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OK to start off I live in Dauphin Island Alabama and most of what I am curious about is hive beetles. I know that the best way to control them is to have a strong hive but I think the beetles where I live have setup a buffet line near my home as they do not take long at all to show up. my first swarm this year within two days boom! it battled these pest since march. and got slimed out about two months ago. I swapped some brood from one hive to another due to my queen deciding to say peace out. got another queen raised and boom! slimed again this time I did not have but about 100 bees left so I decided it was done. I am currently using the beetle buster traps, a bit to late, but from this point forward I am thinking of running two beetle busters in my hives at all times, just in case. but I am very cautious so here comes the question part lol.

Can I take a rake and disturb the soil around the hive stand and mix in DE and cover it to avoid bees coming in contact with it?
and if so would this be effective in killing hive beetles?
also I am debating on running one of these https://barnyardbees.com/product/beetle-traps-for-entrances/ as well as one of these in each hive http://99-40.com/bees/btrap.html would this be overkill?
and would it disturb or agitate the bees?
I maybe going WAY overboard but the loss of my hive has set vengeance in motion lol I am also aware of the swiffer traps and have debated on that.
now for the non vengeance related to hive killing little pest that spawned from the depths of hell. I have a friend who lives in the Montgomery AL area well he has bought a small 5 frame box and purchased a swarm lure I think from mann lake
but maybe from dadant. he has no bees but did a few years ago and swears that by putting the trap up with the swarm lure he will attract a feral swarm. I am new but am curious if that actually works?
Feel free to direct any honesty at me no matter if it sounds negative or positive I am here to continue learning.
 

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Disturbing the soil won't do you much good. DE is okay, but you will need to replace it every time it rains since it needs to be powdery in order for it to work. I have not had a lot of luck with the beetle blasters, but I have had great success with placing strips of Swiffer sheets along the edges of the boxes on the top bars. The beetles run around in those places and they get stuck in the sheets.

You also might want to move your hives since there might be lots of larvae pupating and hatching right under your hives. The entrances and such are novelties and most likely will not help much. I have not tried the CD case method, but it looks interesting!

If you have empty space in your hive, condense your hive down. The beetles love secluded spaces in the hives.

To answer your feral swarm question, yes, it does work, that is how many of us expand our apiaries. I have caught two swarms this year with this method. It pays for that bottle of swarm commander pretty fast. A 5 frame box might be a bit small, usually swarming bees would prefer a space twice that volume (40L).
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
well unfortunately the beetles seemed to have taken out my other hive as well. I spoke with another local beekeeper and he came and looked at my hive and said he did not see any obvious signs of any other issues. and he also informed me that living here on the gulf coast is very rough on a beekeeper due to our sandy soil type and constant moisture most of the year. which is perfect for the SHB. and as much as it sucks. I will try again next year. upon more reading I think my plan for next year will be to first off put all of my hives up and seal any small holes I can find, the guy that came and looked at my hives today pointed out a few small openings in both of my hives, which are both mann lake 10 frame Langstroth. I will use wood glue where i can and let it set for the winter. and as far as between joints that will need to be removed for inspection I will sand them down to where the box sits flush with no gap.
I will also plan on keeping traps up at all times. but my other plan that I am working out is building a kind of raised garden type stand and fill it with gravel or rock and then put the hive stands on top of it, and lining the bottom of it with something maybe tar paper or a tarp then fill it with rocks. I will need to cut the hive stand legs a bit so the hive doesn't sit to high.....I am not a tall person lol. and I am definitely moving my hives I don't have a ton of room I live on 1/3 acre any suggestion on how far to move them from the current spot? my bee classes did not prepare me for all of this :(
and has anyone here had luck or have any input on the freeman traps?
I was told to try this trap by someone today https://www.dadant.com/catalog/pine...MI5JyG_6GC6wIVCkWGCh1ESAYNEAQYASABEgIuDfD_BwE
 

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Gnomepunter, Cool name.

I use a homemade version of the dadant bottom board. I use vegetable oil in the bottom tray of mine. I tried DE with no success. I've had mine on that style bottom board since 2014 and I rarely have SHB problems. Another beekeeper in my small town just had hers on solid bottom boards and her hive was swarmed with the beetles. If you decide to set your new stands you might try landscape fabric, it'll stand up better than tar paper. FYI I never put my colonies closer than 100' from any door, this helps during the dearth. You can move your hives any time you want, but the bees may still go back to their original location. I solve this problem by putting a solid block in front of the hive. I usually use a top cover.
 

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I'm sorry to hear that the beetles got you, they can do that sometimes. Strong colonies can deal with them before they become a problem, but once they are a problem, it is hard to correct. Try again next year, and be sure to freeze all of your comb to use it next year to kill off all of the moth and beetle eggs in it. You have a lot more resources and knowledge now, you will do better next year.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone for the help I think I will go ahead and order two or three of the dadant bottom boards. and get some landscaping cloth. gonna be ready for those little suckers next year I hope. and once more thanks everyone for the help. this was very disheartening, but the more I read the more I realized it is all part of it and it happens to everyone at some point.
 

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I have used a Freeman bottom board. I rotate one around if necessary. I am pleased with it .I have used it with DE and also with used turkey frying oil. Not all that many go into the bottom on their own. However when I used it in conjunction with the powdered sugar like in the YouTube video it knocked a lot of bees down to the bottom to their death. You have to make sure the tray is in all the way to keep the bees out. You will have to occasionally change out the oil/DE or it gets nasty. Strong hives and sun after you get the situation under control is best but you do have an environment that I think will be a challenge. I drenched the soil with something supposedly equivalent to Gardstar and killed some of my bees. I thought I was using it carefully but maybe they got some of the vapors. It seems very toxic to bees. If you ever use it and can't move your bees apply it right before dark.
 

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Barnyard Bees has a great YouTube beekeeping channel and he talks about hive beetles a lot. They are in Georgia. He swears by using chickens around his hives because of their ability to detect and eat SHB larvae. I have used DE under hives for ants with success.

Sorry for your loss. I lost my first two colonies like many here. Double down and get after it next year. You have the right attitude.
 
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