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I'm a new beekeeper. Just installed my first package 3 weeks ago. When I went in to make sure the queen had been released I noticed small hive beetles. I have added a beetle jail in an attempt to get them under control.

My question is how in the hell could they have found my hive that fast? There are no other hives anywhere around. Is it possible for them to come in the packages?

Thank you!
 

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They could have come in the package. Kill them, smash them with your hive tool, use oil traps!
I live in a shady, swampy area and use oil bottom boards, oil traps and strong hives. At first I trapped a lot, now it's just a few here and there.
 

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Welcome to Beesource!

Regardless of whether there are any managed hives near you or not, there is good chance that there are un-managed honeybees (and small hive beetles) within flying range of your hive.

Hive beetles may locate new hives via smell:
Investigators have shown that small hive beetles fly before or just after dusk and odors from adult bees and various hive products (honey, pollen) are attractive to flying small hive beetles (Elzen and Neumann 2004). Some investigators have suggested that small hive beetles also may find host colonies by detecting the honey bee alarm pheromone (Elzen and Neumann 2004).

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/bees/small_hive_beetle.htm
 

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I installed 2 nucs on April 6. The only honey bees kept for miles around me. I live back in the woods only 2 neighbors for a couple of miles. Luckily I set my hives on screened bottom boards with inspection trays. The first 2 weeks there were over 20 dead hive beetles on each tray. An older beek told me to spray tray with bifen it, a termite insecticide. No pesticides in hives because under the screen. Bees cant get to it. I have tried this 6 weeks now and I have killed hundreds of beetles and mites. I clean trays once a week. In my inspections I have only seen 1 beetle in hive. I am extremely careful with tray taking it out and putting it in. I never clean or inspect tray during inspection. I can tell you it does work. I live in beetle heaven and I don't worry about them .
 

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The beetle is naturalized to many areas of the southeast. They do not need bee colonies to multiply.
When we took a hive to the Ag Center in Nashville, were amazed at the beetle population in an older, established subdivision area. Trapped something like 5000 beetles in four days. Used five BBB traps in the top of the hive - all four corners and 1 in the center. The trap in the center collected the least beetles, and we physically counted the beetles in that one - over 700. Estimated that the corner units, with more beetles had more than a thousand, each.

Walt
 

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Check out youtube for some great videos on controlling SHB. Don the fat bee man has some good ones and the freeman beetle trap types work well and the more sun you can put the bees in the better.
 

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The most effective control of SHB's is to make sure there are sufficient bees in the space you have provided. This is particularly the case when there are either brood or stores. If those frames are not densely populated with bees the SHB's will raise their own brood and eventually ruin frame(s) and perhaps the whole hive.

2 years ago we had a frame slimed by SHB's, and reacted by putting 2 to 4 beetle blasters in each box. Last year there were SHB's, but I made sure that there were sufficient bees covering all frames that had stores or brood, and did not use any beetle traps. A bit of vigilence was quite effective in keeping things in control.

Phil
 
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