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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Like most beekeepers in the South I have my share of SHB. But, this year seems diffrent. I run 8 frame equipment, bees are strong but I have noticed SHB Larva on several of the hives in frame 1&8. The bees seemed uninterested in them. The yard has 84 hives in it and this is the first time I have used the location. A couple of yards that have had the same bees in them for a few years are showing the same signs. Kinda ruled out the ground being infested with SHB. It seems to be warmer this year and the humidity has been really bad. Has anyone else in the Southeast noticed and increase in SHB activity? as of today I have loss 5 hives that upon last insepction where strong. Lasted checked 15 days prior. They have been robbed, and someone told me sometimes duirng the robbing process the SHB take the opertunity during the confussing to lay large amounts of eggs. The beetle barns are empty....... Anyone?????
 

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we are seeing more SHB this year than last, like you I attribute it to the very early heat and humidity. Seems like they have really come on strong the past few weeks. Get ready, I dont know about your area but in ours the beetles peak in Aug/Sept.... usually our hottest months. Gonna get worse before it gets better.
 

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They're bad even this far north.

As you both already know.....hives in full sun!
I don't do splits after April 15.
I don't allow more than two extracting supers on a hive at any time.
I never 'bottom super'.
When returning extracted supers I will only put one on a hive.
The only hives that get a complete inspection after June 15 are the ones that appear to be troubled.
I want loads of bees in my hives by July. Big bee beards are a comfort.

I've still lost a few this season to shb. In each case the hive went queenless...failed to successfully make a replacement...and I didn't catch it quickly enough.
 

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I'm in central FL and the SHB are terrible this year. I havn't seen this kind of damage in years. They are taken hives I normally would consider safe. We split heavy this year and we've lost hives with 2-3 frames of capped brood.
Usually when you've got a queen laying and a good population , you think "that hives on the way". Its been rough keeping them out of queen nucs.Seems like they are picking the weakest hive in the yard. Its got me mumbling some things I probably shouldn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Spoke with someone today at University of Georgia Bee Research. They made mention about the SHB taking the perfect opertunity during the robbing confussion to lay a large amount of eggs. They also stated theyhave not heard of any SHB issues other then what is normally reported. The beetle barns I placed on the top, botom and middle are empty. As mentioned its a new yard never used. I treated the ground today hoping it will help. I cant understand why the house bees are not remving the larva. Maybe due to the stink of the honey and slim? I have my hives in direct sunlight. I cracked the lids on all of them hoping the light will slow them down a little. We replaced all the frames that had SHB with new frames and foundation. We run wood/wax, some wood, plastic cell. Will let you know how things turn out.
 

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What do you use in your beetle barns?
 

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As you've already discovered, strong hives don't mean anything to hive beetles, at least in FL and S. GA. You have to use traps and kill them as fast as they enter the hive or you will lose the hive. The bees do not remove SHB; I don't care what anybody tells you! Once they get to the larva stage and infesting the combs, take out whatever good frames you have left, along with the bees, and destroy the infested comb in a solar wax melter or other heat source. Spraying the ground will control larva in the ground, but when they've gotten to the larva stage in the ground the hive is gone. We need USDA and the universities spending more research dollars and time on this problem. I'd rather have varroa any day over SHB.
 

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A WHILE BACK SOMEONE SAID THE UNIV FL opps... had found a bait for SHB but couldn't find anyone to manufacter it. In my way of thinking ..if we could atract them to a trap , wouldn't the biggest part of the battle be over? We have fly traps around barns, wasp traps ....seem like the works done, but then I don't know anything about manufactering. You can check a hive and find no SHB and then 48 hours later they're "slimed" how do you defend against that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Fish_stix I agee with you, I can deal with the mites for the most part. I have been keeping bees for a long time, prior to the SHB comming on the scene. I have had a few but nothing like this year. Any recommendation for bait in the barn???? The roach paste does not seem to work in the barn for me. Others swear by it. I think my problem started after robbing the bees.
 

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Every location is different, but I've been having real good success with the AJ's Beetle eater traps I bought from Dadants... tried the cd jewel box traps last year, didn't get but 2 beetles in one trap in one of 14 hives.

I put the AJ traps, 2-4 per hive, depending on size of hive. I check every week or two, and so far the beetles have been kept down to maybe 4-5 in the worst hive. Some of the traps have to be cleaned out regularly. I use mineral oil in them. Nice to see all those drowned beetles!

FWIW. Your location and methods may vary.
Regards,
Steven
 

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My bees are in light shade and comfortable.

SBB with oil traps working great. The bees are cool and no beetles seen alive in the hives. This is after a bad year using AJ's and not catching many last year.

Small cell, bees in shade, herbs instead of real medicines.....I am not convinced.

(Trained as scientist. Show me hard data)
 

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Small cell, bees in shade, herbs instead of real medicines.....I am not convinced.
(Trained as scientist. Show me hard data)
If you move those bees south about three or four hundred miles you’ll get all the hard data you need. SHB are tropical pests, so the further north you go the poorer they do. Where I live, about 80 miles north of Macon, GA, shb are bad. South of Macon they’re awful (I’ve had bees in Unadilla, Ga)…and those folks even futher south have my condolences.
 

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I also use AJ traps but use Diatomacious earth rather then oil. Less messy.
 

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I have oil trays under a SBB. I have loads of beetles in there;
I also have a lot on top of the inner cover - I massacred them up there yesterday;they are a lot worse for me this year than last.

I lost a hive last year to SHB, and used it as bait - put an oil tray under it and blocked the entrance - forced them to go thru the oil to get in, got loads of them, then gave the slimey mess to the ants, they love the SHB larva;
 

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I have used combat roach gel with great success right in the center of the beetle barn. They never make it out you will be emptying you barns every 48 hours for a week then once a week you will actualy see the numbers decrease until you have only a couple . I try to keep from using chems if I can ,but I had SHB all over this wa sthe only thing that made a difference.
 

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freo11 I do the same its working.Ive been using 4or5 weeks have you been using it longer?Just wondering if I should take it out for awhile.
 

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The bees can't get to the roach gel if you're using Beetle Barns or the corrugated sign board traps or the CD case traps. The stuff is approved for food prep areas so I don't believe there's any worry about fumes. The bees like to propolize the Beetle Barn openings but the things work well! Down here we don't ever remove the traps. If we did, the next day the hive would be an SHB farm! :(
 

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I was told to expect to loose 30% of my hives each year to some cause. Maybe I should try to keep a few colonies of small hive beetles and maybe I can manage to loose 30% of them that way!! HAHA!

Why is it, the good insects you want to keep, struggle to survive, but the bad insects you don't want around, you just cant seem to get rid of?

Seriously, I don't live in an area with a big shb problem. Those that do, I feel for ya........

Rob
 

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I suspect the grub & ant crystals that can be purchased and applied to one's lawn would kill shb larva when applied in the apiary. w/o the risk of overspray infecting a hive. Some of those treatments can be applied in the spring and last up to a year. Applications around the hive are fine but those little creatures can and do fly so you might have a few today and a major infestation tomorrow. They are much worse than varroa because they are not predictable.
 
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