Small Hive Beetle Thoughts
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Greenwich, New York, USA
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    63

    Default Small Hive Beetle Thoughts

    We have small hive beetles here in upstate New York. Some threads that I have read dismiss small hive beetles as a nuisance that a healthy hive can handle. Maybe so but I wish beekeepers and Betterbee and the like took more efforts to control them When making a split or adding new boxes or in early Spring the larvae from small hive beetles can putrify and destroy a hive. if you have ever seen the larvae in great numbers on the bottom board you would know how disgusting they are.
    OK what do I have to offer you say. Rather than just trapping adults which isn"t a bad idea or using pesticide I have really good long term solution. I have been placing trays under the hive entrances on the ground so that when the larvae exit the hive to pupate in the ground they end up in my pan. They started producing larvae in April here since they seem to make it through the winter. Over time there shouldn't be any more beetles except new visitors from unknown sources nearby. Hope this idea catches on.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
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    5,173

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by BattenkillJB View Post
    OK what do I have to offer you say. Rather than just trapping adults which isn"t a bad idea or using pesticide I have really good long term solution. I have been placing trays under the hive entrances on the ground so that when the larvae exit the hive to pupate in the ground they end up in my pan. They started producing larvae in April here since they seem to make it through the winter. Over time there shouldn't be any more beetles except new visitors from unknown sources nearby. Hope this idea catches on.
    If larvae are exiting your hive to pupate, it's usually too late and your hive is already a mess inside .
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the ProVap 110
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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
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    3,418

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by snl View Post
    If larvae are exiting your hive to pupate, it's usually too late and your hive is already a mess inside .
    +1
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Decatur / Cullman, also. 35603
    Posts
    752

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle Thoughts

    Very good idea battenkill. Ill try this in addition to my current plan in action. In early spring, before i start seeing the hive beetles, i put 2 beetle traps in 2nd and third boxes of all my hives. I rarely put olinnlowest box, unless its a single from a split. Works well for me, and didnt have an issue at all last year. Fingers crossed for this year. Rich

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Greenwich, New York, USA
    Posts
    63

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle Thoughts

    When I did my Spring inspections I also did the usual Spring cleaning, I usually swap the wintered bottom boards with spares that are clean and dry. One hive did have mess on the bottom with beetle larvae. The trays I use are have 4' high walls and have noticed a quite a few larvae exiting even after routine cleanup. My point is that the remaining larvae will exit to become a new pest and they are dying in my trays. I think this is a good alternative to treating the ground with pesticide. like mites we are going to get these problems and its worse if suppliers and other beekeepers don't do their part.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Fultonville,New York,USA
    Posts
    682

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by BattenkillJB View Post
    When I did my Spring inspections I also did the usual Spring cleaning, I usually swap the wintered bottom boards with spares that are clean and dry. One hive did have mess on the bottom with beetle larvae. The trays I use are have 4' high walls and have noticed a quite a few larvae exiting even after routine cleanup. My point is that the remaining larvae will exit to become a new pest and they are dying in my trays. I think this is a good alternative to treating the ground with pesticide. like mites we are going to get these problems and its worse if suppliers and other beekeepers don't do their part.
    So let me get this straight. The larvae exits the hive to become a adult? I run all screened bottom boards with a tray year round with crisco on it to catch mites and the larvae. Have one hive with SHB and only see a couple every time i inspect,adults that is in the hive and don't notice any damage to comb. Do notice larvae on tray quite a bit but that seems to be it. Seems to bee doing a good job. I think.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Powhatan, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    352

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle Thoughts

    Sick dog
    Good idea to understand the life cycle of the pests. If you are seeing SHB larvae on your inserts, they are in your hives. They tunnel through the brood and pollen eating them as a protein source.you won't see them in small numbers. As the ground warms up the pupation time goes down, and the adults return to the hive and then you see a population explosion.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Fultonville,New York,USA
    Posts
    682

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle Thoughts

    So do they ruin the honey? Or are they pretty much just interested in the brood comb?

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    131

    Default

    I have noticed that the population has been glob by up in the cambridge area in the 3 yrs i have been doing this. My plan is to do beetle traps this year..

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Pleasant Valley NY
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle Thoughts

    SHB Will ruin your honey and cause it to ferment and from what I understand it has an awful foul smell to it as well.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Greenwich, New York, USA
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    63

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle Thoughts

    I hope the pan idea catches on as this interrupts the life cycle. One more observation. The plastic frames as currently manufactured have ideal holes and slots around the edges for small hive beetles to hide and wax moths to lay eggs. I have discontinued using them except for honey supers. These slots are a bad idea and I would recommend beekeepers use wooden frames until this problem has been corrected by the manufacturers. Betterbee is aware of this and I hope other suppliers bring this up.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
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    3,418

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle Thoughts

    Ceracell makes plastic frames that do not have places for SHB to hide. Their design is patented. The best way to control SHB without the use of pesticides is to use nematodes. You can even grow your own.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    frederick, md
    Posts
    806

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle Thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Ceracell makes plastic frames that do not have places for SHB to hide. Their design is patented. The best way to control SHB without the use of pesticides is to use nematodes. You can even grow your own.
    How so you grow your own? I need to research this. We have bees at home, no hive beetles, bees 1/2 mile from here, fighting hive beetles, seeing some every time we go into the hive, bees about 20 minutes from here no hive beetles.
    Zone 6b: 18 hives in Maryland, Carniolan, Italian mix mutts: Still learning - started bees spring of 2014.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,418

    Default Re: Small Hive Beetle Thoughts

    The process involves getting wax moth larvae and live nematodes. You infect the larvae and then make a solution once they reach a certain point. I saw a presentation by Izzy Hill at one of our bee club meetings. I downloaded her powerpoint file but cant find it to share.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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