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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Help figure out a way to get rid of SHB. I prefer not to put poison strips in my hives nor am I enamored with Gardstar drench. I just got some Cutts beetle traps and will install them ASAP. if the Cutts traps work, I may invest in some AJ Beetle Eaters. I prefer not to spend the money on West traps and the Hood traps I bought a couple of years ago don't work. The one relatively safe and effective pesticide-based method I have found isn't approved or labeled for use in bees.

I had three supers of honey that I set aside to extract, pulled on Saturday. I extracted one and didn't have time to get to the others until yesterday. When I opened the stack, they were wrapped up with SHB larvae. I managed to save a couple of frames, but they had slimed the majority of the super.

So...my advice to anyone in SHB territory: "Extract your honey as soon as you pull it off the hive. " I'm not sure how you would store it even for a couple of days in a warming room. I guess freezing each frame would kill the beetles. But, I don't have a freezer.

I have found no varroa in my hives, but I expect i will later in the season. But these beetles are more worrisome. They can ruin an entire honey crop in just a few days because there is no way to tell how many eggs have been laid. As long as there are bees to kill the larvae and chase the beetles, they can be held in check. Once there are no bees, SHB can work remarkably fast.

Sure, varroa destructor(VD?)can mess up your bees, but it's infuriating to see the produce of the hive tossed in the trash. I read that the ruined honey is unfit for any purpose, not even for feeding back to the bees.

I took an older hive apart last week. On the screened bottom board, there was a wad of propolis about the size of two golf balls. The screen had been totally propolized, so I guess the bees preferred a solid bottom board. anyway, I took my torch and was softening the propolis. When I heated the wad, about 100 hive beetles scurried out. Apparently, the bees had built them a condo where they could keep them corralled.

Addendum: I use an piezo-ignition propane torch to light my smoker, sterilize my hive tools, etc. I am now carrying it on each hive inspection. I used to use my hive tool to smash beetles on the inner cover. I now use the torch to fry them. It's quick and effective as long as there are no nearby bees to scorch.
 

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Wow, sorry to hear about your loss. Thank you though for the words of wisdom and experience. I will now adjust what I do with my honey supers as I pull them off the hives.

I too, will be watching for SHB and how to manage them in the future. Thank you again.
 

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Yep, just follow the beetles and head north. Eventually, you'll arrive at the Arctic Circle and will no longer have an SHB problem.
 

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Come on fish, you don't have to go that far north for shb to not be a problem. I can't see the Arctic Circle from my house and shbs aren't a problem for me. Not even the ones that I bring home from SC.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Moving north has a whole 'nuther set of problems: cold and snow, snow and cold, gray skies, too much traffic, bad roads, and Yankees. I summer in Maine and that's enough for me. 60-degree weather in July?...c'mon.
 

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hey there,, watch the north comments I'm from the deep south and moved to North Dakota on purpose.. c'mon up and run wif da big dogs lmao
I 'm still working on getting all the equipment I feel I need before even ordering any bees until next year plus lots of reading.. the hills are a callin ya ..
btw I didnt move here to start beekeeping but hey it happens
yes we have sometimes cool summers,, and yes where I am I can see the northern lights..
I dont know any commercial beekeepers but they are here all over with plenty of room for us hobby folks..
its a shame there isnt anyone around for mentoring so I came here to start the process..glean and garner I say..
 

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In the latest issue of Bee Culture a man wrote a letter to the editor about his SHB problem. He says the beetles don't like light, so he built outer covers out of white plexiglass which lets in light. It wasn't clear in his letter if he still used an inner cover. No more SHB problem......at least that's what he claims.
 

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Being from SC, we now live in ME. Yes I must admit there is a lot of snow and cold.

Have you tried DE under the hives?
Also I assume you must have some type of bee escape on? Otherwise shouldn't the bees have been strong enough to keep it from reaching such a bad problem?
 

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He says the beetles don't like light, so he built outer covers out of white plexiglass which lets in light.
No more SHB problem......at least that's what he claims.


Good point. I've never heard of SHB being a problem in solar wax melters.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have some hives where there are many beetles and some where I see very few. These were supers stored for 3 days. 3 days is enough to let the varmints hatch and start crawling with no bees to harass them. My hives are strong enough to keep them under control. I just wish someone would invent something that would easily and conveniently kill them.
 
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