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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Checking my bees the other day and I noticed several dead SHBs on the landing board. I had not thought that they survived over winter as adults. I assumed that the larvae lived in the ground and each year a new crop appeared, but seeing these makes me wonder if adults pass the winter in the hives.

My other thought is that maybe these were adults that died in the hive last fall and are only now being cleaned out by the bees. Does anyone know if SHBs survive as adults over winter inside hives? My area is cold with frozen ground since early November so these did not recently invade the hive.

Now I hate SHBs even more.
 

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SHB survive our milder winters here quite well, especially in the stronger hives that have a larger warm area outside the cluster. Really stinks when you pop a top on a warm day in Feb. and see 15 to 20 scurrying about.
 

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Adult SHBs survive in the cluster with the bees. They mimic the bees begging behavior by stroking the bees mandibles and the bees will feed them. The larvae don't survive in the ground unless you are in a warm enough area that they reproduce year round.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Adult SHBs survive in the cluster with the bees. They mimic the bees begging behavior by stroking the bees mandibles and the bees will feed them. The larvae don't survive in the ground unless you are in a warm enough area that they reproduce year round.
SHB larvae die in frozen ground? Did not know that, and it makes me very happy.

I am looking forward to examining the bottom boards this spring to see what can be seen. So far have not seen any on the top covers, but have not really been looking for them either. Supposed to get over 50 today so may take a peek.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nothing new under the sun, or, maybe I should spend a few minutes googling before posting questions:

https://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?188328-Hive-beetles-in-winter

This from Australia:

'Research conducted by the NSW Department of Environment and Primary Industries (Levot et al, 2005) found that all SHB lifecycle stages were susceptible to cold temperature.'

http://agriculture.vic.gov.au/agric...ases/bees/small-hive-beetle-a-beekeeping-pest

Mostly I just wanted to rant about SHBs. Hate them unreasonably. I should hate varroa a lot more, but something about seeing those black beetles running around just sets me off. Fortunately my current bees seem to fight them pretty well, chase them, bite them and I have even seen a bee drag a live SHB out the front door and fly off with it.
 

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Ha ha!
" Nothing new under the sun, or, maybe I should spend a few minutes googling before posting questions"
From one who's been around a while:
If every poster did that,the forums would be pretty quiet!!
 

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Adult SHBs survive in the cluster with the bees. They mimic the bees begging behavior by stroking the bees mandibles and the bees will feed them. The larvae don't survive in the ground unless you are in a warm enough area that they reproduce year round.
Interesting. This suggests that bees are stupid or they receive some kind of benefit from SHB. Bees aren't stupid, so if this is a fact, what could be the benefit? J
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Interesting. This suggests that bees are stupid or they receive some kind of benefit from SHB. Bees aren't stupid, so if this is a fact, what could be the benefit? J
Not necessarily any benefit. I doubt that humans get any benefit from bedbugs. Just another parasite.
 

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Adult SHBs survive in the cluster with the bees. They mimic the bees begging behavior by stroking the bees mandibles and the bees will feed them.
I saw an in-hive video of this very thing and have read it as well. The SHB were being held captive, yet the bees were feeding them.

Alex
 

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Our "European" bees probably weren't familiar with SHB which are from Africa.
Just another exotic unnatural presence in the hive, which should not be acceptable to natural beekeepers.
I would be shocked to see 15-20 at any time.
Control measures in roughly decreasing order of importance:
Hive in full sun with hard ground underneath.
Strong queenright hives.
Comb area controlled so bees are patrolling all comb
Bottom board screen with oil or soapy water trap
Top Handiwipes/unscented Swiffers
The commercially available beetle traps.
 

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The SHB were being held captive, yet the bees were feeding them.
Benevolent jailers. I was going to post something similar regarding them corralling them up, but not killing them. As far as responses to stimuli, think of a lactating human mother to the sound of another baby crying. It is not her child so it serves no immediate benefit. She is not being tricked and is certainly not stupid, well she is not being tricked at least.
 

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JW probably correct, but what do we really know? Maybe feeding them helps to keep them in their "jail". Maybe the yeast on the SHB is of some benefit? I have no idea, but there is usually a reason for such things and its interesting to think about. J
 

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Benevolent jailers. I was going to post something similar regarding them corralling them up, but not killing them. As far as responses to stimuli, think of a lactating human mother to the sound of another baby crying. It is not her child so it serves no immediate benefit. She is not being tricked and is certainly not stupid, well she is not being tricked at least.
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Corralling but not killing. I see the bees chase and try to grab the SHB, but I do not believe that they are capable of killing the beetles. Beetles will hang out just outside the cluster waiting for an opportunity to lay eggs in a food source.....pollen and brood. The moment the hive gets a little weak in numbers from requeening or varroa, they do their thing. It is unreal how fast the SHB can destroy a vulnerable hive.

In your favor is the fact that the SHB is pretty sluggish in anything but warm weather. Over here the SHB is a problem throughout the year.
 

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There doesn't need to be a benefit for the hosts. Nature devises some strange survival strategies. As a similar example look at the cow bird. They lay their eggs in other birds nests and those birds very happily raise their young.
 

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Jonsl, I see a difference in passively providing a benefit and actively providing some benefit. Who knows? J
 
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