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Was taking off my honey and noticed that all my hives, for the first time, have hive beetles. I got them from a nuc this spring and thought they were only in that hive.

Now we are going into winter. What is the best way to deal with them at this time? I'm in southwestern PA.

Tanya
 

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They fly up to 10 miles so just having them in one hive or source is not what happens in real life.
They will also overwinter in the cluster with the bees.
They mimic the begging behaviour of the bees so the bees will actually feed them in the cluster.
They are attracted to hives under stress by smell.
You can try the in hive traps, swiffer sheets etc it is late in the season in your area.
Early next year you can treat the soil under and around your hive with Gardstar to kill the larvae as they enter the ground to pupate, this can help to keep their reproduction under control.
 

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Thanks, John.

I've read about making some traps using old thin CD'S. Do you know if this is a practical way to treat them? I've also ordered some beetle traps (the ones that sit between frames with oil in them.
Is there any way to really get rid of them or is it just keeping them at bay? I have some very large hives but noticed them in them too. The only stress was a long period of drought. We are in a second period now. It's been extremely dry, unlike a good part of the country.
 

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Thanks, John.

I've read about making some traps using old thin CD'S. Do you know if this is a practical way to treat them? I've also ordered some beetle traps (the ones that sit between frames with oil in them.
Is there any way to really get rid of them or is it just keeping them at bay? I have some very large hives but noticed them in them too. The only stress was a long period of drought. We are in a second period now. It's been extremely dry, unlike a good part of the country.
I live in Georgia and deal with them all year.
What I do is use 2-3 traps in each hive. I use the clear plastic ones that have a lid so I can empty out the dead beetles and put in some new canola oil with a little bit of apple cider vinegar. They sit on top of the frames. Some bees will glue them down with prophylls so some times you have to gently pry them off the frames.
I treat the ground around the hives with H. indica nematodes. They enter the hive worm anus and eat it from the inside out and then reproduce hundreds more nematodes (life is cruel in the insect world). The nematodes will not work during the winter in your area but you can apply them in the spring and get some protection during the summer and fall. It is about $40 with shipping and tax for enough to treat the area around 10 hives.
That helps keep the numbers down but you will still need either traps or a nice strong hive. A strong hive will seal the beetles up and keep them from laying eggs in the brood comb (the worms/grubs do all the damage).
http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/bees/small_hive_beetle.htm
I purchase the nematodes from here:
http://www.southeasterninsectaries.com/
 

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I’d be surprised if you have a serious problem. Seeing a handful of shb going into winter in PA? I doubt if any will survive your winter. I think I’d wait until spring and see if any are left and if so, then figure something out.
 

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Well, I sure hope it works out that way. It appears a number of us received nuc's from a supplier and we all ended up with beetles. It was a bit of a shock to see them.
 

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Well, I sure hope it works out that way. It appears a number of us received nuc's from a supplier and we all ended up with beetles. It was a bit of a shock to see them.
I keep a single beeyard in the mountains of North Carolina. It is about a hundred miles north of my local yards. EVERY hive in my local yards has some hive beetles. From time to time I move a hive or two from my local yards to the mountain yard to replace deadouts. When they are moved…they are moved beetles and all. By the following season I am hard pressed to find a single beetle in those hives or that yard.
 

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Here in NY hives don't succumb to shb. All my hives have a few shb. Some can even have a lot if I give them a pollen sub patty they don't need or want (oops). But blaming a dead colony on shb is like blaming road kill deer on the maggots. Maybe in Georgia or Florida shb is a real problem, but here, and probably in PA (?), they're just part of the clean up crew.

Some plastic traps or something wouldn't hurt, but honestly, colony survival is mostly to do with mites, queens, and nutrition. Like others said, the winter cleans them out, so I wouldn't worry about it. If your colonies have a large population, low mite count, a laying queen, and plenty of honey and pollen stores, you should be A-OK -- 80%+ survival rate.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Whew!! That is good news. I will check them in the spring. Do you add anything around the hives- in the soil?? - to kill the grubs (or whatever they are called).
 

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I mix a solution of permethrin and water in a watering can and soak the ground in front of and at the sides of the hive. The permethrin kills the larvae as they depart the hive and fall to the ground to burrow in and complete their development. whereupon they return to the hive or another one.
Except that they don't return because the permethrin kills them.
 

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Thanks P. Greaney- good advise. What happens to the beetles that are still in the hive over winter?
 

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I use a product called "Beetle Barn" when used as recommended you put a product such as Check-mite in the center. The beetles, seeking refuge from the bees, crawl in and as a result of exposure to the Check-Mite you have put in the center of the Beetle Barn the beetles in the Beetle Barn die. Subsequently, you retrieve the Beetle Barn open it empty the carcasses of the dead beetles then put the beetle barn back in the hive. This video link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0mO-cYTZ58 demonstrates how I use the Beetle Barn but as you can see the guy is hiding the name of the product he puts into the center of the trap (probably does not mention or show it because it has not been authorized for use in beekeeping). He also does not mention any technique or strategy he is using against the larvae digging into the ground such as the permethrin application which I use.
For me the combination of ground treatment and beetle barn use effectively eliminates the small hive beetle problem, whether over the winter or any other time of year.
As I am sure you appreciate it is not a permanent solution and must be renewed periodically.
 

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Sr. Tanya
I answered your question about overwintering beetles in my post above. They mimic the bees begging behavior and the bees will feed them in the cluster. They are not reproducing at that time.
The ground drench mentioned above helps to keep population down by killing larvae so they don't pupae and return as adults when the reproduction cycle starts in the spring. The warmer it is the faster they pupate, hence the population explosion in mid summer.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yes, thank you, John. I just wasn't, still, quite sure what to expect over winter. So some stay in the hive all winter. Can they then reproduce in the hive in spring? Don't mean to be obtuse. Just want to have an idea what to expect.
 
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