Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I looked at the recent talk on the pests section, but no real description of what they look like. Anybody have a link to a photo?

Those that had clay soils were saying they didn't have problems. Clay is mostly what I have. Are they this far north (Kansas City)?

And what would I look for? Are they something you treat for? I would prefer not to use chemical treatment.

Thanks,
Martha
 

·
Vendor
Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
Joined
·
54,108 Posts
>I looked at the recent talk on the pests section, but no real description of what they look like. Anybody have a link to a photo?

That link is the best one I've seeen too.

>Those that had clay soils were saying they didn't have problems. Clay is mostly what I have. Are they this far north (Kansas City)?

They seem to be able to live in the north, Clinton in Michigan has them, but the beetles have more trouble getting established in the North and especially in clay soil. The have been found in every state and in package bees from the south. But have not benn able to get established in northern climates in clay soil. They do the BEST in sandy soil and in tropical climates. This is from the state entomologist here.

>And what would I look for?

Scurrying little black beetles with "flags" on their antenna when you open the hive. Spike backed larvae in the combs. Fermented honey smell from the larvae.

>Are they something you treat for?

The conventional treatments are to use Gaurdstar (insecticide) drench on the ground to kill the larvae and Checkmite in special traps in the hive.

Natural and IPM methods have not really gotten standarized. Dr. Rodriguez had come up with a trap on the entrance with sawdust and FGMO to catch the larvae. I don't know of anyone who is using it, but would love to hear more about it. Other methods are being worked on. I've heard of a pheromone trap for the beetles but haven't seen it available nor heard many details.

>I would prefer not to use chemical treatment.

I don't think there is a whole lot you can do right now except wait and see. The beetles may never be a problem for you or they may reach the level of wax moths as a problem. From what I've been told, so far only in tropical climates with sandy soils have they become a major pest that destroys whole hives.

Also, except in those tropical climates with clay soils, strong colonies seem to have the same kind of effect as on wax moths, they seem to do well against the beetles.

Also the beetles seem to "take off" after a hive has been messed with and not with hives that have been left alone. The theory is that the beetles somehow smell the bees' alarm pheremone and it triggers them to move in or to lay eggs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
929 Posts
Michael,
Do you speculate that top bar hives might be more effective in guarding against SHB due to the bees being less disturbed during an inspection/manipulation?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,913 Posts
I missed the meeting, but a buddy told me that someone brought in one for all to see. According to the lesson, he told me that the adults flee from light, while the larvae actually are attracted to it. One method described to find them was to invert your telescoping cover and put the inner cover and top super inside it. Wait a few moments, and the adults will have been driven down by the light to the telescoping cover where you can find them easier.
WayaCoyote
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
169 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the links. That one from PA is really something! I could feel the mites, lice and beetles everywhere!

I helped clear some brush last spring on a friend's place - ooo the ticks.

Martha
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
If I were describing how the hive beetle looks, it is about the size and shape of a ladybug, but all dark brown/black. They take over many hives here in South Carolina. They have little wings, like a ladybug and can fly. When you open your hives, you see them scurrying about...they can be in your top, inner cover, they hide in the frame supports, and they are in your honeycomb.
The front feeders seem to attract them, too..sometimes they will clog up the entrance to your feeder.
A strong hive seems to control them...it is very funny to watch the bees chase them and they will actually "roll" them or "tackle" them.
They are experimenting here with using two PVC pipes for entrances, close off the front entrance and some other modifications, I think with some success. I have never tried any of these myself, but have used GardStar, Checkmite and tried a natural method last year with no luck. Someone told me that they used tiny PVC pipe, drilled little holes (big enough for the beetle to crawl in) and filled it with apple cider vinegar...for them, the beetles crawled in, drowned, and they would just dump these traps out when they went in....I personally had no success with this...I never caught one beetle!
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top