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Newbee here. Well, now for yet another of the many trials and tribulations of this new hobby of mine :)

So, I have noticed for several weeks, when opening my outer cover a few small beetles. Now, I know after researching that what I was looking at were SHB, and that I should have been using traps earlier or doing some sort of plan to combat them.

Well, now, I have been having some robbing issues, and one hive is certainly weaker to other. After doing some research on SHB, I have learned that many of my actions to feed the bees were actually encouraging SHB. I was actually creating the perfect environment:

1. Hive placement: what was once sunny is now shady, due to summer foliage.
2. Feeders: Use of both external boardsman feeders and internal feeding
3. Adding a honey super: Gave the SHB more room to operate in and too much space for bees to patrol
4. Use of Pollen patties further attracted SHB
5. Bee robbing created alarm pheromones, which apparently attract SHB as well.

So, now I recognize I have SHB, my question is how bad does it have to be to start doing action against them? I have already ordered some traps from John Pluta (Georgiabees.com) which seem pretty decent to me, with what appears to be lower impact on hive.

Things I have done right:
1. I know I have SHB
2. I haven't opened the lower deeps too often, and although I am not really as aware of what's going on down in broods as I should, I haven't been creating alarm pheromones.
3. I have attempted to place hives in sun, although the trees have leafed up lately.
4. I have not treated chemicals on hive as of yet.
5. I have removed all feeders.
6. I have put entrance reducer on weaker hive to allow for better defenses thereby giving colony more relief to chase the beetles around.
7. I have ordered traps.
8. I will likely remove some of the dead space of the weaker hive by removing honey super... although this is sort of counterproductive if I want honey.

What else can I do? In some of the reading I did, I found that SHB in your hive in small number is not that big of a deal, but if it gets out of control the colony will be overwhelmed. I am hesitant to treat hive with chemical, but seriously considering ordering some Goldstar to put on ground around hive to treat buried SHB and getting checkmite for inside hives.

I don't want to be behind 8-ball, like now, where I need to get traps and have to wait for two weeks for US Postal service because I have none.

I am also considering moving my hives. Would placing the hives Higher off ground help? I read the beetles fly for miles in some cases, so I would tend to think not. What a drag.

I have SBB (screened bottom boards), and read about oil catchers, etc. What sort of trap can I do besides the small ones from Georgiabees in the meantime? Is there something I can do now? Thanks!
 
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