Hive Beetles
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Thread: Hive Beetles

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Boonville Missouri USA
    Posts
    32

    Default Hive Beetles

    I have been a beekeeper for 1 season now and I have been reading about the small hive beetles. I haven't noticed any in my hives yet but all 3 are new hives this year. I have read that the hive beetles lay their eggs. The eggs hatch and the larva eat honey, pollen and baby bees then leave the hive and go into the ground to pupate into adult beetles. Would it help control the hive beetles if the hives are sitting on a concrete slab so the larva can't get to the soil?

    Any advise would be appreciated.

    Thanks Dave

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,530

    Default Re: Hive Beetles

    By the time they are headed for the soil, they've already slimed your hives. The time to get rid of them is before they do their damage. Trap 'em on their way in or give the bees someplace to run them into, like the oil traps that hang on the frames or sit under the screened bottom board. The slab would interrupt their cycle, tho, to help avoid them sliming you again. But since the suckers fly right in, the traps are a better first line of defense.

    JMO

    Rusty
    Rusty Hills Farm -- home of AQHA A Rusty Zipper and Rusty's Bees.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    perry florida
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Hive Beetles

    What size screen do you use for your bottom board? I have read #6 wire mesh but what size is that? Is it 1/4" mesh?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Boonville Missouri USA
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Hive Beetles

    Quote Originally Posted by mitch7 View Post
    What size screen do you use for your bottom board? I have read #6 wire mesh but what size is that? Is it 1/4" mesh?
    What I have read you are suppose to us #8 wire witch would be 8 squares per inch which I believe is regular screen wire.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10,834

    Default Re: Hive Beetles

    The numbers in hardware cloth sizes refer to the number of wires per inch, so #4 (4 wires per inch) is 1/4" mesh. #8 is 8 wires per inch, or 1/8" mesh. A summary of wire sizes:

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    #8 - no bee can pass. pollen gets stuck.
    #7 - as long as there are no bent wires, no bee can pass. Pollen falls through
    #6 - worker bees can squeeze through (and will) but they have to wiggle and squirm a lot. Drones and queens cannot.
    #5 - worker bees can squeeze through easily but lose some of their pollen. Queens and drones cannot.
    #4 - all bees can pass (workers, drones and queens). The workers sometimes lose some of their pollen when they catch their basket on the wire. (mice cannot and this makes a nice mouse guard)
    Small hive beetles can generally get through all of the above sizes.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Pleasant Shade, TN
    Posts
    763

    Default Re: Hive Beetles

    All previous replies are true in what I have experienced. The only thing I would add, is that you WILL have hive beetles eventually. When you do, it also becomes a game of whack-a-mole every time you flip the inner cover. The hive tool then becomes a beetle bat. Smash them as fast as you can, and have fun with it. It's a great stress relief! Quoting lines from Scarface while you do it adds more to the experience.
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    4,646

    Default Re: Hive Beetles

    Welcome, your pretty close, 45 min away
    For the most part a strong hive has no problems here. Keeping your hives in full sun helps allot.

    A weak hive can become over run and can breed thousands of them in a short time, catching these weak hives and destroying the larva before they leave and go into the ground will keep your numbers down on your other hives.
    The beetle numbers get higher the closer you get to fall then drop off as it gets cold.

    I made a beetle trap for outside the hive that works very well, I will be using it again, even thought I don’t have enough beetles to have a problem.

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ht=beetle+trap

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    3,061

    Default Re: Hive Beetles

    No, the slab won't help much. SHB larvae are one of the most mobile larvae you will find. Gaudstar around the slab will, as would a lip. they don't do well at crawling "up" there trying to go down. They will fit in the tiniest of cracks, they will even pupate in the cracks of the bottom boards if they can't get out.

    As mentioned weak hives get overrun quickly, BUT even strong hives will have beetles. And there so far is no way to keep them out and let bees in.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Hive Beetles

    I hope you never lose a hive to SHB. If you do, you'll never forget it.
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    carney, maryland, USA
    Posts
    1,262

    Default Re: Hive Beetles

    Two seasons ago we had several frames in a hive slimed by SHB larva. Quite gross! We immediately put at least 2 beetle blaster traps per box in place.

    This past season we had SHB's, but did not get slimed. We did not use a single beetle trap. The difference?: We made sure the frames with brood and/or stores had a strong population of bees. We attempted to "crowd" the bees a bit, and made sure that frames with stores which had SHB's also had enough bees to harrass and control the SHB's.

    Phil

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