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Discussion Starter #1
I made two splits about two weeks ago- one seems to be coming along well the other not so good. The second split of concern is 14 days old today. I have been feeding 1:1 feed -they have abot three new foundations to draw and are very slow compared to the other split. A few new larvae present ( I'm not real good at spoting eggs yet). The queen is present but it looks like I had four queen cells started :confused: . I may have large drone cells mistaken for queen cells but I don't think so (my first year). The queen was actually present on the same frame. Is it common to have queen cells at this stage. (the new larvae present did not seem to be drone based on the size of the cell or am I on the wrong track) I removed what I thought to be queen cells- there was one in the center third and three at bottom. Plenty of space and not moderate to weak on bees.
Also I have SHB of course in the weak hive. The most I have seen since recieveing them in a nuc in the spring. About 24 or more on the top cover( I'm sure the problem is the same or worse on the bottom board(not running sbb's). Any suggestions on getting rid or controlling SHB until the colony regains strength. I do not have access to guard-star.
Thanks for any suggestions.
 

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All I can tell you is good luck,I hived four packages this past April,my strongest one has shb so bad that the numbers are dropping now.Have tried the guard star with little to no luck.
All my hives are in the shade about 70% of the day.Have been told to move them into the direct sun and to inspect very often as they do not like the light.
Also you may be able to move them to another location that may have a different type of soil that the beetles do not like.

Better Bees sells a beetle trap that some say works good.Also check-mite works but you can not have supers on.

Good luck let us know if you find something that works..
 

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okay, I have a question for those with any SHB experience...

Do you guys notice a difference between when the hives are near pine forests vs hardwood forests? I definitely believe in the sun/no sun & moist/not moist differences and think the SHB don't thrive in bright, hot & dry conditions. But I've noticed a difference between pine & hardwoods and hadn't thought of it until two other people from this forum had mentioned noticing similar results. I don't think the trees have any effect per se, but I believe the leaf litter has an effect on the soil & the ph of the soil which may affect the larvae. I don't want to mention what I think yet, I just want to hear if any of you have noticed anything.
 

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I have heard about the pine also branman, I have not found any SHB's yet in my hives, might be because all we have here where I live is mostly clay, maybe the pine needles do something, maybe not, have you tryied buying a few bails of pine straw and put all around a few hives to see if there is a differance, might be something to just the needles alone and not the soil or a combonation of both, because pines will grow anywhere in about any soil, just my 0.02 cents. I am set up to use maxforce gel, and I am going to get some of those west SHB traps dadant sells.
 

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Beetles can crawl many several feet to burrow. Unless you feel like mulching 100 feet around the hives, I don't think it will have an impact. The best control of SHB I have found it the sun, and also minimizing empty combs. Just good old fashioned seasonal management used to prevent moths and other pest infestation in hive. Just don't store empty comb on a hive UNLESS you know it will be well cared for by the bees.
 

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Well can't speak for others but I have four hives,3 under hardwood trees and all have beetles then have one 1000' from them (closer to home so I can sit and watch) under pine trees with no beetles at all...The soil seems to be the same in both locations as I have planted apple trees and shrubs,2"-3" top soil followed by red clay.Although the hives with beetles have grass growing around them and the one without only had pine needles.Have been tempted to let the ants back in the hive and see if they'd get rid of the beetles,haha
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I just moved the hives from a sunny location (because of neighbor complaints) to the current more shady hardwood location and they have gotten worse. Don't know if that has any impact on why? My soil is also mostly clay but there is of course more topsoil in the hardwood area. I meant to say I didn't have access to Maxforce not guard-star. I have ssen several people mention it. An old timer told me to try canola on cardboard taped to the plastic corrurgated (sp) board. Said he read it somewhere but hadn't have much of a problem with SHB. I think since that conversation he has found a few out of 325 with the problem. He thinks part of his success is because he moves the hives frequently (pollination), maybe it breaks the cycle some. The word around here (that I have heard) is the problem is worse in sandy soil (sand ridge area of our state). Don't know if that has some sort of impact???
 

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We don't have shb where I am yet, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time. As I understand it, best defenses are (1) full sun (2) clay soil (3) strong hives (4) move hives often--the oldtimer's right; shb don't like to be moved. I'm also hoping that my chickens will gobble up the pupating larvae should it come to that!
 

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Branman,

My experience has been that the hives I have under oak trees have a much tougher time with SHB than those that are under pine trees.

I do not know if the trees are what makes the difference. The soil seems to be the same, but haven't had it tested.

I have also seen less SHB problems when the hive gets a lot of sun.
 

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just an update,my worst shb hive has decreased in beetle numbers and increased in bees,the only treatment is guard-star every month in about a 3 foot path around the hive.But still do not see alot of brood,but they are back to drawing out comb,thought I was gonna lose them for awhile.Did count 5 beetles under the inner board but alot better than 30+ before.I hope someone finds an end to these critters or I'm gonna end up a beetle farmer and cover them in chocolate and sell em in the fancy resturants.$.50 each.
Wish everyone luck
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Made a quick inspection today. I have four hives, all four hives have SHB- no big surprise, right??? Also one has ants now,but not the weak one. Any comment on ants? How many are too many?
 

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Pine forest---oak forest--- I know nothing about shb, but many years of killing pests with TERPENTINE pretty well spells it out. Pine needles have terpentine in them, and I can readily see where it would be unattractive to most beetles and other small pests.

No knowledge, just 50+ years of animal husbandry without a vet.
 

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Anybody ever try hydrated lime spread out on the ground around the hives? Works really well for sandfleas and clusterflies up here. Both lay their eggs in the ground. Hydrated lime kills alot of pests by desication. Seems like it's worth a try on SHB, which are killed by oil in the same fashion. I don't have them up here due to clay soil, so someone should give it a try and let us know if it works. Would be a cheap cure.

peggjam
 

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I use a product called Terro, to fight the ants SC. I place a trap under the hive where the bees won't get into it.

Most of the time the ants are not a problem, they actually help to clean out the hives, the big ants that is. The small, what we call sugar ants, are only a problem when there is excess sugar water dripping from the feeders.

Peggjam, the hydrated lime is something I have not heard yet. Can you give us details as to what exactly hydrated lime is, and where to get it. Are we talking the fruit Lime, or the crushed rock lime?
 

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Phoenix:

You haven't heard of hydrated lime because nobody has mentioned it until I did. You should be able to get hydrated lime at your local feed store. It is a very dry lime product that will dry out anything you put it in contact with, until it rains. It is the main ingrediant in whitewash used in dairy barns in the old days if that helps any. I always used it in the dairy barn when we cleaned stalls, and pens. It cures footrot in dairy cattle. The basic idea is to encircle your hives with it. This will keep most (IMO all) craweling insects from infesting your hives. It stands to reason if the SHB depends on soil for part of it's reproduction cycle, that it would have to pass through the lime to get to the soil to hatch, it WON'T get through the lime, so chances of reproduction cycle completeing is nilich. Try it, it might work. This is just an idea you can try, if it doesn't work??? It would probably work for ants as well if placed thickly around and under the hives. If you deciede to try it please post your results so others can try it too.

peggjam
 

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Phoenix:

It comes in a fify pound bag, its dry and very velety, white, powdered lime. You can get it at any feed store, like Blueseal, Purina, and Tractor supply should have it as well. It costs about 7 per bag, and one bag will do 2-3 hives.

peggjam
 
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