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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just thought I'd share where I am up to with hobby style traps.

This kind of stuff isnt going to suit the commercial guys, but I have the time for it, so here goes.

First up, a bit of credit where it is due. I got my MK I inspiration from this guy :
http://web.aanet.com.au/~Bees/beetletrap.html

I did the sheet metal thing very similar to that.

My MK II was I took to the bottom board with a 9" grinder instead, with 4 slots 2.5mm wide and made a routed out frame like my MK III.

Anyhow here is how MK III is coming along.

I use the $4 loaf pans from K Mart - this is thecheapest place I have found them - haha - you have to go to a few different stores as i cleaned my local one out :D

MK III has some tapered infeed ramps that head down the slide. Theory being that the bees can chase the beetles down the ramp and should be a bit easier to shove them down the slit.

One thing I really like that I read somewhere, is that the bees get used to / educated to chasing these pests down the hole,and they dont come back - not sure if this is reality, but its how i like to think about it.

I have just switched from using cooking oil in the traps to diatomaceous earth = bought a 5kg (11 pound) bag of the stuff and will see how it goes instead. I dont want chemicals in or around the hives either.

I have limited timber working tools, so have to do this in the mill unfortunately



The finished result on the tapered slots. Slots are 3.2mm wide (1/8 inch) and 175mm long, and a space of 25mm between the slots center to center pitch



completed unit

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I tried to make the fit as snug as possible to the underside of the base to minimize cold air drafts. Thats one thing I dont like on the screened bottom board setups.

The bees havent propolized the slots shut yet - but will see what happens there - may have to clearthem out with a piece of hacksaw blade periodically.

I need to put some kind of handle on the side of the pan - they get a bit tight sometimes. I thought when I started I might need some drainage holes as well in the side of the pan, but I havent got any water in them yet.





from underneath

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
You can see the stand style that I use - basically a pipe design that runs just behind the base cleats - so the trap slots have to mount behind this unfortunately.



I would really like to have this trap right up close to the entrance but i have to come back a bit.

The styrofoam tops on the hives stop a bit of the rain (I think) getting into the side of the trap and wrecking the oil / diatomaceous earth.

When i shut the hive entrance down for the winter, I make the entrance hole on the same side that the trap is on.

Another thing I am doing as part of my strategy is running some old metal roofing under the hive entrances - I have more down since these photos were taken. The idea being that if the SHB larvae slide out the front of the hive they cant go straight into the soil. In summer they will have to crawl on hot metal to get to the soil - hopefully in this time ants or birds have got them.



 

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This looks like a great idea to me. let us know how well it works.
 

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Robbo,
Thanks for sharing your SHB, pics,design,and construction.Using Diatomaceous Earth with your design should work great.Hope you
will keep us informed on your battle. Henry
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No worries mate. I have a bucket full of diatomaceous earth,and was using it for a few weeks just heading into winter.

It seems to be too humid / moist here at the moment.

Have gone back to using oil for the time being as the d.e is very clumpy / saturated.

 

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Seems that the SHB's just comes from everywhere to the hives front entrance.
I like screen bottom boards with oil pans.In my spare time I am designing a
screened,enclosed oil pan box with ventilation that the screened bottom board sits on with a front entrance trap for the SHB,s.I'm hearing the entrance traps catches over 85% stopping them from interring the hive.

Thanks for your update, Henry
 

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I use full coverage SBB oil traps with an entrance reducer that makes the beetles enter through a "hall" that is about 3 1/2"" in, only 3/8" high and no more than 4 1/2" wide - less on smaller hives, and a screened bottom that gives them every opportunity to fall into the oil as they try to enter the hive:



You would think that there would be a lot of dead beetles in the oil under that area, but they seem to be pretty much evenly distributed. The oil traps work, but I suspect that the beetles fall in while they are trying to hide from the bees more than while they are entering the hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update time for the summer.

Been having constant beetle numbers turn up the past few months. I think they are here for good!!

If I wasnt trapping them, I am certain I would lose all the hives slowly.

I modified all the nuc boxes I have to this. Its the same oil pan I use in the 10 framers which is good. Its a stainless steel round mesh type piece of metal.





 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So all my hives have the oil pan type arrangement. Incidently, I noticed the other day in K mart, the design has changed slightly on the pans - the bit that slides in the guide is now about 3 times as thick which is a bit of a bugger

As I am going thru the oil traps fortnightly - changing the oil etc, if i have a high dead beetle count on any of the hives, I drop a few of these traps things on top of the frames in the top box.

I was using them in the front of the hive - sliding them in the entrance - but the entrance ones seemed to get propolesised like in the photos. A mate of mine told me he smeared some vaseline on them to dtop the bees filling in the holes - I havent tried myself, but he reckons its a winner.

loading up a plate full





and the filled in trap



 

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Where did you get the traps in the last picture?

It's been my experience that the SHB's dance on the wire screen going from one side to the other. They come in the entrance with the bees, but also just come from under the hive through the screened bottom board. This is with 1/8" mesh.

I've got a couple bottom boards that I'm testing with 1/9" mesh this year. According to the info I can find. That should be big enough for varroa to fall through, but too small for the female beetles to come in from the bottom.
 

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A speaker at our association meeting last Saturday said he had stopped using oil in his traps and started using lime. Sounds like a lot less mess. Anyone else trying this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
what happens to lime in a humid environment? Does it absorb water?

What sort of lime should be used? Food grade available?

I would love an alternative to oil (expensive - $200 per year) and diatomaceous earth - seems to absorb water and become clumpy etc.
 

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He wasn't specific about the type of lime. I know there is a pickling lime for cucumbers that would be considered "food grade", but I am going to try just some ground agricultural lime (it also come pelletized).
 
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