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I've been using a screened bottom board and spaces on top of my hives for ventilation with the same gauge hardware cloth as bottom board. The thought occurred to me these might be entrances for hive beetles. Any input would be appreciated.

At one point I drilled holes in supers for ventilation and better accessibility. I now think these are big welcome mats for the beetles. Would love to hear other opinions.

Thanks.
 

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Beetles can go through 1/8 inch hardware cloth, but if they want to go in a colony they usually just go in the entrance. Most beetles enter during the evening hours, but some enter during daylight hours. Guard bees try to stop them, but they can't take hold of the slick beetle shell.

Strong colonies will trap beetles in holding areas to keep them from laying eggs so keeping strong colonies is the best beetle defense. Some colonies do a better job of keeping beetle numbers down than others do, so if they are a big problem you might breed from your queens whose colony has the fewest beetles.
 

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The SHBs can't go up the screen on a screened bottom board (unless you made it yourself with 1/8+ inch wire), but the larva can squeeze through it, drop on the ground, and pupate. If you are worried about SHB, you may want to invest in a beetle tray or put swiffer pads in the corners of the hive to trap them (like velcro).
 

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I used some upper spacers that had vent holes covered with 1/8" screen for one season and observerd that they were invitations to hive beetles. I've since covered all 1/8" screen with regular window screen. I do the same on the my bottom boards. The SHB are way less of a problem since I've limited their access to the hives.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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What ARBeekeeper said. SHB walk right in through the main entrance. Size of the screen will make no difference to the overall beetle population.Some years seem to be worse than others. This year, very few beetles in any of the hives I've inspected, including those outside of my apiary. Still, I had an LW nuc get slimed last month. It was very weak.
 
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