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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This weekend I checked my hives and noticed that I had inadvertently left the "slide-in" insert under a screen bottom board on one hive. Where all the wax and house cleaning debris had fallen through the screen bottom and had accumulated on the insert, the Small Hive Beetles were in number. I even saw larvae crawling around in the debris. I quickly removed the insert under the screen and destroyed all the beetles and larvae that were on it. Lesson learned!

You see the bees can't get between the screen bottom and the insert to clean off the bottom board or police for small hive beetles as in a solid bottom hive...so it provides a place for SHBs to hide and do their thing. You may want to warn others about this and be aware of this yourself if you are not already.

Another lesson regardless of having screen bottoms or solid bottom boards is to clean off your bottom board from time to time to remove any debri that has collected there so as not to provide a place for SHBs to hide. However, in the case of screen bottoms, if you leave the insert in too long and debri accumulates there...it makes a place for SHBs to abide where the bees can't get to them.
 

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I even saw larvae crawling around in the debris.
This would be the part that would worry me. That larvae likely started as eggs laid in the brood nest. I'd give 'em a good lookover.
 

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I put a cookie sheet filled with veg oil there, the larva use the screen to exit the hive to pupatate and land in the oil, the beetles go there to hide - same result.

I think the beetles also try to get in thru the SBB, and also go for a swim.

The oil also catches varroa, but it makes it hard to count 'em
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the advice...this hive is one of my best hives and is a double deep hive with 3 honey supers on now that are in the process of filling up. I am wondering if I should disrupt this hive by going through it in the middle of the flow...or just wait a few weeks? What say ye?
 

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Don't give those smegging SHB anywhere to congregate. I don't use SBB for that reason, as well as the fact that fire ants and wax moths can also waltz right in through it. My girls do best on a plain wooden bottom board, and keep it clean. Your mileage may vary.

I would take the time to double check for SHB. They can multiply fast, and you sure don't want them in the supers.

AJ's traps have worked well for me; other folks have used other traps with success.

Good job, noticing things quickly, and good luck.
Summer
 
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