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I have read just how destructive the SHB are. With us purchasing our packages and nucs from the south, we have inadvertantly expanded their range, besides their normal expansion.

Just how far north have they expanded their range and when did they arrive in your area. Are they surviving the winters and becoming a pest to be dealt with. Lastly, are they surviving the winters of the more northern states. If our winters are becoming milder, then their range of survival is likely increasing as well.

I am hoping that this thread doesn't revert into frustrations against the bee production in the south as they also fill a vital need. My thoughts are that we should be prepared, if we can.
 

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we has some visible shb come in on some packages 3 years ago. they do seem to be around this far north, but we've not seen anything like what we've seen down south. they have not been a problem for us (one frame was "slimed", so i doused the buggers with gasoline).

deknow
 

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I think you guys in the north don't need to be too scared. By winter's end, here, the beetle populations are very small. It takes much of the warm season for them to reach 'critical mass'. In your case, longer winters and shorter warm seasons should keep their populations below damaging levels. Just my opinion.
 

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I first noticed SHB about six years ago. To date they have only been a minor nuisance, I have as yet to see any damage form them. Their populations stay very low, doing a little research on them I think the climate has much to do with the populations staying low. The pupa need to leave the hive and burrow into the ground to finish the gestation cycle. Below 70 degrees soil temperature their mortality rate jumps to 50% below 50 degrees it’s near 100%. That covers about six to seven months in my area. This factor alone will limit how many reproductive cycles they have in a season. The bees keep the smaller numbers corralled enough to manage them. So far I haven’t seen any damage even in weak colonies. Unlike beekeepers in southern areas they can keep reproducing virtually year round.
 

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we've had tem up here in Maine for 5-6 years. they do overwinter.never been a problem unless you pull your honey and leave it sitting.
 

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I have not seen any SHB, but I have heard reports that SHB are overwintering in Franklin County 50 miles SW of me. I have heard Franklin County beekeepers say it is only a matter of time before we find them all over the state.

With that said, while I have heard reports of them overwintering, I have not heard of them causing devastating problems.
 

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I don't recall accurately how long ago it was that I first saw SHB in hives in Northern NY, but it must have been at least 5 years or more. The first ones I saw in the North Country were in hives that belong to a migratory beekeeper. He had invited a group of beekeepers from Quebec to come see them.

Since then I have brought my own to NY in my own hives. I have never seen any detrimental effects in my own hives or equipment. I opened a hive this last fall, Oct. I think, and there were about 20 beetles clumped up together on the top bars. They scurried away before I could give them the hive tool test.

SHB will overwinter in clusters in northern areas. But I don't know if they reproduce successfully. How long do adult SHBs live? If they can't reproduce in our soil, do they die after 6 weeks or so?
 

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If they can't reproduce in our soil, do they die after 6 weeks or so?
I'm thinkin'....longer than 6 weeks or so. Look at it this way, if they can overwinter they've got to have at least a lifespan of winter's length. Here, if I were guessing I'd say that we have about 5 months that they can't reproduce. By the onset of cold weather many of my hives have a lot of 'em. By April there are only a few remaining. So, the longer your winter (higher attrition) and the shorter your summer (less time to build up large numbers) the less likely that they're gonna be a problem.
 

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Just a couple of points as archives are full of tips and ideas on trapping, and these are my personal opinions.

I used Mite-Away II pads (formic acid) this fall. TOTALLY cleaned out my hives of SHBs. I was stunned.

While I don't care to have any adult beetles, it's the larvae that do the real damage. As long as hives are not stressed, most hives will handle and tolerate some beetles. Traps work to keep this adult population as low as possible.

Yes, even with traps, you'll have some beetles, and yes, beetles overwinter nicely in the cluster. I'm still amazed at what the formic acid did. And just to plug Mite-Away II pads, they are ready to put into the hive. No other mixing involved.

Lastly, I think the ground treatments are a waste of time. It's temporary and needs to be reapplied, and once you have larvae burrowing in your comb, that damage is done. Ground treatments cannot reverse the damage, only keep future populations reduced but not eliminated.

West traps work better for catching escaping larvae than ground treatments, but again, if you're trying to kill the larvae, the damage is done.

Grant
Jackson, MO
 

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We have SHB that over winter here in Michigan. I live just South of Lansing.
Clint
 
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