone here made their own screened bottom boards or traps?

  8. #8
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    Jun 2014
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    Mount Airy, Frederick county, MD, USA
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    Default Re: Hive Beetle

    Quote Originally Posted by wild-b View Post
    I understand the theory behind diatomaceous earth as it kills a lot of insects such as ants, bed bugs, roaches and such, but is it also harmful to bees.

    Has anyone here made their own screened bottom boards or traps?
    I have not made my own SBB or traps...my hives have purchased SBB...but greenbeehive.com has DIY plans for building SHB traps. I have been giving some consideration to giving that kit a try...or asking DH to try it for me

    http://greenbeehives.com/abgrbe.html

    I'd have no issue with sprinkling DE on the ground around the hives. I've noticed my bees don't spend a lot of time on the ground. I have my hives on carpets though. Thinking about trying horse stall mats as ground cover when I expand..maybe the black surface's ability to absorb radiant heat from the sun would help kill larvae as they crawl looking for the ground.
    Newbee with three hives and two nucs, zone 6b

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    carney, maryland, USA
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    580

    Default Re: Hive Beetle

    1. Use foundationless frames, particularly on the outside of the group of frames, and particularly when the hive is weak (not full of bees). Then when there is no comb there is no place for the SHB's to reproduce. Where the bees draw comb there are sufficient numbers of bees to keep SHB's under control.
    2. When doing inspections, if there are frames with that have drawn combs with 4 or more SHB's and few bees, pull the frame, shake off bees into the hive, and wrap the frames and put in a freezer for 2 days. Then you can pull the frames out of the freezer, let them thaw for about 3-4 hours and return to the hives.

    These practices will not eliminate SHB's, but they will not be a threat to ruining the frames in your hive.

    Phil

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    903

    Default Re: Hive Beetle

    Quote Originally Posted by wild-b View Post
    Has anyone here made their own screened bottom boards or traps?
    I build my own design and so far had very good luck with them. Plans are on my website. Oil traps seem to work very well controlling beetles and ants and a few other things too. I have lost hives to beetles--what a disgusting mess!-- and would not consider keeping bees here without oil traps.

    HMO

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

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,188

    Default Re: Hive Beetle

    >Has anyone here made their own screened bottom boards or traps?

    Yes, I made a trap for tapping beetles outside the hive.
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ht=beetle+trap

    Use broken comb, comb with SHB slime or cappings as bait.

    You Alabamians will get buckets full!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Columbia, Alabama
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    26

    Default Re: Hive Beetle

    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerPlanter View Post
    >Has anyone here made their own screened bottom boards or traps?

    Yes, I made a trap for tapping beetles outside the hive.
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ht=beetle+trap

    Use broken comb, comb with SHB slime or cappings as bait.

    You Alabamians will get buckets full!
    No kidding on the bucket fulls. I checked one yard yesterday and the entire inner cover was covered in beetles. So I took it off the hive and used a propane torch on the little buggers. Sooo satisfying
    50 hives along the Chattahoochee River.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,158

    Default Re: Hive Beetle

    Be very careful on extracted supers. They may have SHB larvae in them. W/o the bees to remove the eggs, the super can very easily become contaminated. Also, check supers that you bring back after setting out to let the bees clean. They can easily contain SHB as again there are no bees to ward them off.

    I hate the little buggers..........
    http://OxaVap.com
    Your source for the Varrox Vaporizer, "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

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