At my wits end!!!
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Houston, Tx
    Posts
    107

    Default At my wits end!!!

    I installed two packages just at the beginning of April and they both started great! They were pulling frames like champs and eating a tons of syrup, and then the rains hit here in Texas and it all stopped. They wouldn't touch the syrup and the SHB population exploded, so I have been fighting the SHB ever since. I have been using the beetle blasters and dryer sheet, but then the queen of one hive just stopped laying. The bee's started pulling all the larva from the frames, so I put the pollen patty back into the hive and they started eating that but no syrup that I put into a frame feeder. I went in today and looking into the box the bottom of the box looks like they are not cleaning, tons of dead larva and cappings (and of course SHB hiding in them). They currently have 6 frames pulled, and I ended up changing out the queen. Is there a possibility of some kind of illness in the hive or am I missing something? I am debating if I need to put them into a NUC for awhile to let them build back up to fight these SHB!! Any ideas?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
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    2,615

    Default Re: At my wits end!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by gumbi17 View Post
    Is there a possibility of some kind of illness in the hive or am I missing something? I am debating if I need to put them into a NUC for awhile to let them build back up to fight these SHB!! Any ideas?
    The small hive beetles may be a symptom of a problem, such as varroa, rather than a cause. I would stop feeding syrup and patties. Make sure that the hives are getting good morning and midday sun to keep down SHB.
    David Matlock

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    10,252

    Default Re: At my wits end!!!

    Are the hives being robbed?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Sandpoint, ID, USA
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    1,143

    Default Re: At my wits end!!!

    IMO, I would reduce their hive space down, like you were thinking. Do not let there be any empty space thats is not attended to by a bee. I've never had a SHB problem as I'm a northerner, but if I did, it would be the first thing to try!

    Also, when the rains hit, did it get cold, too? Could have been a cold snap that caused chilled brood.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Walker, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,530

    Default Re: At my wits end!!!

    I have fought SHBs and the only thing that worked for me was the oil pan under the screen. There needs to be a closed bottom under that. I cannot use pollen patties without getting the results you are seeing--SHBs overrun the hive. If anything is blooming, the bees will collect pollen and nectar. If I absolutely HAVE to feed, I put the sub in the syrup in jars above the brood nest with an empty super over that.

    HTH

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

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Brazoria County, Texas
    Posts
    323

    Default Re: At my wits end!!!

    Main tallow nectar flow going on now in our area so they have plenty of food and lots of pollen also from other sources. this is the flow season in Houston area.
    Please please consider an oil tray beneath the screened bottom board with mineral oil, they work far superior to any other method and also good for falling mites,move the colonies into full sun, crowd the bees, reduce that entrance way way down, do quick inspections if at all for next few weeks to keep from stirring up the SHB's, forget those pollen patties and syrup, and if you decide to place them in a small nuc, have an oil tray as well under them.
    Takes lots of bees to fight and corral the beetles and yes they are bad here and will remain so as the worse times for them is coming with increasing warmer weather and forecasts of rain.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    4,323

    Default Re: At my wits end!!!

    Get back to the basics. No feed, no patty, and consolidate the hive. Pics BTW would be quite helpful.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Ridgeville, SC, USA
    Posts
    560

    Default Re: At my wits end!!!

    No pollen sub or patties. Beetles can not reproduce in wet weather but you gave them a pollen patty to reproduce in. The larva your bees were carrying out was more than likely shb larva that hatched in your pollen patty. Strong hives , full sun and no inner covers use a 3/8 in shim instead.

  10. #9

    Default Re: At my wits end!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bkwoodsbees View Post
    No pollen sub or patties.
    This is number 1!!!! If you are in an area where shb thrive....never put on a pollen or sub patty. The bees won't defend the patty and the beetles will lay eggs in it. Sure path to a slimed hive.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN (Rutherford Co)
    Posts
    224

    Default Re: At my wits end!!!

    Are they dying in front of the hive? Do they have K wing?

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Houston, Tx
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: At my wits end!!!

    They are next to a well season over wintered hive, so I have had the robbing screen on since I installed them. I open the lower gate at night for cleaning, and I have been pretty good at making sure that they are not open when there was feed in there. I also forgot to mention they are VSH bee's. They don't have K wing, and the wings on the girls in the hive do not appear to have any deformity. I tried a frame from another hive before losing the queen, and they pulled every larva out, both capped and uncapped hence why I went for the pollen patty since I could not find one bit of pollen in any frame. They not only pull the larva out but they tear the frames as if robbing when they do pull them out. I will get some picture this afternoon when I go back in, if it quits raining enough to get in.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Houston, Tx
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: At my wits end!!!

    Well after a few days of rain straight, I finally was able to get into the hive! Just an FYI lots of flooding in my area right now! They absconded at some point in the last two days, so I guess it's time to look to the tree's, because this hive is an internal mess right now! But the local fish are eating well with all of the larva I just put into the Lake!!!!!

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    10,252

    Default Re: At my wits end!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by gumbi17 View Post
    I will get some picture this afternoon when I go back in.
    That's about the only way anyone will be able to make any sense of this.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Houston, Tx
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: At my wits end!!!

    I came back to a box full of larva and 0 bee's! I checked the area and no swarms hanging in the tree's, so I guess I will have to split another hive in a few weeks to start it in a NUC instead!

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Panama City, Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,046

    Default Re: At my wits end!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by gumbi17 View Post
    I came back to a box full of larva and 0 bee's! I checked the area and no swarms hanging in the tree's, so I guess I will have to split another hive in a few weeks to start it in a NUC instead!
    Here is the thing in SHB areas. If your hive gets weak for any reason the SHB will take over and the bees will abscond. If you are not treating for varroa, hygienic bees will remove the pupae, etc. this leads to less bee populations and an opportunity for the SHB to overrun. Where a hive can withstand varroa in its own, the one-two punch of varroa and SHB will take them out. I have seen it time and again. As varroa populations reach peak in hygienic hives, the hives weaken to a degree that the SHB take over.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,922

    Default Re: At my wits end!!!

    Small hive beetle or wax moth problems are usually do to poor space management.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Houston, Tx
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    107

    Default Re: At my wits end!!!

    I think it was a problem with too much space, hygienic bee's, and lots of bad weather!! I think maybe next time I might have to get into the hives when the rain is lighter with a nice size umbrella!!!!

  19. #18
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Shreveport, Louisiana, USA
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    2,615

    Default Re: At my wits end!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by gumbi17 View Post
    Well after a few days of rain straight, I finally was able to get into the hive! Just an FYI lots of flooding in my area right now! They absconded at some point in the last two days, so I guess it's time to look to the tree's, because this hive is an internal mess right now! But the local fish are eating well with all of the larva I just put into the Lake!!!!!
    Y'all have had a rough go of it this year. I really wish you well through this. Keep ploughing.
    David Matlock

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Panama City, Florida, USA
    Posts
    1,046

    Default Re: At my wits end!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Small hive beetle or wax moth problems are usually do to poor space management.
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesspace.htm
    I will agree wax moth is usually due to space. SHB, in certain parts of the country don't worry much about space before they overrun a hive. They will hang out huddled up and take advantage of any lapse by the guards.

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