Nematodes will help them from reproducing, but once it gets to that point the hive is pretty much done already. Most people don't understand, hive beetles aren't just crawling out of your soil, adult beetles are flying in from all over.
I agree that once the SHB get a foot hold, it's hard to get rid of them.
That said, I was able to reduce my SHB problem by about 75% by adding nematodes to my arsenal. I still have to use traps and look forward to killing any I find whenever I open a hive - but truly believe that they helped cut or break the reproductive cycle tremendously.
I don't think treating even a quarter acre square around your hives would make much difference if you have other sources in your area where they could come from. SHB have been reported to reproduce in rotting fruits (melons and cucumbers is what I've seen reported). I actually have seen the adults flying into my hives after cucumber fields are disked under to replant. To treat an area large enough to truly be a barrier to SHB is not cost effective even for government agencies. I think a better stategy than nematodes is leaving the fire ant beds under the hives alone, the fire ants don't seem to bother the bees, but love SHB and wax moth larvae plus clean out any dead outs quickly and cleanly. If you don't have fire ants, I'll send you some for half the price of the nematodes. Guaranteed thrive in your location.
I purchased my nematodes from southeastern apiaries. If you Google that name, in Georgia I'm sure it will come up. As far as replenishing them, I do this once a season, which usually is towards the end of the nectar flow. No reasoning special for this time, just that it seems to "work out" that way with my timing to order
Thanks. I just learned about this. At our bee club meeting last night a lady from the UGA Bee Lab said nematodes were great to combat SHBs. I plan to get started with my bees this spring. Maybe I will get some nematodes later (when their numbers increase).
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