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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
New Hive, New Beekeep, New Larvae with Pics

Good Afternoon Everybody,

I've had my two hives set-up since 5/22 and went in yesterday to check on the queen. I noticed about 6-8 larvae feeding off the pollen patty that I put in. I found the queen in one frame, eggs in both hives and everything looks like it's going well except for the larvae problem. My guess is that the bees came up from Georgia and the larvae are Small Hive Beetles.

Last night I cleared all the brush from around the hives. I have BeeMax hives sitting on a homemade platform that is about 7ft / 3 ft. Their is a screened bottom board, one deep hive body and 10 frames per hive.

I noticed white comb, white comb with eggs (uncapped), bees that were bringing in pollen, cells that had an amber colored substance in them (uncapped), and some capped cells. The bees were letting the larvae eat the pollen and didn't really bother them. I have Italian Queens and suspect that the docile nature of the bees could be prone to infestation.

Today I will go out and check the hive, try to get pictures and try to determine if the larvae are wax moths or SHB's. Betterbee told me to get some beetle traps and place them between the frames.

I'm feeding a syrup mixture with peppermint extract (not sure if this does the same as peppermint oil), some lemon juice concentrate, a touch of bleach and approx 1:1 sugar.

If anybody has any advice then I'm all ears.

edit:

I've attached a pic of the Queen, one of the larvae on the pollen patties and one of a single larvae on my thumb. You can see a faint line of legs on the larvae which is a series of three amber colored legs on each side in the front. Conformation that these are in fact SMB?

I've pulled off the pollen patty which seems to contain most of the larvae, some small, some medium sized. I balled up the patty, threw it in a ziplock bag with water and put it in the freezer. I also dropped a larvae that an ant took away. I hope they eat him alive.

edit:

Looks like my pics didn't take. I tried to edit them correctly but I'm not quite sure what went wrong.
 

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Re: New Hive, New Beekeep, New Larvae with Pics

Here is what i don't understand, and it's not just you because this VERY same thing was asked about 2 weeks ago. I know the pollen patties and substitutes help build up the hive, but from what I am hearing and understanding is that they cause more SHB when coming from the south. Right now, everyone should be on a flow, close to a flow or ending a flow. To those more experienced...is this commmon. I didn't because i was warned not too because of the SHB problem....
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So you're thinking the SHB eggs were in the pollen patty and not from the packaged bees?

It would make sense considering the size of the larvae and where they were feeding from however the pollen patties had been frozen for some time. They may not have been frozen to 10 degrees F though.

I have yet to see any beetles.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
DevDog, do you have the link to the post from a couple weeks ago or remember any part of it that I could search for?
 

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Hey, no way, they came with the package no doubt about it. There are several things that you can do. I live square in the middle of SHB country. Keep them limited on space and in full sun. They can actually handle them if you keep them tight on space. I actually have a board that fits in like a frame. As a new Nuc or package draws out, i will move it and add a new frame instead of giving them 10 all at one time. I am sorry that you are dealing with this especially if it came from the south. I am sure you have beetles. If you have Larvae, you have beetles. Condense them down, get them in the sun if you can. Fatbee/man has some videos on youtube on how to make your own beetle traps. Look it up....Ever since i condensed mine, they handle them without any help....but if you do that, you have to watch them a little more IMHO, or they have a better chance at swarming! Let me know if I can help you any further....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Devdog. I will make some boards this weekend. Is cedar ok to use in hives? I have some eastern white cedar that a farmer cut up for me into boards. If not then how about plywood?

I'm amazed at how the larvae was eating away at the patty and the bees didn't even care. It was like they didn't even notice them. Do you use Italian queens?

Right now the hives get sun about 8 hours a day. From 8 am until about 4 pm. Do I open the hives up if I put them in full sun? I'm using BeeMax hives and I don't see how the light would get through to them.
 

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Use plywood....not too sure about the cedar. The reason the bees didn't care is there is plenty to forage on i would think and they were bringing it in instead of using the patties. They wiol do that if everything is plentiful. They will get iritated and grab them and fly off with them, but thats the problem....once they do, they pupate in the ground. You have plenty of sun, as I just meant the entire hive in the sun.....works for me, and thats about what mine get!
 

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Yup, they will overwinter with them in the cluster...it has been proven. You may or may not be able to eradicate them....but your goal is to let the bees manage them.....
 

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Ok. Now I'm on to figuring out some preventative measures.

I'm going to add a between the frames beetle trap to both of my hives. I'm thinking of adding a varroa trap with a tray to the bottom of the hives so that I can observe the situation without disturbing the bees quite as much.

What happens if I move my platform and put some landscaping fabric down on the ground? Will this force them to crawl off and pupate at a distance that is further from the hive?

I've cleared out the ground around the hive of all brush. Maybe if I rake the ground daily I can disturb the pupal stage of the cycle?

Is it possible to pick out the eggs that the beetles lay and where do they lay them? If they're in the hives then do they lay them in the cells with pollen?

I have only seen beetle larvae in one of my hives. The hive which I placed the package in and let the bees fly out on their own does not appear to have SHB's or larvae. I'm wondering if they can't crawl out of the package with this method of hiving.

Would it be advantageous to move my hopefully non-SHB hive to a different location?

I apologize about all the questions but I'm hoping to give these girls every shot at managing the situation. If I can figure out something that works then I will certainly post my results and hopefully help out others.
 

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You can add traps if you think they are bad. Pick out the larvae that you see. The problem with clearing the ground and laying Fabric is that the bees will just carry them off well beyond the hive. Those that make it off the landing board will try and pupate into the ground. I have only ever seen one larvae, and the bees carried it off....i watched...LOL. Beetles are REALLY good at hiding. The SHB's found me, and i had no previous hives, downhere within 3 weeks....they are really really good at it..LOL
 

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if this gets old...pm me and ill give you my number...we can just talk...lol
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the help DevDog. I shut down for the day after your last post. I feel like an outcast with SHB. My friend who was going to place a split on my property called me on Sunday and said, "So, how's the SHB problem going. I think I may bring my split someplace else." Probably a good idea on his part but now I'm the red headed stepchild.:D

Anyway, it seems like the SHB larvae really liked the pollen patty. I took that out and haven't seen much more of them. I'm thinking of using the pollen patty as a bait type of system.

I'm going into the hives this afternoon to do an inspection. Hopefully I don't find any larvae hanging around.
 

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Down here in FL patties draw SHB like flies on manure! When we use patties we keep them small, about a half pound, so the bees can consume them fast. The landscaping fabric will not work, the adults fly! We use it under our hives, but just to keep weeds down. Just get some traps on your hives and keep an eye on them. Don't let the SHB get out of control.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks Fish Stix. I've done another inspection of my hives and so far there is no site of the SHB's. I'm trying to understand the life-cycle of the SHB. The larva seem to feed off the pollen in the hive. Do they then burrow into the ground while still in the larval stage? If so, then the larva wouldn't be able to penetrate the landscaping fabric would they?

I'm going to continue to use the pollen patties intermittently as sort of a bait device. If I can attract the larva to the pollen patty because it's easy pickin' then hopefully I can pull the pollen patty out and destroy the larva to control the population. I will heed your advice on using a smaller amount.
 
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