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I saw somthing that looked like a small beetle in an empty cell today in the upper hive body where there is not much drwn comb or bees. I don't what it was but am worried maybe it is a SHB.

Is the SHB a problem in NJ?

It was in a Russian hive and they are supposed to be pretty hygenic. I was looking for the queen at the time which I eventually found when I went to find the beetle to remove it, and examine it I could not find it. I wish I had done so when I first saw it.
 

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Adult SHB look like this:

http://www.beedata.com/apis-uk/newsletters05/images/Bees_hivebeetleMED.jpg

The adults themselves don't do much damage, but the larva can destroy all the comb in a hive. It's been my experience that as long as the hives are strong, they aren't a problem. I usually always see a couple adults during hive inspections. But once a hive becomes weak, SHB (like wax moths) can take over.
 

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wow GaSteve i'm really greatful for that picture. I've had these little critters crawling around my hive for a month or two now.

Could someone please tell me how to get rid of them?

I have seen groups of them as large as 10 I would say in one place when I remove frames...

Thanks guys
 

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CWBees,

I hate to tell you that they do start out smaller and grow into that size. I agree that a strong hive can keep them at bay. I also have noticed a few things in running my hives (I have a few beetles in half of my hives):

1) The hives in full sun don't seem to have beetles. 2) Hotter than normal bees don't seem to have beetles (I have heard this also from other beeks. 3) The beetles can and do hitch a ride in the packages with the bees when you buy them from a supplier. 4) The bees will corral them into nooks and cranies in the hive to keep them away from the comb. 5) The bees will bite them and the larvae; unfortunately, the bees can't bite through the adult's shell (it's too hard while the beetles are on the run). 6) I have seen one or two bees wrestle a single beetle down into the hive (to where and to do what I do not know). The bees do not like them in there; the bees have guard bees on the beetles in the hive (but they don't seem to get rid of them).

The adults don't seem to bother the honey or make the bees abscond when there is only 10 to 30 beetles. Beyond that number, I don't have a clue because I haven't had more than that in my hives. I DO squish every single beetle that I see every time I open up my hives. They are becoming a nuisance in the south.

I have heard horror stories from the commercial types down here.

By the way, who knows what kind of beetle that you had in the hive, but my first beetle experience was similar to yours (one single beetle it must be something else). Also, the little boogars can fly very well.

A strong hive seems to be the best protection. Thus far, I haven't treated my hives with any checmicals either.

[ July 10, 2006, 11:37 PM: Message edited by: Wee3Bees Apiary ]
 

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Wee3Bees Apiary,

I agree with all your points except number 2. "Hotter than normal bees don't seem to have beetles"

My worst infestation of SHB was in the hottest hive I have ever seen. Personally I've seen NO correlation between aggressive bees and their ability to keep back SHB. I HAVE seen dramatic differences in SHB tolerance between various races of bees. The NWC, which are some of the gentlest bees I've ever worked, are also the most successful at keeping SHB out. I almost never see SHB in my NWC hives, but still occasionally see them in my other hives (all at same location). Even when I had an explosion of SHB from a weak nuc I did not experience a problem in my NWC hives. I can't say what particular trait in the NWC that produces this result, but it’s certainly not an aggressive trait.
 

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Some folks have had luck with SBB with a tray under with diatomaceous earth in it. They say the beetles will hide from the bees in the tray and diatomaceous earth will kill them. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm sure I'll get the chance. I saw two in a hive the other day. I had parked a super of partially drawn comb on top and it had very few bees in it. I pulled it and cut down the empty space.
 

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I have had pretty good luck with the DE in the SBB tray. I found that even so, my Italians and Buckfast did not fare well (all eventually succumbed) because they seemed to tolerate the SHB running around on the comb. My Russians and a previously feral hive seem to "harrass" the SHB enough that more of them end up in the DE and a lot less are seen running around on the comb, even in a weaker hive. I have even seen my Russian bees carry the smaller SHB out of the hive and drop them. I have watched the bees "toss" them from the comb to the SBB where other bees chased them around until the beetle slips through the screen and into the DE. Once they get into the DE, it seems to be "all over" for the beetle.

Initially when there were a lot of SHB I left the trays in continuosly (daily SHB drops were in the hundreds). When the daily drop counts fall to just a few, I leave the trays in with fresh DE for 2-3 days per week unless I see a significant increase in drops. The rest of the time the SBB is left open for ventilation.
 

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it might be hard to find locally
do a google search and you'll find sources
it's the fossilized shell of small sea creatures that looks like glass shard under a microscope
deadly to little bugs but harmless to macro size critters
good for a lot of pest problems
with bees you gotta be careful so the pest get in it but not the bees
don't get the stuff for swiming pools
it's been heat treated and won't work
find "food grade" stuff

Dave
 

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Most garden centers will carry DE, it is an organic insecticide for use around the house for ants, fleas and other pests. It is also a favorite for gardens.

Mark

The local Garden Center will probably have a better chance of havinging it than one of the boxes. If the local carries Hi Yield or Fertilome, then they may have it in the Natural Gaurd Label...Crawling Insect Killer. Can you tell I own a Garden Center/Hardware store?
 

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I saw it in Lowes yesterday. Keep an eye on that beetle problem it can get out of hand fast. I would check the hives weekly if I were you. I have lost one hive to the SHB. And fighting them in my others. Don't wait too long to do something about them. They will take a hive down fast. If you take any honey off the hives with SHB put the supers in the freezer for 24 hours if you think there my be SHB eggs in it. That kills them for sure...Good luck.
 
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