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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
SHB's pupate in the ground after the larvae fall(?) to the ground below the hive. How do they get back up into the hive? Do they climb? Can they fly? Are they pretty much fully grown in size when they return to the hive?
 

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The author of this is associated with Clemson.

http://vincemasterbeekeeper.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/small-hive-beetle-ipm-hood.pdf

I believe he said the adults can fly. Come up to the door and just stroll in like they own the place, if the bees let them. He even has a picture of a beetle begging for food from a bee.

The most promising thing I saw is that the beetle larvae apparently crawl out of the hive, drop on the ground, and burrow in to pupate. They rarely go more than a couple of feet from the hive. They also need moist soil. Our beeyard is "well drained" and enclosed, so I'm thinking maybe a dose of something like salt in the ground in the immediate area might kill the little ... uh ... need a derogatory term the censor won't quash.

Or maybe just concrete?
 

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Yes they fly. That's why I don't bother treating a hive to eradicate them because more will just come in. I don't use any treatments or traps for SHB, just keep good strong colonies that can handle or fight them off.

I am planning on letting my chickens have free reign of the bee yard soon. Assuming they don't try to eat bees all day, I hope the chickens will scratch under the hives (which are mounted on 4x4 rails) and dig up the beetles on a daily basis for a nice snack. Now I know this won't stop the potential larval outbreak in a hive that leads to sliming, but the adults in the hive can't last forever. And if I am greatly reducing the local population of SHB (to 0%) in the immediate area of my hives, then the only source will be those adults migrating in from feral colonies, which should be much less. After all, why would an adult beetle decide to leave one hive that is allowing it to stay, in search of another?

My plan isn't foolproof, but neither are traps. I've tried the beetle blaster oil traps and still had beetles in the hives.
 

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In the summer evenings I see they fly in every day. This year I am going to install beetle jails entrance traps on 2 of my hives. The idea is to trap them before they get into the hive. I seem to have a high shb population here, I hope the traps help.
 

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its has been shown that adult SHB beetles can fly upwards of 6-8 miles. And im pretty sure that the larvae can crawl more than several feet away from the hive which is why its not as simple as just treating or changing the substrate within a couple of feet of your hive... the larvae will crawl to the end of it and then burrow
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks all for the terrific info! The Clemson PDF covers everything including all of the info that I didn't want to hear. My hives at present are above a huge sheet of black rubber which will kill off many of the larvae but won't do a thing for the SHB's flying in from the surrounding communities. Lots of digesting the Clemson paper ahead but it looks like oil traps will continue to be my primary control method; lots of experiments ahead also.
 

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We'll see if our Freeman traps help.
I've got them under my hives, the work very well. got to keep the pans in tight or you'll let bees in and they drown. I also found I can put half the oil I thought I needed in them.
 

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I've got them under my hives, the work very well. got to keep the pans in tight or you'll let bees in and they drown. I also found I can put half the oil I thought I needed in them.
The Clemson article says Freeman traps are messy, and can attract critters. We only have the two hives yet and guess we can handle the mess. Our tiny apiary is caged to keep out skunks, bears, etc. Someone in our club uses them and mentioned oil over water works. Do you have any tips past that?

There was some mention in woodenware class that you can substitute a regular corrugated greased grid board for mite counts.

I also like what the article says about a beetle vacuum. I'll probably get one for the reasons stated: malevolent satisfaction in personally killing the pests, with no expectation that they're the whole cure. Maybe having a vacuum handy can round up escapees from a "jailbreak". Possibly entertaining, at least.
 

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SHB's (adults) walk right in, sit right down, let their hair hang down, etc.

Two years ago we got slimed; the area of the hive (super) had stores, and very few bees. We employed beetle blasters (at least 2 per each hive box).

Last year we had beetles but did not get slimed. We made sure that wherever we had stores and/or brood, we also had many bees. We did not use a single SHB Trap. We did keep the bees somewhat crowded. We found that if there were frames with foundation or empty comb, the SHB's could not get a foothold. I did pull one frame which had some stores but few bees (there were a lot of SHB's on that frame).

That said, I am going to try using DVD/CD cases this year. I will use bait in the case without poison. During inspections I plan to pull out the case and put in fresh cases. The pulled cases I will place in the microwave and provide the SHB's an attitude adjustment of about 10 seconds. If this is successful, and doesn't melt down the cases, this will become my routine.
 
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