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Some things I've learned about SHB

1541 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  ruthiesbees
These past few years have been quite the experience with these Spawn of Satan bugs. Have done the oil traps, put the permetherin down, full sun, reduced entrances, strong hives, and regardless, the little buggers keep surprising me. I have about 60 hives that I deal with and have had limited sucess with all the above mentioned tricks until this year.

I had a hive that was busting at the seams the other day, getting ready to make splits and when I took off the top I saw at least 100 SHB running. They were everywhere and all the comb was filled with brood, larvae, honey or pollen.

Got to inspecting it a little closer and notice the clear exoskeletons in the bottom. Seeing SHB and their larve and getting mad. Thinking about going nuclear when I see a bee cleaning out an exoskeleton and another in the next opening. The SHB appeared to hatch, eat the developing brood and move to the next cell and do the same. After looking at some other hives, I noticed the same with them tunneling until they pop out of the comb. The bees fix it right back and use it, so it probably goes unnoticed.

I will be working on a better mouse trap to try to eradicate these creatures, but so far have not had much success with what has been suggested by others on this board, at meetings and talking to biologist.

Good luck to all who are dealing with them. And yes, they will survive the bitter cold right in the middle of the cluster all winter. The only think that kills them, is when the hive dies.

Another thing is that they are laying their eggs in the brood and hatching and eating them. That is where they are getting their start.

Several commercial beekeeps that do not have problem mention that they move their hives so when the larvae matures there is no hive to come back to. may have to move the hives more frequently.
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Check out fatbeeman on youtube. He makes traps out of coroplast, boric acid and crisco. An oldtimer I know says that boric acid works on the little bastards. Good luck!
I have restarted my bee yard this year after being out for about three years. I am using solid bottom boards for a couple of reasons, including giving the small hive beetle a much smaller area to enter the hide. The only way for them to get in now is through my top entrance which is narrower than the conventional bottom entrance and hopefully easier to guard. I expect the solid bottom board to also reduce the ability for their pupa to drop into the ground to pupate.

Hopefully this will be an effective preventive measure. Sorry that I don't have more for you on how to get rid of them once they have arrived.

Good luck
I had to start over this year after a winter deadout, but I've never had much trouble with SHB. This year I didn't see any until about a week ago, I found one hiding on the frame rest when I pulled a frame. What I'm doing differently from before is top entrances and solid bottom boards. From what I hear, the beetles don't like clay soil, which is what we have here. Is your soil heavy clay or is it the good stuff like north of here? I would think the permethrin you sprayed around the hives would compensate for any soil conditions favorable to the SHB. I think the best defense is a strong hive, and possibly the right genetics. It would be a big undertaking, but maybe try requeening if you can find stock more able to combat SHB. Or try requeening a few and see how it goes.
You mention oil traps but didn't say what kind. I've had problems with SHB in the past but now I have the IPK beetle trap from green beehives on all my hives.

I no longer give SHB a second thought. I think the secret is the #6 mesh they use. Many of the oil traps use #8 mesh. A beetle can go thru #8, they can't walk across #6

They will wreck a hive! I'm not talking theory here.
I no longer give SHB a second thought. I think the secret is the #6 mesh they use. Many of the oil traps use #8 mesh. A beetle can go thru #8, they can't walk across #6

I agree #6 is the way to go. I have home-made bottom board traps on with #6. Put them on last year and have not seen a single SHB this year. Maybe that's what did it, maybe not but I'm not changing anything. People told me I would lose a lot of bees in the traps but have yet to see any get in. We use light mineral oil that can be bought but the gallon at Tractor Supply. Seems to work well and animals don't want to get to it like vegetable oil.
This is my first year using diatomaceous earth on the IPM board with a screened bottom board in my top bar hives. 3 hives. 2 in full sun, 1 in the shade. The one in the shade has no DE on the bottom board. Today it had about 20 SHB crawling around on it. (it now has DE on the bottom board). Of the 2 hives in the sun, one has DE on the bottom board. This picture is from this hive. Dead SHB. A good thing.
Granite Wood Floor Tile

Interestingly enough, the other hive in full sun has a periscope entrance where the bees crawl up and then go down into the brood nest. On this hive, I haven't seen a single hive beetle (so there is no DE on it's bottom board). I think in all 3 hives, I see maybe 1 or 2 beetles when I lift up the top bars, but none running around on the comb.
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