Small hive beetle larvae
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    cincinnati, ohio
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    Default Small hive beetle larvae

    I have top bar hives with screened bottoms. I plan to use salt and diamentious earth underneath to kill the SHB larvae as they burrow down into the ground. I want to minimize the amount of salt and diamentious earth I put on the ground. Do the SHB larvae drop down to the ground through the screened bottom or do they crawl down the hive legs to reach the ground? If they crawl down the legs, I will only have to put diamentious earth around the base of each leg. Jim

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Isle of Wight, VA
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    Default Re: Small hive beetle larvae

    SHM larvae wriggle through whatever hole until they drop down or get over to soft ground to pupate. I'm running all TBH's and I use the DE on the solid IPM board that is about 1" below the screened bottom. Here in humid south, I have to change the DE frequently during the summer or it will get caked up and not be useful in killing the buggers. But it works very well on the adults and the larvae using this method. I don't use it under the hive/in the dirt, so I can't comment on that.

    Here is a video of how I use it on my TBH's. And for those new to DE, you want the area you are using it in to be "bee tight". Any bees that roll around in it are going to die too. https://www.facebook.com/topbarbeehi...667753989/?t=1

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    KC, MO, USA
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    4,646

    Default Re: Small hive beetle larvae

    They will crawl, wiggle or fall any way they can, often during the night and they seem to love it when it rains. They also can crawl many feet before burrowing into the ground.

    Not sure that salt or DE will be very effective on the ground after a few rains.

    IME if you have SHB larva leaving a hive it's past the point of no return. But keeping them from getting into the soil will keep their number from exploding in late summer.

    Last year I switch to closed SBB with DE on a tray below. Helps kills adults before they become a problem.

  5. #4
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    Apr 2009
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    cincinnati, ohio
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    Default Re: Small hive beetle larvae

    It sounds like both of you use solid bottom boards over summer to control the SHB. Are you concerned about the hive overheating on hot days or do you provide some other source of ventilation for them?

  6. #5
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    Aug 2013
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    Isle of Wight, VA
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    Default Re: Small hive beetle larvae

    Quote Originally Posted by dulley View Post
    It sounds like both of you use solid bottom boards over summer to control the SHB. Are you concerned about the hive overheating on hot days or do you provide some other source of ventilation for them?
    All my bees are in topbar hives with non-standard entrances, of usually 3 one inch holes along the long side, although some have smaller holes on the short side to accommodate the pollen traps, and they do not get any additional ventilation. I've had temperature probes in them year round in the brood nest, and they don't get any warmer than they do in the winter. (I have 2 probes in 2 different hives here in VA during January reading 95 degrees)

  7. #6
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    Apr 2009
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    cincinnati, ohio
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    Default Re: Small hive beetle larvae

    The brood nest area in my top bar hives moves to different frames. How do you know where to put the temp probes during winter when it is too cold to open the hive? It was 60 degrees here in Cincinnati last week and I opened a hive. There were plenty bees in there and flying, but I did not see any brood at all. They are Russians.

  8. #7
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    Aug 2013
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    Default Re: Small hive beetle larvae

    Quote Originally Posted by dulley View Post
    The brood nest area in my top bar hives moves to different frames. How do you know where to put the temp probes during winter when it is too cold to open the hive? It was 60 degrees here in Cincinnati last week and I opened a hive. There were plenty bees in there and flying, but I did not see any brood at all. They are Russians.
    I'm here in coastal Virginia so we have mild winters. The probes go in the brood nest area in late Nov. The comb that I find the queen walking on is where it goes. Sometimes the bees do shift down a comb or two and then that temp probe is reading 75 and not 95. If I get a chance to move it, I might. I just inspected a Buckfast colony on Jan 1 where the sensor was reading 62. Placed the probe where the queen was at and now it is reading 95. Her colony only had eggs on Jan 1. I opened another colony from a fall swarm queen, and she already had capped brood in her hive. I also relocated that sensor and added a drawn/empty bar of comb so she had one spot to lay up all workers. I noticed in both colonies that they had wet nectar that was recently gathered and was stored around the brood nest, somewhat plugging it up, at least in the swarm queen colony.

  9. #8
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    Apr 2009
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    cincinnati, ohio
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    206

    Default Re: Small hive beetle larvae

    I also had two fall swarms in October this fall. I caught one, but they left again in several days. I could not catch the other one. I never had fall swarms when I had lang hives. Is there something unique about top bar hives that stimulates fall swarms? My fall swarms were very small. Where does the new queen find drones that time of year? I assume any fall swarm that is not caught will not survive winter in the wild?

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
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    4,646

    Default Re: Small hive beetle larvae

    Quote Originally Posted by dulley View Post
    It sounds like both of you use solid bottom boards over summer to control the SHB. Are you concerned about the hive overheating on hot days or do you provide some other source of ventilation for them?
    It takes additional energy to heat or cool the hive anytime the temperature is not 93 degrees outside. You could compare it to your house, it's good to have an attic vent but not so good to leave all your windows open.

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