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SHB increase in the moist mid-west???

1094 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  David LaFerney
Last year here in KS we were experiencing drought conditions and I never saw one small hive beetle. This year, we have had tremendous rainfall, which has been great for the nectar flow and terrible for pests. I have seen lots of SHB's this year in my hives, which were actually new bees on wooden equipment that I had frozen and cleaned over the winter months. I made some of the small hive beetle traps that Don the Fatbeeman has on youtube. I hope they work because I don't need this problem. I need my girls to make me some honey and bring in some money. So far, beekeeping for me has done nothing but cost me money and time. I love the aspect of keeping bees to help the environment and to play a part with mother nature, but let's face it folks... this is no hobby for people with limited income.

I was just wondering if anyone else in the midwest has experienced a large increase in the number of small hive beetle this year as opposed to previous years.
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same as normal. perhaps last year was below normal for you. I do nothing to control beetles. I use solid bars and kill the ones i see. Never been slimmed, knock on wood.

Beetles arn't bad here until hot and dry weather hits, dearth... July August September is peak population.
I have seen a few more this year than last, but it is a false comparison since last year was my first. However, what I am seeing is lots of propolized beetles, so the bees seem to be managing them so far this year.

In order to help the bees out and avoid a population explosion of beetles I added some beetle blasters this week. They seemed to work so-so last year, but perhaps I should give them more credit, since I didn't have any significant beetle issues.
Beetles arn't bad here until hot and dry weather hits, dearth... July August September is peak population.
Exactly the same here. Keep the hive healthy and they can almost always deal with the beetles. Let one go queenless though...
By the way - I have an idea which I haven't tried yet to help control beetle populations. I suspect that they are more successful at reproducing than we think - I have too often seen a single fat larva or two in a strong healthy hive. Larva are not only being produced in failing hives.

So instead of obsessing about the adults we should also be trying to control those larva, and keep them from going to ground to mature.

So, my idea - staple a small mesh screen to the bottom of a standard screened bottom board. Larva trying to leave the hive attracted to the light go through the number 8 mesh on top but get trapped above the fine mesh. They (hopefully) are like yellow jackets in a jar trap and can't figure out how to get out - and they dry out and die without making the disgusting mess that you get with oil traps. If there was some fiberfill or something in there to tangle and catch the occasional adult beetle that would just be gravy.

If it works. If it caught 25% of the larva trying to exit a hive it would be significant.
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