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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a serious question - not just pro treatment snark.

Whenever I Live and Let a hive Die during the beekeeping season - when it gets weak, but before it actually kicks the bucket it pretty much always hatches out a moist wriggling mass of reeking hive beetle maggots - the sight of which alone will turn many stomachs. SHB traps will not prevent this from happening to a failing hive - I've tried them all.

In the aftermath of SHB the affected comb is apparently tainted - bees are reluctant or completely unwilling to use it afterwards. Even if you wash it - a completely unpleasant task I might add - the bees clearly never like it again no matter what I have tried.

It must be like a used car with that bad smell you can never get rid of. Since they don't like it much it is the first comb that they vacate during dearths and the first comb that again gets infested with adult hive beetles.

So I deal with this by making every effort to keep hives strong - thus avoiding such meltdowns as much as possible - but when they do happen I trash the comb. Experience has taught me that it is forever ruined. Even the box and bottom board can be somewhat affected if it is bad.

So, when you bond fans here in hive beetle land let one die for the cause - what do you do? Do you have some method for preventing hive beetle meltdowns or for reclaiming slimed comb? Or do you just keep starting over without comb?
 

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Since I have plastic as the foundation, I just scrape it all off and apply a coat of beeswax ..... works for me..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I do pretty much the same thing - which is exactly what I mean by "trash the comb." The frames aren't necessarily ruined, but I sure hate it when it happens though - comb is pretty valuable to me.
 

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Has anyone ever used the SHB comb for swarm traps?

Maybe fumigation with acidic acid might be worth a try. Or go the opposite and use baking soda/peroxide mix, which is use by hunters for scent control.
 

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As they are getting weak and and become obviously doomed,but before SHB becomes a problem, why not remove some of the frames, or shake the bees out and remove all of them, then freeze or fumigate, saves the bees from suffering any longer and saves the combs.
 

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haven't had it happen since the four old rotten used hives i started with....

i keep a better beetle blaster disposable trap in each box, and use about 3/8" vegetable oil with a little apple cider vinegar and rotten banana juice mixed in.

even with the dink colonies that have dwindled down to nothing, the beetles haven't been able to hatch any larvae, unless these bees are so hygienic that they have removed them before i could see any.

shb traps are the only pest control that i do, and it is still up to the bees to chase them into the traps.

i'm also starting to believe that keeping a few fire ant mounds near the hives may be a deterrent to shb.

as a side, i've found that the heavy propilizers make stronger colonies and i find less beetles trapped in those hives.
 

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Ive lost a couple hives to SHB and like you say it's a mess. I don't have that problem any more. Every hive I have has one of Green beehives IPK traps on the bottom. It's not uncommon for me to go most of the year without seeing a live beetle. Plenty of dead ones in the bottom though.
I'm not completely familiar with the bond method. I have never treated with anything. In the past when I had a hive failing, usually from a bad queen I would try to get them thru by robbing food and brood from other hives. This usually didn't work for me.

Now I have a different approach. When I first see a hive going downhill I either combine it or shake them out and start a nuc from a strong hive in their equipment. Nearly always if not always these will go gangbusters.
I won't give them a chance to get weak enough for SHB or let them die on their own.
This works for me. Your milage may vary. Woody
 

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"as a side, i've found that the heavy propilizers make stronger colonies and i find less beetles trapped in those hives." squarepeg

Could this be an argument for Caucasian genetics? They can gather a lot of propolis. Propolis is the main constituent of bee built beetle prisons and enough of it could make entrance into the hive very difficult for invaders.
 

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If you want to eliminate SHB from your hives, make a soid bottom board 19 7/8" x 16 1/4" x whatever, cut wooden strips 3/4' wide x 3/8" thick to form a fence around the outside of the board. No entrance holes. Then take a piece of heavy paper and cut it to fit inside the fence, paint it black and tack it to the board with spray adheasive. Get a bucket of sticky glue that they use to make sticky insect boards and coat the paper with the glue.
Then make a screened bottom board (a 3/4" wide picture frame that is the same size as a hive box)with 1/8" wire mesh for the screen.
Put five 3/8" thick spacers on the paper to keep the 1/8" mesh from sagging into the glue.
The solid bottom board has the glue side facing up and the screen board is placed on top of the bottom board wiuth the screen face down.
The hive box is placed on top of the screened frame.
This is basically a large oil bath trap with glue instead of oil. It is in two par ts so you can take it apart and clean it when it gets full of SHB and/or wax moths or mits.
What make this work very well is the top cover and the inner cover are removed and replaced with a 1/4" piece of plexiglass. The light that enters the top of the boxes drives the SHB down into the black area at the bottom of the hive where they are trapped in the glue. The hardware cloth keeps the bees out of the glue.
It takes about a half a day for the bees to get used to the light and after that they don'e care.
I find that it is a good idea to use duct tape around the plexiglass to hold it on.
You will need to make a top entrance or cut one in the SBB. The top entance works much better and a anti-robbing screen is easy to install there.
 

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There was a post on here recently about using table cloth (Vinyl w/fuzzy back pad) strips, fuzzy side up, across the top bars, as beetle traps. Have any of you tried it? I did and caught no beetles, of course I have no beetles to catch at the moment. Would like to hear if they work for others.
 

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I lost 3 splits, 1 full deep hive, and almost a 3-deep hive to SHB last year. I shook the frames over some oil and left the rest to the bees. after a couple of hours, i put the frames into my freezer - and actually forgot them for about 3 1/2 months. Then I put them out for the bees to finish cleaning up and have reused some of them w/o any issues. if there are pheromones on there I'm unsure how much it actually affects the bees, because they were happy to clean up the partial frames with capped honey, and cleaned it up w/o any issues after removing it from the freezer. Those frames that looked really bad to me, I just cut and threw away - which was about 40%.
 
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