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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there a general habitat that the SHB like best? I put brand new hives in my yard last year, no bees are kept any where near my yard. By fall I had a few SHB! Last nights beekeeper meeting some one stated that our county hasn't had much of a problem yet, except my town! Oberlin is clay based soil. Many people say it was a swamp before we came along. My yard is sunny but very wet in the spring. We had a long hard winter, I had hopes the beetles would be gone. I opened my smaller hive and saw two small beetles and one "adult". They all met the end of my hive tool. Why are we so lucky here in Oberlin? Has anyone researched what type of habitat they prefer? :s
 

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Having lived in the mid-west, you have some of the ingredients - hot and humid summers. Unlike here in the south (except for an occassional winter like this year, cold winters that are counter-productive to SHB (altho they are said to over-winter in colonies).

Like AHB, who have adapted to moving north & the fact you already are seeing SHB, it only makes sense that your problems are going to get worse over time. Read the threads here about SHB & hive management & adapt what you can according to your ability
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know I have to adapt to the fact that I will be dealing with SHB from now until...... I'm just wondering what else they are living on. Is there some thing-else they use to survive besides honey bee hives? How did they get into my yard for my first year of hives? Unless they arrived in the package of bees could they have been living here all along? How do we know this little bugger doesn't have a another resource and has been a part of our environment for years? Possibly something we've been killing off and now the SHB is adapting to another home. Just wondering..
 

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I'm no entomologist & all the biologist will disagree with me, but take a look inside some of your nectar/pollen blossoms this year (ie squash) and you'll find a beetle that is the spittin-image of SHB.
 

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The adult female lays eggs in the hive, larval stages occur in the hive, and the pupating larvae burrow into the soil.

Small hive beetles can fly, right? Where are the males?

The biologists wouldn't say that you are crazy since there's alot more to be learned about SHB.

The next time you see those beetles in your squash, take some samples (hundreds if possible).

If there are hives nearby, it wouldn't be much of a mystery as to where the SHBs came from.

"The adult beetle is attracted to bee colonies to reproduce, although it can survive and reproduce
independently in other natural environments, using other food sources, including certain types of fruit." http://www.oie.int/ENG/normes/mcode/en_chapitre_1.9.4.pdf
 

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In my short course last year, someone said that SHBs could live off melons when they weren't mooching in a hive. He said large compost piles with lots of vegetable matter like on a large farm could also allow them to feed and overwinter. It might have been Jamie Ellis, but I'm not really sure whom to quote. No one contradicted the speaker. Is Oberlin near anything like that?
 

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Did they also mention the status of prospective biological control agents to SHB?

So, you're saying that anyone with the right type of compost heap can grow SHB? Uh oh. Guess who composts veggies, fruits, etc. on the rooftop garden.
 

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They cast up the usual suspects: diatomaceous earth, H. indica nematodes, sunny yards, etc. It was suggested that everyone try a combination. There's no panacea for SHB, alas!

I got the impression that if the SHBs had a choice between a small home compost heap and a hive, they'd take the latter. For compost or melons to be a reservoir it needed to be a big monoculture agribusiness type thing.
 

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Can eggs be in cells if no SHB are present? Something is in some cells that look like shb eggs but are more plump and have liquid around them. Thanks
 

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Can eggs be in cells if no SHB are present? Something is in some cells that look like shb eggs but are more plump and have liquid around them. Thanks
This sounds more like newly hatched honey bee larvae. They’re very small and have liquid around them….nurse bees have begun feeding them.

To the original poster, I wouldn’t expect that you’ll have a major problem in Ohio. SHB are tropical pests. To thrive they need a shorter winter and longer summer. Otherwise they cannot reproduce in large enough numbers. You may find some in your hives but I’d be surprised if you ever get big numbers.

The best advice I would give any beekeeper, anywhere, regarding shb is to put your hives in a sunny location. My shady yards are a problem. My sunny yards aren’t.

Claressa, that was likely Jamie Ellis. He’s an expert on shb. He did his grad studies in South Africa in the shb’s native habitat. Much of his post doctoral work at the UGA beelab was on shb.
 

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I'm always agreeing with Dan, but you'll know SHB problems if you get them. Re my last post, nature is their habitat and anything you think you can do, you don't want to do or can't.

When you start seeing a hundred or so every week during inspection - you have a problem. Until they eventually acclimate to your temps and environment, I wouldn't fret it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My hives are in a mostly sunny location. We do have and have had a compost pile since we moved in 11 years ago. The city has a community compost area. It is over two miles away. We have gotten loads from them on occasion to add to our own.
We are in the middle of farm country.
 

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I really started seeing SHB over the last two weeks. I put out my traps that close shut with bait inside and I have a few of AJs I will put in soon to try out. Has anyone tried Nematodes in the dirt under the hives? I've herd that will help keep the larva from growing into the adult beetles.
 
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