Over the last 8 yrs. I've worked hives that migrate from FL to WI and CA to WI. I seen minor damage in 1 deadout last year and 2 honey supers I left in the honeyhouse filled to long 3 yrs. ago. Our winter weather here eliminates them so they are not breeding. They try but don't succeed.
I so hope you are right because I hear they can survive in the cluster. I hope that means if they are really lucky. I have a migratory beek that goes to texas in the winter near one yard I use. Did not see any last summer though. Got my fingers crossed.
The larva cause the damage not the adult beetle. The larva needs to pupate(?) in the ground before they turn into adults. You may see them but the damage will be minimal with the population of SHB you will have around. To be safe don't leave full honey supers sit around to long before extracting, especially if there is any brood(even drone) in those honey supers.
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