SHB and NUCS
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Thread: SHB and NUCS

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Shawnee, OK
    Posts
    88

    Sad SHB and NUCS

    Please allow me to double post here.

    Greetings Folks,

    I would like to open up a new topic specifically dealing with SHB devastation on nucs. There are many fine articles and research publications all over the place that include chemical, mechanical, and other methods to control SHB infestation. (Note: I do not use the word to "eradicate," as that seems nigh impossible at this point) However, the proverbial wisdom of keeping strong colonies in the sun with a good measure of IPM does not seem to work well on nucs.

    Nucs, given their small number and defenselessness, seem to attract SHB, often being wiped out, especially here in the south. Speaking anthropomorphically, nucs are analogous to children who have yet to develop immunization through "growing up" or getting shots

    Those of you who raise nucs commercially in the south, what has been the most effective method keeping SHB's at bay? Yes, I've read numerous articles and viewed lots of videos on this topic, but I always come away with a feeling that these methods, while work to some degree, do not "hit the nail on the head."

    Unlike mites, SHB's are new comers, having arrived in America only in 1992; as a result, bees have not yet had enough time to deal with this pest although there are some genetics that actively "guard" the beetles in their "jail" while at times, however inadvertently, feeding them, being fooled.

    I am grateful for your insights and input.

    Respectfully,

    Earthboy

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Boonville, IN
    Posts
    48

    Default Re: SHB and NUCS

    Earthbound, glad to see this posted in commercial beekeepers.I have good luck making spring nucs, but making them after mid June is a crap shoot. Would love to hear how the big guys handle it.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Anderson County, South Carolina, USA
    Posts
    480

    Default Re: SHB and NUCS

    I hear you on this!

    Strong nucs are okay with SHB, but if a queen doesn't mate or the nuc's bees age, the SHB grabs hold, we've found.

    This sounds crazy but I'll use a propane torch to scorch out the inside of the nuc ( we use medium supers for our nucs with a wood bottom ) after removing the frames and bees as best I can. Then I vacuum out the residue with a small Dirt Devil cordless vacuum. When we restore the nuc we add a frame of emerging brood to repopulate it. This exercise can thwart the SHB sometimes.

    The main defense against SHB in nucs is the condition of the colony: a queen-right and/or organized nuc, the SHB is kept in check. Queen-less or disorganized and the SHB gets ahead of the bees.


    Good Luck!

    Adam
    http://vpqueenbees.com

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Shawnee, OK
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: SHB and NUCS

    Queen-less or disorganized and the SHB gets ahead of the bees.

    Yes and yes.

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